LANSING, MI – Michigan lawmakers are agreeing to award more tax incentives for economic development this year, as long as the state reports the number of jobs created and retained by companies getting the tax credits.
The state Senate today overwhelmingly approved a package of four bills after reaching a compromise with the House and Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration. Granholm is expected to sign the legislation once the House finishes voting next week.
LANSING, MI – The state House has passed a bill that would lower the number of unpaid parking tickets drivers could have before they would not be able to renew their licenses. The number would go from six to three unpaid tickets.
State Representative Roy Schmidt says his hometown of Grand Rapids could use the half-million dollars it stands to collect in the first year under the legislation. And he says other cities could also use the money.
East Lansing, MI – Michigan State University's campus in Dubai is now in its second year of operation. Once regarded as the most prosperous economy in the Middle East, there's been a downturn in the United Arab Emirates...including Dubai.
WKAR's Scott Pohl spoke this week with Brendan Mullen, MSU-Dubai's executive director, during a return visit to East Lansing.
LANSING, MI – The state House and Senate may be close to approving more economic development tax credits designed to attract new businesses to Michigan.
The organization that hands out the incentives ran out of a year's worth of credits in six months. Lawmakers disagreed over whether to give the group more credits, and how to make sure they were being used wisely.
LANSING, MI – State House Democrats and Senate Republicans don't appear to be close to reaching a deal over revenue. Their divide over how to generate more money to fill cuts made to the budget last month may be widening.
AUDIO: Neither the House nor the Senate has plans to vote on the other's proposals for revenue. Democratic House Speaker Andy Dillon.
LANSING, MI – Michigan's jobless rate was virtually unchanged in September. It bumped up last month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 15.3%.
The state Department of Labor and Economic Growth say the most job losses were in retail and tourism. The numbers are seasonally adjusted, so they don't just reflect the end of the summer travel season. There was a slight increase in manufacturing jobs because workers were called back from short-term layoffs.
Lansing, MI – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has announced plans to consolidate 250 employees into the current Accident Fund Insurance Company building in downtown Lansing. The move is set to take place in two years.
Lansing, MI – On November 3, Lansing residents will choose between incumbent Virg Bernero and councilmember Carol Wood for their next mayor. In today's economy, the mayor of Lansing must be a regional leader who can forge partnerships with neighboring governments. Those agreements ensure residents receive vital services the city might not otherwise be able to deliver on its own.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Gilbert Arenas, who was fined $25,000 by the NBA earlier in the day for not making himself available to the media, scored 24 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 101-98 preseason victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.
Antawn Jamison added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards (2-2), who led 46-45 at halftime. Arenas scored 13 points in the third quarter as Washington opened a a 75-68 lead.
Will Bynum scored 23 points for the Pistons (3-1).
BUFFALO, NY – Thomas Vanek scored twice and Derek Roy had three assists as part of a four-goal second period in leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta had a goal and assist each, and Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Sabres (3-0-1), who along with Dallas (1-0-3) are the only NHL teams without a regulation loss this season.
LANSING, MI – The state Liquor Control Commission is looking into statements made in a college student's blog that underage drinking took place at candidates' parties during a recent gathering of Michigan Republicans on Mackinac Island.
Commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller said Tuesday an investigation has been opened.
The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference was held Sept. 25 and 26.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm and state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop are scheduled to meet Wednesday in an effort to end a budget standoff.
AUDIO: The Senate Republican leader is refusing to send the Democratic governor half a dozen budget bills that are waiting on her signature. He says that's because she's threatening to veto major portions of the budgets to free enough money to restore cuts to college scholarships, Medicaid, and local governments.
LANSING, MI – Business groups are speaking out in support of a state Senate Republican plan to reform Michigan's tax structure and limit tax credits to generate new revenue.
AUDIO: The Senate GOP plan would reduce the Michigan Business Tax over three years. Bringing down the cost of the MBT has been a high priority of Senate Republicans and business leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop.
LANSING, MI – The state House Appropriations Committee began talking about the expansion of gambling in Michigan to draw more revenue to the state.
Representatives from the casino and gaming industry say the market could become too saturated if horse tracks are allowed to have casino-style gambling. They say casinos are competing for less business during the downturn in the economy.
And James Moffett from the Foundation for Traditional Values says there are moral issues to consider as well.
LANSING, MI – The Republican leader of the state Senate says Governor Granholm will open herself to a constitutional challenge if she tries to use line-item vetoes to fund her budget priorities. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says the governor risks over-stepping her authority.
"The Legislature is here for a purpose, and that is to pass these budgets and do so in a timely and effective way," he says. "We passed a balanced budget and to usurp the powers of the Legislature here is unwarranted."
LANSING, MI – As Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero shoots for re-election, many voters consider whether his record on jobs and development is worthy of their vote. Many say the administration's economic agenda is just what the city needs. Others, including challenger Carol Wood, say the Mayor's attention-grabbing style shows there's less there than meets the eye.
Lansing, MI – Governor Granholm says if the Legislature won't fund her budget priorities, she will use line-item vetoes to free more money for local governments, nursing homes, and college scholarships. She is trying to put pressure on lawmakers to agree to new revenue as a new budget deadline draws near. The Legislature is debating budget proposals this week. At the same time, people affected by the political gridlock in Lansing are growing frustrated with the uncertainty.
East Lansing, MI – Entering her third season as head coach of the Michigan State woman's basketball program Suzy Merchant looks to build off a twenty-two win season a year ago which included a trip to the sweet sixteen.
The Michigan State lady Spartans return 9 players who started at least one game last season, their top six scorers return from a a squad that was an eyelash away from advancing to the elite eight last March.
LANSING, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed legislation requiring that farm animals confined in small cages have enough room to turn around and fully extend their limbs.
The bill signed Monday makes Michigan the second state to ban commonly used cages for egg-laying chickens, the fifth to ban common crates for veal calves and the seventh to ban certain stalls for pregnant pigs.
The cages for hens and stalls for pregnant pigs will go away in about 10 years. The veal crates will be banned in three years.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm says she will use her line item veto power to free up money in the state budget to restore proposed cuts to Medicaid, local governments, and college scholarships.
AUDIO: Governor Granholm says payments to doctors and nursing homes that take Medicaid patients, local police and fire services, and the Michigan Promise scholarship are too crucial to endure the big cuts in budgets approved by the Legislature.
Lansing, MI – The Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network says a political fund set up by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero could lead to accusations that the city has a "pay to play" system of awarding contracts. The City Administrative Account has collected about $200,000 since it was created when Bernero took office in 2006.