LANSING, MI – Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says Michigan should follow the lead of North Dakota and open a state bank that could make low-interest loans to businesses and college students.
The Democratic gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday the state bank also could ease the foreclosure crisis by buying down mortgage portfolios held by smaller banks in Michigan and partner with other private banks.
The Bank of North Dakota is the nation's only state-owned bank, but politicians in several states are starting to think of copying the idea.
LANSING, MI – A state Senate panel is continuing discussion of a controversial proposal to require all public employees and teachers to pay at least 20% of their health care benefits.
Paul Hense is with the Small Business Association of Michigan. He told lawmakers that business owners are frustrated they have to pay for their own health care, while they see public employees living with comfortable health plans from taxpayer dollars.
LANSING, MI – Michigan's jobless rate remained stable in January. It dropped very slightly to 14.3%.
The state's unemployment rate has held pretty steady at a little above or below 15% since last summer. The jobless rate in January might have been worse except that already downsized factory workforces didn't face big winter layoffs.
UNDATED – UNDATED (AP) - Michigan State's Kalin Lucas has been named to the Big Ten's first team in separate voting by conference coaches and media members. The second team included Michigan's DeShawn Sims. His teammate Manny Harris and Michigan State's Draymond Green made the third team.
LANSING, MI – A unit of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has dropped plans to buy the membership of a Lansing-based health maintenance organizations after the U.S. Justice Department came out against the deal.
Blue Care Network announced September 15 it planned to buy the membership of Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan. Sparrow Health System owns the Lansing-based HMO, which has about 80,000 members. Southfield-based Blue Care Network has about 680,000 members.
The 2 companies announced Monday they were dropping the plan.
LANSING, MI – State officials say Michigan has dramatically improved its foster care system since agreeing to an out-of-court settlement a year and a half ago. A court-appointed monitor will release a report Tuesday on whether the state is keeping a promise to improve its child welfare system.
LANSING, MI – A lingering question at the state Capitol is whether Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop can find enough support to block a pay raise promised to state employees. Bishop has said he will continue to push for a freeze.
Some Democratic senators voted against the pay freeze last week because they said state workers were promised this raise.
LANSING, MI – Advocates say many school districts could go into deficit if lawmakers take no action this year to fix the state's ailing School Aid Fund.
Members of the group Save Our Students, Schools and State say the Proposal A funding structure for K-12 schools is out of date. It was adopted by voters in the mid-1990s. Tom White is the chairman of the coalition. He says the Legislature needs to evaluate the effectiveness Proposal A.