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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michigan's Democratic candidate for Governor, Mark Schauer, selected his running mate this week. To no one's surprise, Schauer selected Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown.
Before her election as Clerk, the West Bloomfield resident represented central Oakland County for two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before that, she worked both as an attorney and realtor.
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.
Last week, after months of debate, the Michigan House voted narrowly to expand state’s Education Achievement Authority. The highly debated measure, which the Senate now considers, is one of many on Michigan’s continually evolving education landscape. Others include new testing for student growth and evaluating teacher effectiveness, the Common Core curriculum, and several more.
The controversy over wolf hunting continues in Michigan with new developments this week.
Last November and December, hunters killed 23 wolves in three parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That was a little more than half the number allowed under the state's new wolf hunting rules. The wolf debate didn't end with the hunt, though.
With an intense pothole season beginning to unfold in Michigan, debate is intensifying over how to repair and better maintain state roads and highways.
Republican Governor Rick Snyder has favored a longer-term, comprehensive approach that would invest over a billion dollars a year in the effort. However, fellow Republicans in the legislature have withheld support for the tax and fee increases that would fund the Governor’s plan.
The Michigan Political Leadership Program, or MPLP, is designed to promote diversity and dialogue in how our communities, our state, and our nation are run. It started in 1992 and is administered by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University.
Every year, 24 people from across the state and across the political spectrum are chosen for the 10-month program. They develop skills to help them win elections, address the media and serve their constituents. The latest group has just started the program.
A Clinton County school teacher has announced her candidacy for the Michigan Senate’s 24th district. Democrat Dawn Levey says she would make education one of her top priorities. She says Michigan school kids are “suffering because of partisan politics."
Governor Rick Snyder unveiled his budget for the 2015 fiscal year yesterday. Overall, the plan increases state gross spending by 2% over this year's budget, with increases in education and educator pensions, the rainy day fund, roads, and many more.
To review and update some of the the month’s top Michigan news stories, Current State welcomes Tim Skubick, host of Michigan Public TV’s “Off the Record,” seen on WKAR-TV. Also joining us is Bill Ballenger of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, and Emily Lawler of MIRS News in Lansing.
A long-time Michigan political insider is launching a bipartisan effort to bolster resources for state legislators. The “Strengthening Michigan’s Governing Institutions” project is the brainchild of Republican/Libertarian Richard McLellan, who thinks term limits have left legislators with too few resources to do their jobs well.