Daily Briefs


2018 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award winners named by Michigan Press

The Michigan Press Association is pleased to announce the 2018 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award Winners.  Rep. Pettalia was a vocal advocate for newspapers and open government and one of the first recipients of the award and MPA feels the three recipients of this year’s awards honor those traditions.

 The following legislators have been chosen as this year’s recipients: 

• Senator Margaret O’Brien (R-Kalamazoo) a first term Senator and former State Representative has been a strong supporter of open government and transparency as well as journalism during her career in Lansing. 

• Representative Jim Lower (R-Cedar Springs) who is serving his first term has already proven to be  a proponent of open records and government accountability as well as supportive of his local newspapers.

• Representative Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw)  a second term Representative has been a supporter of open government including the package of bills to make the legislature and the Governor subject to FOIA and appreciates the importance of the first amendment.

These individuals continuously demonstrate their belief that government transparency is important to a strong democracy. 

The actions of these legislators directly support MPA’s mission of defending free speech, promoting a strong press and fostering an informed citizenry.

“As journalism has come under attack recently, it is even more important to recognize these legislative leaders who understand that a strong, independent press is critical to our democracy,” said MPA?President Brad Thompson.

“This is always a great time of year when we in the press get to recognize legislators who have been open, forward-thinking and representative of their constituents. Open government is always good government, and these leaders are examples of doing the people’s business in the open and knowing the value of keeping the public informed,” said Thompson.

The 2018 Peter Pettalia Sunshine Awards will be presented to these legislators at the MPA Annual Convention on May 10 in Lansing.


Election to replace  convicted Michigan state senator set

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The special election to replace a Michigan state senator convicted of theft has been set.

Gov. Rick Snyder says residents of the 2nd district of Michigan can vote for in the race during a special primary election on Aug. 7 and a general election on Nov. 6. The deadline to file for candidacy is April 24.

Earlier this month former Sen. Bert Johnson resigned after pleading guilty in federal court to conspiring to steal money. The Democrat from Highland Park was convicted of funneling $23,000 to a no-show employee on the state payroll. He will be sentenced in August.


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