Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 24, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 10/24/2013

Associated Press

---- — Schools will get Epi-Pens for allergies

LANSING — Every public school in Michigan would have to have special injectors to treat allergic reactions under legislation that has passed the state House.

Legislators voted 96-10 on Wednesday for a bill requiring schools by next year to have epinephrine devices, or EpiPens. The measure and another bill now head to the Senate.

Many children with severe allergies already bring EpiPens to school. Supporters of the legislation say a quarter of anaphylactic shock incidents in schools occur among students unaware that they have an allergy.

Without a dose of epinephrine to stop reactions to peanuts or bee stings, kids can die.

Schools could qualify for free EpiPens through a program offered a pharmaceutical company. But the bill says if that’s unavailable, school boards can get funding from the state.

Public schools to offer more online options

LANSING — Starting in January, Michigan’s public school students will get more choices in deciding how and where they want to take classes.

Public school students in grades 5-12 will be able to take up to two online courses per semester offered by Michigan districts or the state’s virtual school. A statewide catalog of online classes maintained by the Michigan Virtual University is being assembled this month.

Expanded online classes are set to begin in January, The Detroit News reported ( ). Students need permission from their parents to sign up for classes, but they no longer need approval from their home school district, which has to pay providers for the courses.

Bill proposes renaming part of I-75

LANSING — A bill would rename a 7-mile stretch of Interstate 75 that includes the Mackinac Bridge as the “Michigan Military Veterans Highway.”

Republican state Reps. Greg MacMaster of Kewadin and Frank Foster of Petoskey introduced the legislation earlier this month.

The Petoskey News-Review and the Cheboygan Daily Tribune report the renaming would include I-75 between Mackinaw City in the northern Lower Peninsula and St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula. The route passes the Veterans Affairs Cheboygan County Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

In 2001, portions of the interstate in the area were named for two Democrats who helped build the Mackinac Bridge connecting the Lower and Upper peninsulas.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Activists taken out of state House chamber

LANSING — A handful of anti-corruption activists have been escorted out of the Michigan House chamber after dropping fake money on lawmakers.

Members of the Represent.Us group interrupted the Wednesday afternoon session to protest “woefully inadequate” campaign finance and lobbying laws in Michigan.

The protesters were escorted out of the public gallery above the House floor without incident.

Represent.Us director Josh Silver says the Republican-led Michigan Legislature was targeted because the state received an “F’’ grade in a corruption risk report released by the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International. He says lawmakers are blocking basic improvements such as requiring financial disclosure by top elected officials.

Some legislators laughed about fake money raining down on them and displayed it in their shirt pockets. Represent.Us is based in Massachusetts.