Author: Rick Pluta

Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.

Rick was one of the first Michigan political reporters to write about “pay-to-play” fundraising, and the controversies surrounding recognition of same-sex relationships. He broke the news that Gov. John Engler was planning a huge juvenile justice overhaul that included adult-time-for-adult-crime sentencing, and has continued to report since then on the effects of that policy decision.

He co-hosts the weekly segment “It’s Just Politics” on Michigan Radio with Zoe Clark.

Rick is fascinated by the game of politics, and the grand plans and human foibles that go into policy-making. You will never find him ice-fishing.

News Organizations Sue Michigan Redistricting Commission

Three news organizations and the Michigan Press Association are suing the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, and they’re taking their case directly to the state Supreme Court. The news organizations say the commission is violating transparency requirements in the voter-approved amendment to the Michigan Constitution that created it. They want the state’s highest court to..

Whitmer: New Mandates Not Needed If People Get Vaccinated

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that new statewide COVID-19 restrictions are not under consideration at the moment despite the state’s soaring COVID case numbers. Whitmer was interviewed on WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. She was asked about re-imposing restrictions and responded the surge is being driven by unvaccinated people. She said that ordering skeptics to wear..

Whitmer Vetoes Bill to Forgive COVID-19 Workplace Fines

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill Friday to forgive some penalties imposed on businesses for violating COVID-19 orders. The governor said the bill would have placed Michigan’s rules in conflict with federal workplace safety rules. Whitmer wrote in her veto letter the bill would have jeopardized the state’s control over its own workplace safety program, the Michigan..