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As the Jan. 6 uprising hearings continued on Capitol Hill this week, political news from Michigan followed.

The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate Last Year’s Capitol Riots held its second and third hearings Monday and Thursday, continuing to argue that former President Donald Trump instigated the riots by knowingly spreading false allegations of widespread electoral fraud.

Michigan, the swing state that Trump narrowly lost, was mentioned several times in the January 6 hearing due to allegations of election fraud that swirled in the state in 2020. 2021 investigation by a state Senate committee that found no evidence of widespread fraud.

Connected: GOP Report Finds No Evidence of Electoral Fraud, Leaves Room for Further Investigation

But this week, the public learned that the MP who led the investigation in Michigan, state senator Ed McBroom, was asked to testify before the committee on January 6.

“To say I was surprised is an understatement,” McBroom, a spokesman for Vulcan, said on the Senate floor Thursday, because last year’s Michigan Senate Oversight Committee report had nothing to do with the attack on the Capitol.

McBroom said he answered some of the committee’s “preliminary questions” but declined further cooperation because he felt committee members’ interest in him, and the Michigan Senate report was “a blatant takeover of our legislature and a violation of federalism.”

“Michigan is a sovereign state whose legislature cannot simply be subordinate to the US Congress,” McBroom said. The committee ultimately canceled its request on January 6, he said.

Fifteen Michigan residents have been charged with riot-related crimes, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelly, who was arrested and arraigned last week but released as the trial continues.

Connected: Ryan Kelly leaning towards FBI arrest could benefit him in Michigan GOP gubernatorial primary

Six Michigan residents who accepted plea agreements received sentences ranging from prison to probation and minor consequences such as community service.

17 Michigan state lawmakers demand AG investigate debunked “2,000 mules” claims.

Flint ballot box 2020

The absentee ballot box is located outside City Hall on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, in Flint.Jake May | mlive.com

Trump and his allies, as well as numerous Republican politicians and many GOP voters, continue to make false claims more than a year and a half after losing the ex-president. The latest supposed hard evidence is a movie called 2000 Mules.

A film by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza uses CCTV and mobile phone location data collected by an organization called True the Vote to track alleged Democratic “mules” illegally collecting and dropping ballots in trash bins in Michigan, Arizona, Georgia. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Seventeen Michigan GOP representatives on Wednesday called on Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate “and bring charges if credible evidence is found” of the 2,000 Mules.

However, the film’s allegations of illegal activities influencing elections have so far not been proven true. Voting and technology experts told Reuters and Associated Press that cell phone tracking is unreliable to prove the film’s claims.

And when True the Vote co-founder Katherine Engelbrecht testified before Wisconsin lawmakers in March, she said“I want to make it clear that we are not alleging that the ballots cast were illegal.”

Connected: House Leaders Condemn Video Trick Linking Michigan Lawmakers to ‘Debunked Campaign Plots’

D’Souza was pardoned by Trump in 2018 after being convicted of a felony related to campaign finance. He also has a history of spreading conspiracy theories, including that President Barack Obama was not born in the US and that the Clintons killed people.

“(No integrity legislator should refer to 2,000 Mules as anything other than a shameful exercise in fraud and disinformation,” Michigan State Department spokeswoman Tracey Wimmer told MLive.

Disqualified Michigan gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson loses bid to stop ballot printing in federal court

Perry Johnson

Republican gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson speaks with supporters at the Kent County Republican Party headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday, March 7, 2022. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.com

However, Michigan’s 2022 election cycle has already witnessed a proven case of widespread fraud, with the Bureau of Elections disqualifying five GOP candidates running for governor in May due to petition fraud by paid subscription companies.

Perry Johnson lost a last-ditch effort to get back on the ballot in an attempt to prevent it from being printed. On Monday, a federal judge ruled that Johnson had more than enough time to challenge the decisions and was unable to question the Bureau’s approach to verifying falsified signatures.

Johnson was disqualified after the Bureau found that nearly 9,400 of the 23,000 signatures he had submitted were fake. He needed 15,000 people to appear in the preliminary ballot on 2 August.

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Had Johnson’s request been granted, Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, a Democrat, told MLive that the county would not have been able to comply with the requirements of the state’s law and constitution. Ballots must be handed over to local clerks by June 18th.

“It would be a disenfranchisement of voters because they would not have access to the ballot when they should have been able to,” she said.

Michigan’s mental health sector could see $565 million in gains

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

Inside the Jay and Betty Van Andel Center on the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Campus in Cutlerville, Tuesday, August 27, 2019Corey Morse | MLive.com

This week at the Michigan Capitol, the state’s mental health system is poised to receive its biggest injection of money in decades, as the State Senate overwhelmingly passed an appropriations bill totaling more than half a billion dollars.

SB 714sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirky, R-Clarklake will provide $565.5 million in mostly federal funding to help reform Michigan’s mental health systems.

“Our state’s mental health system is failing patients, their families, health care providers and taxpayers,” Shirky said in a statement after the vote. “Everyone in our state should have access to quality mental health services, regardless of their means or where they live. Today we have taken an important step towards making sure that this is the case.”

Items funded include $100 million in infrastructure grants for pediatric inpatient services; $50 million to prepare for the integration of community mental health services; $35 million to expand mental health services; and $25 million for the Clinical Integration Fund.

Michigan Republicans seek to limit emergency bookings to 28 days on massive bill package

Michigan Representative Julie Alexander

State Rep. Julie Alexander, Republic of Hanover, testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (Courtesy Photo)

On Wednesday, a House committee heard evidence on a massive package of 31 bills that would limit the state government’s emergency powers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans say the package will simply toughen up existing laws and eliminate redundant — and in most cases completely unused — language between government agencies.

“Many of these pieces of legislation don’t have sufficient restrictions to approve legislative notices, public hearings, or time limits for orders,” said Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover State. “The variety of carefully crafted changes in this package will help improve Michigan’s emergency powers by ensuring proper coverage as well as legislative oversight and ultimately accountability to the people.”

Alexander is sponsoring the group’s flagship bill, HB 6184, which will give the legislature the final say on whether emergency orders issued by the Department of Health and Human Services can go into effect for the last 28 days.

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Other notable actions by the legislature this week included sending a bill to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ensure that election dates are set on time to fill public office vacancies, and introducing a bill to make Michigan’s local wild rice the state’s official grain.

On Tuesday, Whitmer signed a law allowing 17-year-olds to serve alcohol in bars and restaurants. The law aims to fill the labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

More policy news from MLive:

Attorney General Should Focus on Education, Says Michigan Republican Nominee

Michigan Unemployment Agency ordered to stop fees for some workers

According to the task force proposing solutions, 43% of Michigan residents can barely afford the essentials.

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