LANSING, MI – State and local retirement pension funds in Michigan lost a fourth to a fifth of their value in the past fiscal year.
A report released Monday by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council said steep losses in the stock market, real estate market and other investments cut pension assets in the year leading to Sept. 30, 2008. That could mean the loss of $21 billion to $26 billion.
Michigan has 138 pension systems run by state and local governments, the fourth-highest number in the country. They serve 742,000 people.
LANSING, MI – Gov. Jennifer Granholm has closed the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries.
The department's functions will be handled by other state departments under an executive order the Democratic governor signed Monday. She announced her plan to close the department in her February budget proposal.
Michigan now has 17 state departments.
Granholm on Monday also announced potential plans for the Michigan Library and Historical Center in downtown Lansing.
EAST LANSING, MI – A hard fought race for a key Michigan Congressional district may unfold again in 2010. Republican Tim Walberg Tuesday announced he'll pursue his old job representing the 7th district. Democrat Mark Schauer defeated Walberg last November with 49-percent of the vote. Michigan political analyst Bill Ballenger:
"There's no question that Tim Walberg would have been re-elected if he'd had any kind of help at the top of the ticket in 2008. He didn't get it," he says.
BURLINGTON, IA – The Burlington Bees had a 7-4 comeback win over the Lansing Lugnuts last night at Community Field. The Lugnuts are off today for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game before beginning a six-game homestand on Wednesday with the opener of a three-game series vs. Cedar Rapids.
EAST LANSING, MI – The city of Lansing will begin clearing debris from the site of a south Lansing furniture store that burned to the ground in May. Owner Dave Sheets had filed a temporary restraining order on July 2 to keep the city from clearning up the remains of Discount Dave's Buy-Rite store.
LANSING, MI – Insurance companies would face fines for denying valid claims under new legislation. The package of bills was unveiled Monday by state House Democrats. The legislation would fine the companies up to a million dollars for denying or delaying a claim.
But insurance company advocates say current regulations already protect consumers from fraudulent practices.
Pete Kuenmench is with the Insurance Institute of Michigan.
EAST LANSING, MI – The Michigan Attorney General's office has filed charges against the Shiawassee County prosecutor. Randy Colbry has been charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. The charges stem from a July 7 incident in which Colbry reportedly ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle.