Give government subsidies to "artificial intelligence" businesses
Introduced by state Sen. Valde Garcia, R-Howell

The bill would authorize $18 million worth of government "21st Century Jobs Fund" subsidies for "creative artificial intelligence excellence sectors," defined as private businesses or other entities engaged in developing "advanced artificial neural network technology that is capable of autonomously generating new and potentially valuable concepts or strategies."

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Authorize state money for school solar and wind systems
Introduced by state Sen. Patricia Birkholz, R-Saugatuck

The bill would authorize state grants and interest-free loans to school districts to install solar and wind energy systems.

Require state to pay off Detroit schools deficit
Introduced by state Rep. LaMar Lemmons Jr., D-Detroit

The bill would require the state to assume the deficit incurred by the Detroit School District during the period prior to 2006 when it was under the control of a state-imposed reform school board. In 2004 the district had a $122 million deficit.

Establish official state "Scottish Tartan"
Introduced by state Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland

The bill would establish that henceforth and forever more (or at least until a future legislature and governor see fit to declare otherwise), the official Scottish tartan of the great state of Michigan shall be the one described by the Scottish hand weavers and textile designers "thread count" denoted by the phrase "BG18* W2 BG8 W2 T8 DG2 T4 DG24 DR4 DG4*," where the symbol "*" denotes 1/2 the total threads at the turning points.

Give "rewards" to gas stations that increase ethanol sales
Introduced by state Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, R-Muskegon

The bill would give a subsidy to gas stations that increase ethanol sales above certain thresholds specified in the bill. The subsidy would be a refundable Michigan Business Tax credit, and the value would be between 2 cents and 6 cents per gallon of ethanol sold above the threshold. "Refundable" means that the state will send a gas station a check for the amount that the credit exceeds the owner's tax liability.

Mandate driver's ed recycling message
Introduced by state Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Fawn River Township

The bill would mandate that driver's education courses include state-approved material expressing a belief in "the importance of recycling," and containing information on "opportunities to support statewide recycling efforts," as well as an antilitter message.

Mandate public school African-American history teaching in all grades
Introduced by state Rep. George Cushingberry, D-Detroit

The bill would require public schools to provide instruction at all grade levels in African-American history.

Ban driving while using hand-held cell phone
Introduced by state Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw

The bill would prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, subject to a $100 fine. 

To comment on these bills, please see

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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