Daily Briefs


Grand Rapids attorney seeks seat on state Supreme Court

Elizabeth Welch, a West Michigan-based lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in the legal profession, has announced her candidacy for the Michigan Supreme Court. Two seats on the seven-member high court, which currently are held by Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and Justice Stephen Markman, will be at stake in the 2020 election.

Welch began her legal practice in 1995 at Greenebaum Doll & McDonald in Louisville, Ky. She then returned to Grand Rapids and joined Miller Johnson. At Miller Johnson, Welch began a lifelong commitment to securing safe and fair working conditions. In 2004, she opened her own practice, allowing her to broaden her legal career to include pro bono work on abuse and neglect matters, assisting a criminal defense law practice, and supporting local litigation related to the opioid epidemic.

In addition, Welch has been an advocate for equity in education and protection of our natural resources.  She has spent the last seven years as a trustee and then as vice president on the East Grand Rapids Public Board of Education. Beyond her school board responsibilities, Welch has worked with “leaders across the state to engage parents, fight for proper whole-child funding, and study the true cost of educating a child in Michigan.” 

Welch has served as president of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Board and is vice president of the Steelcase Foundation.

“I am proud of my reputation as a bridge builder and fierce advocate,” said Welch, who earned her law degree from Ohio State University. “Together, these traits can support a justice system that works for us all.”

Welch, an alumna of Penn State University, lives in East Grand Rapids with her husband, Brian Schwartz. Together, they have four children – three currently attending college and one having recently graduated.

For more information on Welch’s campaign, visit her website welchforjustice.com.


Whitmer signs bills to collect taxes on more online sales 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Friday to ensure that Michigan's 6% sales and use taxes are collected on more items sold through websites such as Wayfair, Overstock and Amazon.

The laws, which Whitmer enacted on Thursday, could generate an additional $90 million in revenue per year, mostly for public schools.

The new measures codify state guidance that requires out-of-state sellers to pay taxes if they exceed $100,000 in sales or have 200 or more transactions in Michigan.

The laws also require "marketplace facilitators" such as eBay that meet one of the thresholds to remit sales and use taxes on behalf of independent sellers regardless of how many transactions the seller has done in Michigan.


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