Current State #113 | June 21, 2013

Jun 21, 2013

Today on Current State: Senate fails to vote on Medicaid expansion; indigent defense reform; GM's high quality ratings; Jackson's public housing dispute; and Lansing Beer Week.

Governor Rick Snyder is calling on state Senate Republicans to return to Lansing. That’s after the Senate adjourned for its summer recess without voting on a Medicaid expansion under the new federal healthcare law.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta tells us how the episode left hard feelings, and dimming prospects for extending health coverage to many thousands of low-income working households

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it clear:  any citizen accused of a crime will -- if necessary -- have access to qualified legal representation in court.  Many legal professionals think that guarantee has been seriously compromised in Michigan for many years.  The state often ranks low in assessments of its indigent defense system.  After decades of failed efforts to reform the system, both the state Senate and House sent bipartisan bills on Wednesday to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk that would offer some concrete changes.

GM vehicles receive high quality ratings

Jun 21, 2013
user Bo Nash/Flickr

Many General Motors officials and workers are feeling good about the results of a closely watched annual survey.  J.D. Power and Associates’ quality study came out Wednesday.  It measures problems reported in new vehicles over their first 90 days on the road. Several GM brands including GMC and Chevrolet climbed noticeably in ratings, which reflects fewer problems reported compared to its competitors. 

In Jackson, conflict is escalating between public housing residents and the local housing commission board.  This week, the Jackson Housing Commission board appointed its fourth interim executive director since March.  One former interim resigned, accusing the board of creating a hostile work environment.  Another was terminated after less than three months on the job, and still another was released from his contract this week after just eight days. The residents say instability on the board makes them fearful for their homes.  The issue has even caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which threatened to pull the commission’s funding.

Lansing Beer Week marks the official start of summer

Jun 21, 2013
Courtesy of Lansing Beer Week

The second Lansing Beer Week starts this weekend with series of activities, including the Festival of the Moon tonight and the Festival of the Sun on Saturday.