The 2014 Detroit Regional Chamber Conference on Mackinac Island is winding down. The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta has been there for the duration and he provides us with a recap of what has been a fairly eventful conference.
Congressman John Dingell holds the record as America’s longest serving elected official, representing Michigan’s 12th district since 1955. He has served 21,000 days during which he cast 25,000 votes, alongside 11 U.S. Presidents.
At the state capitol yesterday, Michigan’s latest set of revenue estimates were unveiled. It’s an important twice-a-year gathering with often serious implications for state government spending, budgets and taxes.
Earlier this year in his State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder emphasized his administration’s desire to increase immigration to Michigan. Recently, state officials got news that could move the state closer to that goal. Last month, federal customs officials approved the state’s application to launch an initiative that could attract more foreign investment and workers to the state.
At the end of every calendar month, Current State hosts its regular reporter roundtable to review the biggest stories of that month. Current State looked back at the drop out of a shoe-in, the unresolved gay marriage issue, the bumps facing road funding and the contest for Attorney General in Michigan.
One of the issues being considered at the state capitol in recent weeks is the regulation of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat up a liquified nicotine solution. That produces a vapor rather than the smoke from tobacco cigarettes. Users call this “vaping” as opposed to smoking.
Mike Rogers, U.S. representative of our 8th district in East Lansing, says he will not seek reelection after his term ends this year. He made the announcement official on a Detroit radio station, and said that he has been invited regularly to talk about national security issues on T.V. and radio.
After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night: The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.
The legal status of same-sex marriage here in Michigan was taken for quite the ride over the weekend. Late Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. By Saturday afternoon, the clerks in four Michigan counties – Washtenaw, Muskegon, Oakland and Ingham – issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to put the ruling on hold was granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That temporary hold lasts until Wednesday.
General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature two services from the Capital Area United Way: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and their 2-1-1 support line.
In 2011, the state created a school reform district called the Education Achievement Authority, or EAA, to turn around the state’s lowest ranking schools. In its first year in operation during the 2012-13 school year, the EAA took control of 15 priority schools in Detroit. The results have been mixed at best, as the EAA has been plagued with declining enrollment, insufficient funding, and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsafe conditions.
President Obama shared his priorities for the new year last night in his sixth State of the Union address. Among those goals: narrowing the country’s income gap, in part by raising the minimum wage for federal contract employees; immigration reform; and an expansion of employee retirement savings plans.
Host Mark Bashore spoke with U.S. Senator Carl Levin about a variety of topics today on Current State. They began with a look at yesterday’s failure to hammer out an extension of benefits for over a million long-term unemployed Americans.
It’s now been a year since Michigan’s controversial right-to-work measure was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. The law, which formally took effect last March, made it illegal to require that employees join a union as a condition of employment.
Right-to-work triggered a stormy, sometimes violent, debate. Supporters called it an issue of worker freedom and a job creator. Opponents complained it was a flagrant attempt to undercut the power of unions and the working people who belong to them.
On Saturday, state lawmakers from around the country will meet at Mount Vernon to discuss how they can push for a new constitutional convention. Their primary goal is to pass and ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget.
Earlier this year, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced a bill proponents say would better serve Americans with mental disorders. Her "Excellence in Mental Health" measure would expand access to community mental health centers, in part by making more of them eligible for payments under Medicaid.
On Monday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer called for Michigan to adopt the highest minimum wage in the country. Currently standing at $7.40 an hour, Schauer's recommended $9.25 an hour would surpass the top existing state rate in Washington by 6 cents.