ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit his fifth home run in five games, and Adam Wainwright worked seven strong innings to help the St. Louis Cardinals rout the Detroit Tigers and ace Justin Verlander 11-2 last night.
Pujols's 23rd homer went an estimated 446 feet over the left field wall off Ryan Perry to start the sixth. Chris Duncan followed with a 418-foot shot that gave the light-hitting Cardinals back-to-back homers for the first time all season.
LANSING, MI – State Senate Republicans are expected to approve bigger cuts to the Medicaid health care program for poor families. The Senate Appropriations Committee is poised to vote for a 4% cut in the coming fiscal year to doctors, hospitals, and other Medicaid providers. That's on top of cuts already ordered this year.
LANSING, MI – The chair of a special legislative subcommittee says he wants to reform Michigan's system for appointing public defenders before the end of the summer.
State Representative Bob Constan wants to create an independent agency to defend people who are accused of crimes, but cannot afford an attorney. Right now, each county runs its own system, and, in many cases, the fees they pay are some of the lowest in the country.
LANSING, MI – A Michigan Senate subcommittee has voted to eliminate a scholarship that gives thousands of state students up to $4,000 to help pay college bills.
The elimination of the Michigan Promise Grant would save the state up to $140 million a year. But Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration likely will resist the move started by Tuesday's Senate subcommittee vote.
Lawmakers and Granholm are scrambling to eliminate a projected general fund budget shortfall of at least $1.8 billion for the fiscal year that starts in October.
LANSING, MI – A state House subcommittee will begin work today on a plan to ensure that criminal defendants who can't pay for an attorney are still well-represented in court. A report released a year ago says Michigan has one of the worst public defender systems in the nation.
Laura Sager is with the Michigan Campaign for Justice. She says the public is losing confidence in the fairness of the criminal justice system, and the Legislature needs to act.