Michigan politics

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
12:30 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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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
1:25 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Media key to creation of independent debate commission

It's largely up to the state's broadcast media if Michigan wants to have an official debate commission, says Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network
Credit Flickr/Tim Lydy

With elections not too far off, there's been the usual back and forth between candidates about debates. Currently, the terms and conditions of political debates in Michigan are mostly left up to the candidates to decide, which often leaves them lacking in substance for voters.  

We explore the idea of an independent statewide debate commission and what affect it might have on Michigan's democratic process with Rick Pluta, Capitol bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. 

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Economy
1:37 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Between pensions and police: Flint faces financial situation

Credit Flickr- Michigan Municipal League

In Flint, city leaders and residents continue to struggle with serious fiscal challenges. Lately, the focus of the debate has been over whether city services or benefits for municipal retirees is more important.

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Politics & Government
1:23 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

GOP candidates for 69th share economic priorities

Frank Lambert (left) and George Nastas III (right) are competing in the republican primary to represent Michigan's 69th district.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Michigan’s 69th House district covers parts of the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, as well as Meridian and Williamston Townships. It’s one of the state’s most culturally diverse political districts and historically, the 69th has leaned Democratic.

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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
1:24 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Personal Property Tax reform reflects mistrust between legislature, municipalities

Citizens Research Council of Michigan

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On August 5th, Michigan voters will head to the polls to select who goes on to represent each party in November’s general election. They’ll also be asked to vote on Proposal 1, which is the first step in what has been a long-fought effort to reform the state’s Personal Property Tax.

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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
11:44 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Month in Review: June's biggest news stories

Credit Flickr - lehooper

June has come and just about gone. The Governor signed budgets this month, though not for a comprehensive road funding package as many had hoped. Primary candidates traded jabs, and the Detroit Free Press shined an intense light on the state’s charter schools and it has generated a lot of discussion.

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Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Eighth District candidates reflect GOP differences

Pluta says republican primary voters are being asked to make a choice between a classic 'bring home the bacon' legislator and a more ideological congressman.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

We’re down to fewer than six weeks before primary elections in Michigan. Michigan Public Radio Network Managing Editor Rick Pluta updates Current State on some of the races and other stories.

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Politics & Government
2:44 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Could Michigan learn from Minnesota's high tax success?

Minnesota's gas tax formula differs from Michigan's.
Credit Flickr - Mark Turnauckas

As Michigan works to recover from the economic downturn and the decline in its manufacturing base, there have been plenty of debates over which policies will set Michigan on a long-term path toward more prosperity.

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Environment
2:36 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Michigan may authorize new uses for toxic coal ash

Coal ash is the byproduct generated by coal-fired electric power plants. It's commonly mixed with concrete as a road construction filler, and it's also sometimes spread on farm fields. Some studied have linked coal ash exposure to lung cancer.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / CheshireCat@TO

One of the bills that cleared the Michigan legislature this session was a provision that allows certain bio-waste materials to be re-used for beneficial purposes. These substances include things like cement kiln dust, wood pulp and coal ash. Coal ash is the leftover residue from coal burned by electric power plants.

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Politics & Government
1:16 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

After marathon session, MI senate takes final shot at road funding

Credit Flickr - lehooper

The Michigan Senate struggled late into the night Wednesday, working on a comprehensive road funding measure.

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Politics & Government
12:45 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Senator Jones on competing road funding proposals

Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge)
Credit www.senatorrickjones.com

    

The Michigan legislature’s summer break begins after business on Thursday. That’s meant an important surge of activity this week to finish a new state budget and to further address one of the state’s biggest issues, road funding.

Current State welcomes Republican Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge to update these and other legislative news, including his measure that would amend Michigan law on strip searches.

Environment
11:30 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Drain Commissioner Lindemann on clean water challenges, opportunities

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann
Credit Stacy Hoxsey / WKAR-MSU

Pat Lindemann has served as the Drain Commissioner of Ingham County for 21 years. He's a Lansing native who’s spent his entire life in the area. As Drain Commissioner, Lindemann’s responsible for the operation of Ingham County storm drains and related issues including lake levels and soil erosion.

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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
12:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Senate leader Richardville on minimum wage, road funding, and EAA

Sen. Randy Richardville (R-Monroe)
Credit www.senatorrandyrichardville.com

On the heels of a measure signed into law last evening by Governor Rick Snyder, hourly salaries of Michigan’s lowest-paid workers will go up on September 1st. Whether to raise the state’s minimum wage has been one of the most debated issues so far in 2014, and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has been closely involved in the discussion.

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Politics & Government
1:10 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Schertzing touts 'problem-solving record' in 8th District bid

Credit http://tr.ingham.org/

For 14 years, Eric Schertzing has served as Ingham County Treasurer.  About six weeks ago, he began charting a new path in representing Michigan’s 8th Congressional district, which includes Lansing and East Lansing. 

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Politics & Government
1:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Okemos fourth graders lobby for state amphibian

Northern Spring Peeper
Credit paherps.com, Bob Hamilton

Some elementary students in Okemos are wrapping up their school year with a crash course in political lobbying.

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Politics & Government
11:57 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Senate Education Committee chair on assessment, EAA disputes

Debate continues at the Capitol over teacher assessments.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

For many months, Michigan legislators have battled over education. Often, it’s been over the "Common Core" curriculum standards that Michigan and more than 40 other states will adopt soon. The ongoing dispute has taken a number of turns in the past week.

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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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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Report suggests Michigan tax cuts have hampered prosperity

Michigan ranks 49th in the country in terms of the percentage of state and local taxes paid by business.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A recent report casts doubt on the impact of two decades of tax-cutting in Michigan. It suggests that the resulting cuts in public revenue have seriously prevented greater prosperity.

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Politics & Government
11:03 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Democratic candidate Mark Totten makes case for Attorney General

Michigan Attorney General candidate Mark Totten.
Credit http://www.marktotten.com/

Democrat Mark Totten was among the first to announce his candidacy for statewide office in this year’s elections. He threw his hat in the ring to become his party’s nominee for Attorney General almost a year ago.

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Politics & Government
12:31 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Survey aims to bring focus to Michigan election issues

The survey found that Michigan residents want elected officials to focus on education and road funding.
Credit Mark Bashore / WKAR


Yesterday, the Center for Michigan released the results of a seven-month survey of people across the state. The report, issued in conjunction with Bridge Magazine, is called “Michigan Speaks: A Citizens’ Agenda for the 2014 Elections.”

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TV Made in Michigan
5:01 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

'Spotlight on the News' Comes to WKAR Sundays

WXYZ Editorial and Public Affairs Director Chuck Stokes with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr on a recent episode of 'Spotlight on the News'

Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on 23.1 WKAR-HD and 6 p.m. on 23.2 WKAR World.

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Education
2:10 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

School reformers: zero-tolerance not the answer

Peri Stone-Palmquist of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan says she has seen cases where a child who brought a knife to school to cut an apple for lunch has been severely punished.
Credit Flickr - Paradox 56

Last week, students and advocates rallied at the Michigan Capitol after marching from Detroit to Lansing on foot. Students' marching hoped to raise awareness about the state’s school discipline policies. At the rally, they asked lawmakers to remove  legislation that requires zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

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Politics & Government
1:13 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Independent 8th District candidate proposes end to zero sum political solutions

Brooks says like the roads, we cannot keep just refilling the potholes in the 8th District with the same speed bumps.
Credit Courtesy of Preston Brooks


“Big money is corrupting our political process.”   

Those are the words of an Oakland County business owner and entrepreneur who, for the second time, is in the race to represent Michigan’s 8th Congressional district, which includes Lansing and East Lansing.

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Politics & Government
1:14 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

State offers money up front in Detroit bankruptcy

The state is offering to sweeten its proposal to contribute 350-million to Detroit's plight.
Credit Credit Flickr - Maia C


Developments toward a ‘grand bargain’ to speed the end of Detroit’s landmark  bankruptcy have been unfolding quickly. Late on Tuesday night, negotiators from the city and two of its retiree pension funds reached tentative deals involving cuts and cost-of-living revisions.  Those agreements were two more hurdles cleared toward an $816-million arrangement that could lessen pension cuts, allow reinvestment in city services, and prevent the sale of city-owned art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. However, more agreements need to be hammered out with other creditors.

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Business
11:39 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Business leaders update "Michigan Turnaround Plan"

Doug Rothwell, CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, says Michigan has seen significant improvement in terms of a balanced budget and tax rates since 2009.
Credit businessleadersformichigan.com

An organization that includes many of Michigan’s top corporate leaders is making new recommendations on the way ahead for the state. “Business Leaders for Michigan” is a non-profit whose 90 or so members are among the top executives of the state’s most established businesses including General Motors, Dominos Pizza and Meijer.

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