Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
Rick was one of the first Michigan political reporters to write about “pay-to-play” fundraising, and the controversies surrounding recognition of same-sex relationships. He broke the news that Gov. John Engler was planning a huge juvenile justice overhaul that included adult-time-for-adult-crime sentencing, and has continued to report since then on the effects of that policy decision.
He co-hosted the weekly segment “It’s Just Politics” on Michigan Radio with Zoe Clark.
Rick is fascinated by the game of politics, and the grand plans and human foibles that go into policy-making. You will never find him ice-fishing.
Follow him on Twitter at @rickpluta
In 2023, a record number of states have passed rules or legislation to eliminate youth gender-affirming care, but a record number of states have also moved to protect care for trans youth and adults.
After a court ruling Friday, abortion in Michigan continues to be legal for now - though there are more legal challenges ahead.
Michigan has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, and skepticism is growing over health orders and vaccines. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is in persuasion mode to try to get vaccine skeptics on board.
Florida and Alabama are seeing rapid increases in coronavirus cases, which experts link to the states' reopening dates. But Michigan's case numbers are dropping — meaning schools can reopen this fall.
In a reverse decision, the judges say that barber Karl Manke, who refused to close his shop in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's shutdown order, must shutter.
Michigan's governor says vaping poses a public health crisis, especially to teens, and has ordered that the state ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency field questions and attacks from members of Congress over the handling of the Flint, Mich., water crisis.