East Lansing, MI – A local state representative is forming a taskforce to look at the feasibility of building a Magnetic Levitation, or MagLev, train system between Lansing and Detroit.

Brighton Republican Bill Rogers says the high-speed transportation system would be the first of its kind in the United States. Rogers says the MagLev rail system would revolutionize transportation in the state.

Rogers says the system he envisions would be privately funded and operated.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (AP) - Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she is "getting close" to a deal with Michigan's public universities to provide some tuition relief for students and families headed into next school year.

Granholm wants universities to freeze tuition rates in exchange for some of the federal stimulus money headed Michigan's way.

But the Democratic governor has run into opposition because she proposed a 3% cut to university state aid for the budget year that begins in October.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (AP) - The Senate Fiscal Agency says state coffers are taking an even bigger hit than expected as tax revenues fall.

According to the agency's February report released Wednesday, tax collections for the month fell almost $100 million short of earlier estimates.

SFA senior economist Jay Wortley says the decline was "much worse than expected."

The national recession has worsened Michigan's economic woes, pushing unemployment up to 11.6% and causing residents to cut back on spending, which hurts state revenues.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - The cost of visiting a state park or recreation area could go down next year for Michigan residents. House and Senate leaders say the Legislature will adopt a plan soon to dump the $24 annual windshield sticker and the $6 daily entry fee.

Instead, park users would pay $10 for a license plate that gives them access to state parks, recreation areas, and boat launch sites.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - A state commission has recommended a 10% rollback in the salaries of the governor and other executive branch officers, and 110 state lawmakers. It's now up to the Legislature to approve the recommendation of the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Lansing Tuesday. He testified before a state Senate committee on health care reform.

Gingrich has been working on health care reform since retiring from Congress. He says making everyone's medical records electronic is key to ensuring proper care. And he says people need to take more responsibility for their health by quitting smoking, eating well, exercising, and controlling chronic conditions.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (MPRN) - State House Democrats approved a plan to give Michigan homeowners a 90-day reprieve when facing foreclosure. Democrats say the bill will benefit borrowers and lenders.

But House Republicans say the measure would flood courts with too many new lending disputes.

Democrat Andy Coulouris sponsored the plan. He says some lenders may not like the bill, but the reprieve will help protect home values, which benefits everyone in Michigan.

Lansing, MI – LANSING (WKAR) - The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation is denying the request of seven auto insurance companies who've asked permission to enact rate increases.

The state says those companies are using discriminatory tactics.

The disapproved insurers include such names as Progressive and Michigan Millers.

Insurance regulator Ken Ross says those companies use credit scoring to determine how high to set their premiums.

East Lansing, MI – EAST LANSING (WKAR) - The 94th annual Agriculture and Natural Resources Week is underway at Michigan State University. Programs focus on activities ranging from fishing, to pesticide education, to breeding rabbits.

Spokesperson Laura Probyn says there's an emphasis on helping farmers find new ways to sell what they produce. One example of that is cheese-making.

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MSU Today

“There’s never been a bigger show if you’re a fan of new pickup trucks,” Detroit Free Press automotive critic Mark Phelan tells Kirk Heinze about the 2018 North American International Auto Show. “We have new ones from Chevy, RAM, and the rebirth of the Ford Ranger. We have production and concept SUVs coming out of our ears, too, because that’s the direction the market is moving toward.


Russ White

Each month, MSU professors Charles Ballard and Matt Grossmann engage in a lively discussion of Michigan policy and current events. This Month on State of the State: k-12 education finance and policy with guest Kristi Bowman.


From NPR News

Abdullah Shrim's phone almost never stops ringing. Most of the calls and messages are from other Yazidis asking for help to find their relatives. Others are from people threatening to kill him.

Shrim, a gregarious man with a ready smile, so far has rescued 338 members of the Yazidi religious group held captive by ISIS — almost all of them from Syria. It's a long way from his background as a beekeeper and businessman.

Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET

The House Intelligence Committee is set to decide on Thursday whether to release the transcript of its meeting with the man who commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Lawmakers have scheduled a closed meeting at which they'll vote about whether to unveil the text of hours' worth of testimony by Glenn Simpson, founder of the private intelligence firm Fusion GPS.

China is reporting its fastest economic growth in seven years, saying its gross domestic product grew by 6.9 percent in 2017. It's the first time since 2010 that the speed of China's economic growth went up rather than edging down.

In releasing the number Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics of China said, "The economy has achieved stable and healthy development."

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