Michigan politics

Politics & Government
11:39 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Lansing PAC teaches winning campaign strategies

Credit wzzm13.com

There’s been a lot of attention this year on the road funding proposal that will go before Michigan voters in a special election on May 5, but later this year, many political jurisdictions including the city of Lansing will hold primary elections in August and a general election in November. The Lansing Regional Chamber Political Action Committee is teaching techniques for candidates preparing to campaign. It’s a non-partisan group that endorses candidates with a pro-business, pro-economic development platform.

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Politics & Government
10:54 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Moss makes quick trip from MSU student to state Rep

Rep. Jeremy Ross (D-Southfield), right, with Current State guest host Sue Carter.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

State Representative Jeremy Moss was elected last fall to the district 35 seat in the Michigan House, based in Southfield. It's a mild surprise that he replaces the member he worked for, Rudy Hobbs. Maybe the even bigger surprise is that Moss graduated from Michigan State University's School of Journalism not quite seven years ago.

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Politics & Government
11:50 am
Thu March 12, 2015

MI Film Office director weighs in on subsidy fight

Michigan Film Office Director Jenell Leonard (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Many Republicans in Lansing are calling for an end to film industry subsidies. They say the program hasn’t been effective in creating jobs in Michigan, and the money would be better spent elsewhere. For instance, eliminating the subsidies is one idea being considered as an alternative to the plan going before voters in May that would increase the state sales tax to raise money for road repairs. Yesterday, the state House approved a bill eliminating the video industry tax incentives in October.

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Politics & Government
11:27 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Michigan IT chief details threats to cyber security

Credit Wikimedia Commons

What happens in Michigan 730,000 times a day? According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, that's the number of times daily that someone tries to hack into a state government computer. Officials are quick to point out that virtually all are detected and quickly stopped. Still, it requires a comprehensive and expensive cyber security effort to stay ahead of the threat. Officials say the number of attempts will rise.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Sen. Jones on animal cruelty, religious freedom measures

Sen. Rick Jones (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

In January, a Lansing woman, accompanied by her two children, made a grisly discovery at the Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area, not far from East Lansing. According to the Lansing City Pulse, the three, who were on a mid-winter walk, came across the frozen body of a dog, which appeared to have been abandoned inside a small kennel in dangerously cold temperatures. According to the story, Bath Township Police are investigating the incident. They say it appears to be a case of animal cruelty, a felony in Michigan punishable by up to four years in prison.

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Politics & Government
12:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Month in Review: Sales tax vote, state party conventions, 2016 budget

Credit File photo / WKAR

At the end of the month, Current State takes one last look back at the top news stories in Michigan politics and government. This time around, we revisit a proposed, new state budget, new leadership for Michigan’s Republican Party, and the discussion over May’s sales tax proposal.

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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz on life in politics, medicine

Dr. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s occasional series, “Voices of Experience.”

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Ingham official: 'Renaissance' development is "marriage made in heaven"

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Developers are about to become the owners of 30 acres of city land straddling Lansing and East Lansing. Monday evening, the Lansing City Council approved the sale of the former Red Cedar Golf Course property to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC. Developer Joel Ferguson and his partner Frank Kass want to build a $276-million complex at the site that could include a ten-story hotel, restaurant and housing. Part of the site would remain green space.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Hertel plan aims to stem MI brain drain

State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

East Lansing Democratic state Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. is seven weeks into his legislative career at the state Capitol. He represents the 23rd district, which covers almost all of Ingham County. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee began discussing a bill sponsored by the former Ingham County official. Hertel wants to offer recent Michigan college graduates tax credits in exchange for a pledge to stay in Michigan.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Appropriations committee members respond to Snyder budget

State Representatives Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Earl Poleski (R-Jackson), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Stakeholders across Michigan are responding to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal. The $54-billion spending plan includes increases in education, job training and the state police. It also includes spending reductions in about a dozen state agencies. As always, there’s something for almost everyone to like and to dislike.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Wed February 11, 2015

State Rep. Driskell launches campaign to oust Cong. Walberg

State Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Not long after Michigan voters decided Congressional contests around the state, a 7th District Democrat has declared her candidacy in next year’s election. On Monday, at appearances throughout the district including Delta Township and Jackson, State Rep. Gretchen Driskell announced that she’s a candidate. The Democrat from Saline says the 7th “isn’t getting the representation it deserves.”

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Senators Jones, Ananich respond to State of the State address

Sen. Rick Jones (center) and Sen. Jim Ananich (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder updated his near term goals in the annual State of the State speech last night. The centerpiece was the creation of what the Governor called a “River of Opportunity” that would improve state services, especially those coming Michigan’s Departments of Community Health and Human Services. Snyder plans to combine the two into one. He says their work represents a “failed model” that is too focused on programs than on people.

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Politics & Government
11:57 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Rep. Schor praises Snyder bill signings, vetoes

Rep. Andy Schor (D)
Credit http://068.housedems.com/

Lansing’s Andy Schor has begun his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives after being sworn in on Wednesday. In a statement on his web page, the former Ingham County Commissioner says the start of a new session “presents new opportunities.”

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StayTuned Update
4:45 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

2015 Michigan State of the State

Gov. Rick Snyder's annual address to the Michigan Legislature and Democratic response. WATCH IT NOW

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Politics & Government
11:16 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Child advocate wary of suspicion-based drug testing

Gilda Jacobs, with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Governor Rick Snyder is still making his way through the stack of bills on his desk after lame duck. Among the bills that have already gotten his stamp of approval is one that authorizes suspicion-based drug tests for some welfare recipients. It requires the state to establish pilot programs for screening and testing people on public assistance in three Michigan counties.

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Politics & Government
12:12 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Dem insiders anticipate new legislative priorities, sales tax vote

Four months from today, Michigan voters will make the next move regarding our state’s crumbling roads and bridges. They’ll decide whether to hike the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Approval would create over a billion dollars annually to help repair the roads, but it would also restore the state’s earned income tax credit and send more state revenue to schools. Rejection means Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature are back at square one in the road funding debate. So, what can we expect to see and hear over the next four months?

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StayTuned Update
7:45 am
Wed December 31, 2014

2015 Coverage of Your Government Begins 
with Inauguration Ceremony

WKAR presents Gubernatorial Inauguration, OTR look ahead, conversation with Gov. and First Lady Snyder, Michigan State of the State, State of the Union

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

After marathon session, Rep. Greimel analyzes road funding compromise

House Democratic leader Tim Greimel
Credit http://029.housedems.com/

Early this morning, Michigan’s 2014 legislative session concluded dramatically. The state legislature will be sending a proposal to Governor Rick Snyder for a one-cent increase in the Michigan sales tax. The additional revenue would generate about $1.2-billion a year for road and bridge repair. Michigan voters will decide whether to implement the measure, possibly next May.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

RFRA measure triggers tension between religious liberty, LGBT rights

Protesters took to the streets of Lansing this week to voice opposition to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Credit courtesy photo: Progress Michigan

One of the hot button issues of this year’s lame duck session was the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill. The bill would exempt people from state and local laws if they can prove those laws violate deeply held religious beliefs. Opponents of the legislation say it amounts to a “license to discriminate”, and they are worried about its implications after a companion bill that would have expanded LGBT protections died in committee.

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Politics & Government
12:20 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rep. Singh updates Michigan's lame duck session

Sam Singh (D-East Lansing)
Credit Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

The Michigan legislature is in the middle of an eventful lame duck session. Efforts are in high gear to hammer out a road and bridge funding measure before the session wraps next Thursday, but many other important issues are also being debated.

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Politics & Government
11:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawmakers take up roads, LGBT rights in lame duck

Credit Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard the words “lame duck” in the last few weeks? You have a little while longer to be tired of the term. The Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session lasts for just over two more weeks.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Jobs, roads top concerns in post-election poll

Jeff Williams of Public Sector Consultants
Credit http://www.pscinc.com/

The 2014 election is in the rear view mirror, but its effects will certainly echo for years to come. After the last ballot was cast, some 600 Michigan voters were asked for their opinion on a number of statewide issues.

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Politics & Government
10:54 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Month in Review: November's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

A mid-term election with a challenging post-mortem for state Democrats, a highly anticipated lame duck legislative session, and a new direction for Detroit and many of Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. All of those developments made news in November here in Michigan.

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TV Made in Michigan
1:17 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Off the Record | November 28, 2014 | #4423

Senator Carl Levin, appearing on Off the Record with Tim Skubick.
Credit WKAR

Sunday, November 30 - 12:30pm WKAR-HD | This week senior capitol correspondent Tim Skubick welcomes the senior U.S. Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin. WATCH IT HERE NOW

This week senior capitol correspondent Tim Skubick welcomes the senior U.S. Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin. On the eve of his retirement, Sen. Levin discusses what sparked his interest in politics, lessons learned from nearly four decades in the Senate, his post-Senate plans and much, much more.

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Politics & Government
11:04 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Iraq war vet Tom Barrett prepares to serve in the House

Tom Barrett (R) will represent Eaton County in the state House next year.
Credit http://tomformichigan.com/

Eaton County voters have chosen a different state Representative in four straight elections. Rick Jones won his last House term in 2008; fellow Republican Deb Shaughnessy won in 2010; she lost her re-election bid in 2012 to Democrat Theresa Abed; and a few weeks ago, Abed lost her shot at another term to Republican Tom Barrett of Potterville.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Incoming MI Senate leader downplays electoral reform, religious freedom measure

Sen. Arlan Meekhof
Credit WKAR/Bill Richards

The Michigan legislative session beginning in January will include new leadership in the Senate and the House for both parties. Republican Arlan Meekhof will succeed Randy Richardville as Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Transgender community fights for Elliot-Larsen protections

Rep. Adam Zemke (left) and Amy Hunter
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Discussions continue at the State Capitol over whether to expand protections offered by Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen anti-discrimination law. That’s the landmark 1976 measure which legally bans discrimination in the state based on religion, race, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial and marital status. Several factions have emerged. Democrats and some Republicans appear to be united behind an expansion that would protect lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons. Other Republicans favor a measure that would not include trans persons, but include the others.

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Politics & Government
11:33 am
Thu November 6, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Congressman-elect Mike Bishop on 8th district victory

Congressman-elect Mike Bishop
Credit http://www.electmikebishop.com/

Tuesday evening, Lansing and East Lansing residents learned who their next U.S. Congressman would be. Former Republican State Senator Mike Bishop will become part of a GOP majority Congress in January.

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Politics & Government
11:34 am
Wed November 5, 2014

ELECTION 2014: Ballenger recaps Snyder, Peters victories

Cong. Gary Peters declares victory in Michigan's U.S. Senate race in front of hundreds of Democratic supporters in Detroit on Tuesday.
Credit Jake Neher/MPRN

With some exceptions, Michigan Republicans have reason to celebrate the 2014 mid-term election. Several major statewide offices, as polls ususally suggested, went to GOP incumbents including Governor Rick Snyder, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. But Democrats are celebrating the election of Congressman Gary Peters to the U.S. Senate and a victory on Michigan’s conservative leaning Supreme Court.

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