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After standoff in Senate, snow day forgiveness bill heads to governor

winter school bus
Severe weather and bitter cold forced many Michigan schools to exceed the number of allowable snow days this year.

Michigan students are a signature away from getting four snow days forgiven after a brutal winter left some schools closed for weeks. The state Senate sent the bill to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk Thursday.

This comes after a dust-up between Republicans and Democrats on details of the bill. Earlier this week, Democrats prevented the bill from getting immediate effect – which would have effectively killed the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) said he’s still disappointed the bill did not include a guarantee that hourly workers will be compensated for the forgiven days.

“We worked for that,” he said. “I think a lot of school districts will cover that anyway. I think that was unfortunate, but it was something we couldn’t get. We voted on what was the best available option in front of us.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said this is a good move for schools trying to finalize their calendars.

“Great outcome,” he said. “It’s all for the kids and giving schools plenty of notice when they can do their proper planning.”

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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