government

Environment
11:18 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Grand Haven considers climate change in master plan

Grand Haven is one of several Michigan communities taking part in the 'Resilient Michigan' planning process.
Credit www.resilientmichigan.org

In several Michigan communities, planning for a future affected by climate change is beginning. Monroe, East Jordan, Ludington, St. Joseph and Grand Haven are all taking part in a new program called “Resilient Michigan”.

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Politics & Government
10:52 am
Fri September 5, 2014

WATCH/LISTEN NOW: Gov. Rick Snyder on Michigan Calling

MPRN Capitol bureau chief Rick Pluta interviews Gov. Rick Snyder on 'Michigan Calling'.
Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

Gov. Rick Snyder takes questions from a  statewide public radio audience on another broadcast of “Michigan Calling” in the 2014 election cycle.

The hour-long program was hosted by Rick Pluta, the long-time state Capitol bureau chief of the Michigan Public Radio Network. Recorded 9/5/2014.

Watch at video.wkar.org

Watch Here

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Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Civil Rights icon John Lewis tells students to 'get into good trouble'

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was one of the original Freedom Riders, directed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and led the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on 'Bloody Sunday' in 1965. Lewis was in East Lansing to talk to MSU students and community members. His book, "'March: Book One,' is this year's 'One Book, One Community' selection.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s back to school week for thousands of students at Michigan State University. In between moving into their dorm rooms and finding their way around campus, freshmen have been reading this year’s “One Book, One Community” selection. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia has written a graphic novel called “March: Book One.”

Lewis was in East Lansing Monday to speak to MSU freshmen and to meet members of the community.  Current State's Kevin Lavery spent a few minutes with the civil rights icon.

Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Former WKAR producer updates Ferguson aftermath

Former Current State producer Emanuele Berry is covering the Michael Brown story for KWMU in St. Louis.
Credit WKAR

Michael Brown is being laid to rest today in Ferguson, Missouri, 16 days after the young African-American was killed by a white police officer. Unrest that was the rule in the days following the shooting has abated in the St. Louis suburb, but a host of critical questions remain unanswered.

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Politics & Government
12:25 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Environmental group gives MI legislature an 'incomplete' grade

Credit www.michiganlcv.org

An established Michigan environmental organization recently graded the state legislature on its performance in the 2013-2014 session. The Michigan League of Conservation Voters gave legislators an "Incomplete" for Michigan’s environmental score.

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Education
12:25 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Charter school authorizer alleges secret evaluation process

Jared Burkhart says the system currently implemented by Superintendent Flanagan does not follow current law.
Credit Flickr - OZinOH

Michigan’s charter school operators are coming under closer scrutiny. On Monday, State Schools Superintendent Michael Flanagan released a list of 11 charter school authorizers that he says need to improve oversight of their schools.

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court ruling could cost state $1 billion

If the Michigan Supreme Court does not reconsider the decision, then the state legislature will likely find a way to make sure the estimated $1 billion is not lost, says Rick Pluta.
Credit Flickr - Justin Rumao

One billion dollars. That’s the amount the state could lose because of a July ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, according to the Treasury Department.

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Politics & Government
1:31 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Same sex marriage in MI awaits appellate decision

Credit guardianlv.com

Yesterday, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati began hearing arguments involving state bans against same sex marriage. Michigan, whose voters approved such a ban a decade ago, is one of those states.

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Politics & Government
12:33 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

U.S. 6th Circuit hears Michigan's gay marriage case

Pluta says Michigan's case is unique as it directly challenges the State of Michigan's ban on gay marriage rather than approach the issue obliquely.
Credit Flickr

Marriage equality supporters in Michigan are closely watching events unfold today in Cincinnati. That's where the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The court may decide the fate of Michigan's ban as well as those in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Primary recap: Prop 1 passes easily and a few surprises

There were only a few surprises in last night's primary election results.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Current State's Mark Bashore recaps yesterday's primary election results with Kyle Melinn from MIRS News and Bill Ballenger from the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter.

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Arts & Culture
12:34 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

EL considers special fee to foster public art

East Lansing boasts of abundant public art, like 'Cassiopeia' on Grand River Avenue.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The city of East Lansing bills itself as the "City of the Arts." City officials are considering a measure that some say could strengthen that image. On Wednesday, the city council is expected to take up a proposal dubbed the "Percent for Art."

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Politics & Government
12:25 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Tuesday's primary ballot: Reading, roads and recreation

Credit Flickr - Vox Efx

Tomorrow is primary election day in Michigan, and along with important party primaries for congress and the state legislature, a number of funding issues go before voters.

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Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Month in Review: July's biggest news stories

Pluta, Demas and Oosting discuss the upcoming primary, Central American children in Michigan and more.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Current State's Mark Bashore revisits several of July's biggest Michigan news stories with state capitol reporters Rick Pluta, Jonathan Oosting and Susan Demas.

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Politics & Government
12:52 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Shrinking government a priority for 8th District candidate Tom McMillin

Credit gophouse.org

We are just one week away from the primary election here in Michigan, which means it’s the home stretch for the candidates vying for their party’s nominations to succeed Congressman Mike Rogers in the 8th Congressional District.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Mike Bishop makes case for Republican nod in 8th District

Former State Sen. Majority Leader Mike Bishop faces State Rep. Tom McMillin in the Aug. 5 GOP primary election. The winner could replace Cong. Mike Rogers.
Credit www.electmikebishop.com

Mike Bishop is a leading contender for the chance to represent Lansing and East Lansing in the U.S. Congress beginning next year. A recent EPIC/MRA poll shows the former State Senate leader enjoys a 12 percentage point lead over his closest competitor in the GOP-leaning 8th district.

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Politics & Government
12:54 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Congressman Kildee on Vassar plan: 'These kids are in danger'

Cong. Kildee says people should not confuse the current humanitarian crisis with immigration issues.
Credit Courtesy - Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

Many in our state are closely watching events in Vassar, Michigan. The community 65 miles northeast of Lansing in Genesee County could become the temporary home of 60 to 120 mostly young refugees from Central America.

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Politics & Government
12:35 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Eighth District Dems decry lack of public forums

Four Democrats are campaigning together as each seeks their party's nomination for Michigan's 8th congressional district. The incumbent, Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) is leaving Congress at the end of his term. The Michigan primary election will be held August 5. From left: Eric Schertzing, Ken Darga, Jeff Hank and Susan Grettenberger.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s not uncommon in small political races for several candidates to run together as a slate to fill a number of vacancies. For example, candidates for the local school board sometimes appear together as a unit, in hopes voters will sweep them all into office.

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Politics & Government
12:53 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Human services agencies pledge reforms in wake of scathing audits

Credit Flickr - Steve Lambert

Twice in the past month, auditors have found serious problems at Michigan human services agencies. Last week, a report from the state auditor’s office found the Michigan Department of Human Services has failed to investigate cases of suspected adult abuse and to adequately train its staff.

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Politics & Government
12:43 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

State listens to concerns of hearing impaired

Accurate sign language interpretation is crucial in settings like courtrooms and medical facilities.
Credit Flickr - blueliondowntown

Last week, new regulations took effect governing how sign language interpreters are used is places like courtrooms and hospitals in Michigan.

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Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

WATCH/LISTEN NOW: Michigan Calling with Mark Schauer

July 11, 2014 | Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer takes questions from a  statewide public radio audience.

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Politics & Government
12:02 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Peters: Still no response from Land about senate debates

Congressman Gary Peters (D-Detroit), at the podium.
Credit Courtesy - peters.house.gov

It’s been four weeks since Democratic Congressman Gary Peters proposed a series of five debates with his opponent in the race for the U.S. Senate from Michigan. He will (likely) face former Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land in November.

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Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Mackinac wrap-up: Land/Peters, Detroit, LGBT rights

Governor Snyder at the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference.
Credit Flickr- Detroit Regional Chamber

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.

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Politics & Government
2:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Michigan's iron man: Congressman Dingell on 58 years in D.C.

Congressman Dingell in the 112th Congress.
Credit Flickr-dingellmi15

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. 

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Politics & Government
1:39 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Capitol Update: Revenue, Detroit bankruptcy and minimum wage

Credit Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Economy
1:43 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Michigan looks to attract foreign investment through immigrants

Scott Woosley says the EB-5 Center will have offices in Lansing and Detroit.
Credit Courtesy - http://www.michigan.gov/mshda

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.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Month in Review: March's biggest news stories

Rep. Mike Rogers recently stated that he will not seek reelection come November.
Credit Flickr - CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies

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.

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Politics & Government
11:59 am
Mon March 31, 2014

E-cigarettes present new options, problems for lawmakers, smokers

E-cigarettes are gaining popularity among smokers.
Credit Flickr - Terry Ozon

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.

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Politics & Government
12:24 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Who's next? Mike Rogers' departure triggers speculation among Dems, GOP

Ballenger says Cong. Rogers didn't seem to give much of a heads-up to members of his own party about his decision not to run for another term. The filing deadline to run for the seat is April 22nd.
Credit Flickr - CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies

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.

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Politics & Government
12:58 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

'Storming the Hill' to stem veteran suicides

Iraq war veteran Nick Cook now works to help Michigan veterans with access to benefits and other resources.
Credit stormthehill.org


All this week, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in Washington D.C. to lobby for legislation aimed at reducing the numbers of veteran suicides.

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Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Council Member Wood says Lansing budget should 'impact quality of life'

Once they receive the budget, the Lansing city council will compare their priorities and seek public for opinion before it is voted on.
Credit Flickr - matthileo


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.

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