News Briefs 8/1

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Josh Alburtus, News Editor

GV area gas prices decline as inflation remains

Gasoline prices around Grand Valley State University have steadily declined with those across the nation for several weeks as inflation has continued to strain personal and family budgets.

According to GasBuddy.com, a company analyzing real-time price data from over 140,000 gas stations across the country, average gas prices in Grand Rapids stood at $4.18 per gallon as of July 31. This contrasted with an average of $4.59 per gallon less than two weeks prior.

The trend comes as the grip of inflation hikes prices for other everyday necessities at a time when students begin their return to campus and attempt to lay out personal budgeting plans to afford the collegiate experience. In its latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a CPI increase of 9.1% in the last year – the largest price increase since the 1980s.

Michigan Supreme Court rules existing law bans anti-LGBTQ discrimination 

In a 5-2 decision on Thursday the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in Rouch World, LLC v Department of Civil Rights that the state’s 1976 Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Given the arguments of the case, the Court was asked to determine whether the law’s inclusion of the word “sex” as a protected category applied to instances of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.

Republican Justice Elizabeth Clement joined Democratic justices Richard Bernstein, Megan Cavanagh and Elizabeth Welch as well as Democratic Chief Justice Bridget McCormack in the majority opinion.

With the Court’s expansion of the law’s protections, members of Michigan’s LGBTQ community are now shielded from discrimination in all areas outlined in the law’s language.

Such includes protection in sectors including employment, housing, education and public accommodations.

GV satellite polling location continues for Aug. 2 primary elections

Michigan voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 2, to vote in this summer’s state primary elections ahead of the November midterms. 

Grand Valley State University will offer campus community members voter registration and absentee voting services at its Allendale Township Satellite Clerk’s Office inside the campus’s Kirkhof Center in the run up to and on election day.

The office will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.

This will be the first major election following the state’s decennial redistricting process that sought to equalize congressional representation and redrew Michigan’s 13 new congressional districts.

Following redistricting, the university will now fall within Michigan’s Third Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Congressman Peter Meijer.

Other highly anticipated races will also be decided in the Aug. 2 primaries, including which Republican gubernatorial candidate will become the party’s nominee to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer for the office in November.