On today's Current State: Medicaid expansion hinges on an unlikely waiver; a Public Poetry Announcement by poet Jane Kenyon; farmers fear a migrant labor shortage for the harvest; the International Joint Commission issues a report card on the health of the Great Lakes and Lansing business news with MLive's Angela Wittrock.
Both chambers of the Michigan legislature have passed budgets for fiscal 2014. But neither includes funding to expand Medicaid to more of the roughly 400,000 state residents without health insurance. The decision is important because Medicaid expansion is a key component of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Advocates of Medicaid expansion who have faced cancer will be in downtown Lansing today hoping to change some legislators’ minds. They’re part of a group associated with one of our next guests.
It’s harvest time in parts of Michigan, and farmers along Lake Michigan are starting to bring in their asparagus crop. The cherry harvest will follow by early July. Growers are confident this season will be better than 2012, when an early warm-up followed by a quick killing frost destroyed much of the fruit crop. Last year’s scenario also created another problem: many of the migrant laborers who traditionally arrive here for seasonal work did not come to Michigan. Now, though the weather may be better, farmers fear a similar labor shortage could happen again this year.
Over the past 25 years, environmental protection measures have greatly improved the health of the Great Lakes. However, the region’s waterways are facing new issues. According to the International Joint Commission's latest progress report, warmer temperatures are having a dramatic effect on the ecological health of the Great Lakes.
Lana Pollack chairs the commission’s U.S. delegation. She joins us today to discuss the past, present and future of cleaning up the Great Lakes.