LANSING, MI – House Speaker Andy Dillon doesn't expect a repeat of the round-the-clock sessions House members endured in September 2007 as they struggled to avoid a state shutdown.
Dillon said Thursday on a taping of public television's "Off the Record" program that House members will have to meet more often, but should be able to get budget bills passed by the Sept. 30 deadline.
He doesn't expect a repeat of the short government shutdown that took place in 2007, and sees no need for a continuation budget.
LANSING, MI – About 40 human service agencies spent Thursday dispensing free goods and services to the homeless at an annual event in Lansing. This year's gathering featured something new---identification cards for the homeless.
AUDIO: Lines were long for the new ID cards that will verify eligibility when receiving public services. Mary Clark of Lansing is a longtime human services administrator who volunteered at the gathering:
WIXOM, MI – A shut-down Ford plant in metro Detroit has found a new life as a sprawling manufacturing space for alternative energy companies. State officials say it's part of the new beginning for Michigan manufacturing.
LANSING, MI – A new organization calling itself Business Leaders for Michigan has announced a plan to fix Michigan's economy.
The group is made up of the Chief Operating Officers of big employers across the state. Organizers say the southeast Michigan group Detroit Renaissance is integrating with business leaders from other parts of the state.
Among the many proposals in their plan is a call for a reduction of the state work force by 5-10%, and cutting their pay to the average of state workers in other states.
DETROIT – Detroit's mayor says city bus service will continue Saturdays and Sundays, but some routes will be cut and 113 drivers will be laid off.
Dave Bing told City Council on Wednesday the changes will take effect effective Sept. 26 as the city faces a $300 million budget deficit. Route changes will be announced Thursday. He says cutting weekend service was never seriously considered.
Bing also told the council tentative agreements are in place with some municipal unions, but only one has ratified a contract.
ROCHESTER, MI – Facing a possible back-to-work order by a judge later in the day, striking professors will go back to the their classrooms at a suburban Detroit university, as a tentative three-year agreement was reached early Thursday morning.
A statement posted on Oakland University's Web site says terms of the deal won't be available until its ratified by the American Association of University Professors, but fall semester classes are expected to begin Thursday morning.
KANSAS CITY, MO – Robinson Tejeda tossed six shutout innings to outpitch Justin Verlander, Billy Butler hit three doubles and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 5-1 on Wednesday night for their first three-game winning streak since July.
Butler picked up his club-record fourth three-double game of the season and fifth consecutive multihit game. The first baseman's emergence has been one of the few bright spots in Kansas City's otherwise dismal season.
LANSING, MI – The state House Republican leader says the odds of a state government shutdown increase dramatically each week there's not a budget deal in Lansing. The deadline for wrapping up the budget is September 30.
Minority Leader Kevin Elsenheimer says the budget plan just made public by Governor Granholm this week represents progress. But he says Republicans still think it relies too heavily on tax hikes and stimulus funds that add to the federal deficit.
ROCHESTER, MI – A judge has ordered around-the-clock negotiations between Oakland University and a union as part of an effort to resolve a nearly weeklong strike by the school's professors.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick on Wednesday said that if an agreement can't be reached by 10 a.m. Thursday he'll hold a hearing on the school's request for a back-to-work order for professors.
The strike has delayed the start of classes for 18,000 students.
LANSING, MI – State House Speaker Andy Dillon tried to turn down the heat today on his feud with Governor Granholm, and said Democrats are still on the same side in the budget debate in Lansing. Granholm and Dillon engaged in a round of name-calling Tuesday over progress on the state budget.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm floated a plan Tuesday that would use spending cuts and new taxes on vending machine sales, bottled water, and live entertainment to balance the budget. The plan was quickly torpedoed by the Democratic leader of the state House.
EAST LANSING, MI – The Lansing Symphony Orchestra begins its new season of concerts Saturday night at Wharton Center. Conductor Timothy Muffitt came to the WKAR studios recently to talk about the music on the program. The concert starts with a French take on the music of Spain--"Espana" by Emmanuel Chabrier.
LANSING, MI – The state Public Service Commission has released a report that says Michigan does not need new coal-burning power plants to meet its energy needs. The report is a setback for Consumers Energy, which is seeking permission to build a large capacity power plant near Bay City that has fewer emissions than a traditional coal plant.
LANSING, MI – Michigan is stockpiling a supply of anti-radiation tablets to help protect people within 10 miles of a nuclear plant in the event of an accident. People can get a one-day supply from a local pharmacy now that Michigan's joined a federal program to get the potassium iodide pills. They help protect from radiation damage to the thyroid gland.
KANSAS CITY, MO – Billy Butler drove in two runs, Kansas City's bullpen pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings and the Royals ended the Detroit Tigers' six-game winning streak with a 7-5 victory Tuesday night.
The Royals had 11 hits and a rare strong performance from their bullpen to win consecutive games for the first time since July 27-28 against Baltimore.
LANSING, MI – Attorney General Mike Cox says he would cut the state's primary business tax in half in his first year if elected governor. That would cost the state $2 billion in lost revenue. And Cox says he would eventually phase out the Michigan Business Tax altogether. He says he'd also ask the Legislature to reduce the state income tax.
ROCHESTER, MI – Oakland University has asked a judge to order striking professors back to work as classes remain canceled at the suburban Detroit university.
A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday before Oakland County Circuit Judge Edward Sosnick on the university's complaint that the strike is illegal.
The campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors authorized a walkout Sept. 2 after the university proposed a three-year wage freeze along with cuts in health-insurance benefits.
LANSING, MI – Business groups met in Lansing Tuesday to call for structural reforms from the Legislature and Governor Granholm. They say their list of 20 reforms would help eliminate future embarrassment from state budget failures.
Jim Holcombe is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
"We simply cannot keep going down the path we've set ourselves upon where each year we path together a budget, we cobble something together, and put off the tough choices for another two years," he said.
LANSING, MI – Governor Granholm's released her plan for balancing the state budget for the new fiscal year that begins October 1. Her proposal to lawmakers includes a one-penny tax on bottled water, extending the sales tax to sports and entertainment tickets, and increasing the state tax on cigarettes to $2.25 cents a pack. She also wants to end some business tax breaks.
Michigan Public Radio Network – The state Department of Community Health is offering a free one-day supply of potassium iodide pills for people who live near a nuclear power plant. The pills can help reduce the effects of radiation in the event of a nuclear accident.
Janet Olzewski is the director of the department of community health. She says getting the pills to people who face possible exposure to radiation is now part of the state's plans for dealing with a nuclear emergency.
LANSING, MI – Immunization and common sense would help Michigan avoid serious outbreaks of two types of flu this coming season. That was the message from two state agencies Tuesday at a Lansing news conference.
ROCHESTER, MI – Classes at Oakland University remain canceled, but a statement on the suburban Detroit university's Web site said officials will be asking an Oakland County circuit court judge to order striking professors back to work.
WWJ-AM and WJBK-TV say talks between the professors' union and school officials broke off without an agreement early Tuesday morning.
About 18,000 students attend the public four-year school in Rochester.