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Michi

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) will seek treatment for long-term use of pain medications.

Michigan House of Representatives

The resolution was introduced by Speaker of the State House Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Rep. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). 

Michigan House of Representatives

State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of extortion, bribery and lying to the FBI. U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge alleges Inman offered to trade one of his votes in the House for campaign money. 

The indictment says Inman texted a lobbyist from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM) in June 2018 and offered to vote ‘no’ on a prevailing wage bill if MRCCM and other trade unions would donate more to his campaign. 

Michigan’s House speaker has paid another fine for bringing an unregistered gun to the Pellston Regional Airport. 

Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) paid the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) $1,960 last week. The maximum fine for that infraction was nearly $10,000.

Aaron Selbig

As it stands now federal and state laws say you can’t bring a weapon into what’s called a “sterile area” at an airport. But the definition of a sterile area that the state used was removed in 2001.

 

This created a loophole where people could bring weapons into airports with little consequence.

 

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, says his bill will define a sterile area as any place behind a government check point.  

 

One of Michigan’s top Republican lawmakers has been fined for bringing an unregistered gun to the airport. Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) was caught with the gun at the Pellston Regional Airport in July. 

On August 21, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office charged Chatfield with a civil infraction. The following day, Chatfield paid a $250 fine. He could not be reached for comment but has said on Facebook that bringing the gun to the airport was an accident. He called it an “inexcusable mistake.”

A top-ranking Republican in Michigan’s House will be issued a civil infraction for bringing an unregistered gun to the airport in July.

Representative Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) was stopped in the security line at Pellston Regional Airport when he brought the gun there in July. He apologized, saying he made an "inexcusable mistake" when he accidentally brought the gun to the aiport. He also said he had thought his gun was registered.

A top-ranking Republican in the Michigan House will not face criminal charges after bringing an unregistered gun to the airport. Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) says he accidentally brought the firearm to the Pellston Regional Airport in July.

“Mr. Chatfield entered the Pellston Regional Airport with a firearm and everybody realizes this is a dangerous situation," says Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman.

But Linderman says he cannot charge Chatfield under current law. 

A bill to make English the official language in Michigan has passed a House committee. HB 4053 would require all public government documents be written in English, although they could be printed in another language as well.

Northern Michigan Representatives Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Tristan Cole (R-Mancelona) are co-sponsors of the bill.

House Republicans in Lansing have a plan to give you an income tax break — and eventually to end the tax. 

State Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) introduced a measure last week that would cut the rate from 4.25 percent to 3.9 percent in 2018. The legislation would then reduce the income tax yearly by .1 percent until it was eliminated. 

“I think this is a very fair tax reform that impacts every family,” Chatfield told IPR News Radio. “It provides yet another opportunity for our families to move back here to Michigan, begin working [and] keep more of their hard-earned dollars.”

Chatfield spoke with IPR News Radio about his tax plan:

 

Revenue from the income tax made up about one-third of the state’s total revenue in 2015 – around $9 billion, according to the State Budget Office.

Michigan has a bad reputation when it comes to government openness. Last year, the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity gave the state an ‘F’ in government transparency and accountability.

The governor’s office is exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and so is the state legislature. That means emails and other records are often out of reach for reporters and other government watchdogs.

But a group of Michigan lawmakers wants to end those exemptions to FOIA that have shielded the executive and legislative branches since the 1970s . They’ve unveiled a package of bills that would reform the state’s FOIA laws, by creating the Legislative Open Records Act.

“Any elected official who is not in favor of transparency … really is not qualified to hold public office under our system of government,” says Rep. Lee Chatfield of Emmet County.

IPR News Radio spoke to Chatfield, who is a co-sponsor of the legislation:


Linda Stephan

More eight and nine-year-olds would be held back in school as a result of legislation meant to boost the reading skills of kids before they reach fourth grade. House Bill 4822 passed the state House earlier this month, and largely split the chamber along party lines.

Democrats and other opponents argued that holding back more third-graders would create lasting social problems for kids.

But Republicans supported the bill, like co-sponsor Rep. Lee Chatfield. He is a former high school teacher who represents Emmet, Mackinac and Chippewa counties.

"The fundamental principle of this bill ultimately is that reading is a building block to learning," Chatfield says. "Studies show that children who are not proficient in reading by the fourth grade end up struggling for the rest of their lives in school."


A new session began for state lawmakers last week. 

The newest members of the state House of Representatives and Senate from northern Michigan are settling into new offices and hiring staff, among many other things.

Right now they’re learning about new jobs and about the challenges of getting anything done in Lansing.