Detroit Evening Report: House bill would divert teacher retirement funds; state judge blocks abortion restrictions + more

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Michigan State Capitol

Michigan State Capitol building.

Today on the Detroit Evening Report, we cover a new bill adopted in the Michigan House to reduce the state’s contribution to the public school employee retirement fund; a state judge issuing an order against enforcing abortion restrictions and more.

House bill would divert teacher retirement funds

The state House has adopted a bill that would reduce the state’s contribution to the public school employee retirement fund.

Democrats say the fund is on a path to be fully paid for and the state has what’s  essentially a windfall worth hundreds of millions of dollars that can be turned to other education-related purposes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she would like to use the money to pay for universal pre-kindergarten, though Republicans say the plan is shortsighted.

The Legislature is working to send budget bills to Whitmer’s desk this week before beginning its summer recess. 

State judge blocks abortion restrictions

A Michigan Court of Claims judge has blocked enforcement of a handful of abortion restrictions still on the books.

Judge Sima Patel says 24-hour waiting periods and other limits violate the reproductive rights amendment voters approved in 2022.

“We have nurse-midwives and advanced practice clinicians across the state who have wanted to provide this care for patients, and my hope is that in the upcoming days and weeks that abortion could potentially become more accessible as that barrier is removed,” said Dr. Sarah Wallett, chief medical operating officer for Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

The judge did not block a law requiring abortion providers to ensure patients are not being forced to end a pregnancy.  

MOCAD to host reception for summer exhibitions

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is hosting an opening reception for its summer exhibitions this Friday, Jun. 28.

Two new solo exhibitions and two group exhibitions will be on view at the MOCAD this summer, including Meleko Mokgosi, who will discuss his “Zones of Non-Being” with Michael Stone Richards from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday. Lakela Brown’s “From Scratch: Seeding Adornment” will exhibit through Oct. 4. DJ Deon Jamar will provide music for the evening.

The reception runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday. MOCAD is located at 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit.

National Gun Violence Awareness Month

June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan State Police want more residents to get gun locks.

Michigan had over 1,500 firearm deaths in 2022, according to the Center for Disease Control. The CDC also reports unintentional injury is the fourth leading cause of death among infants in the U.S., and is the top cause of death among children and adolescents aged 1–17 years; with firearms the leading cause of injuries.

MDHHS is giving Michiganders free gun locks (while supplies last) in an effort to protect children from weapons that are unsecured. The cable-style locks were purchased using $500,000 in state funding. Michigan residents can visit their local MDHHS office, as well as some local health departments to get one. They can also get more information from the “Project ChildSafe” website. 

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.