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.
A coalition of labor and civil rights groups calling itself Raise Michigan has announced its intention to form a ballot campaign committee. It’s a procedural step that could lead to a statewide vote this November on raising the minimum wage, which in Michigan is currently $7.40 an hour.
Incumbent U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers will have a Democratic opponent when he runs for re-election this November. Ken Darga has thrown his hat in the ring this year against Rogers in the solidly Republican 8th district.
The response to comments by Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema of Michigan has intensified in recent days. Agema’s remarks critical of gays and Muslims triggered rebukes from across the political spectrum and has especially embarrassed his fellow Republicans.
Connie Binsfeld, who served in the Michigan House and Senate, as well as two terms as lieutenant governor, died Sunday at the age of 89. The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta covered Binsfeld in the State Senate and then as Lieutenant Governor, and Susan Demas, an MLive columnist and publisher of the “Inside Michigan Politics” newsletter also joins us to remember her legacy.
A new conservative group is hoping to open up the conversation about renewable energy. The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is working to increase the state’s investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
The last few weeks have been eventful ones at the State Capitol. Legislators strongly considered measures involving education and phone service, among others. They passed measures involving abortion insurance, medical marijuana and others.
With just a few days left in the 2013 legislative session, the Michigan House is working its way through a cluster of controversial proposals. One package of bills calls for significant education reforms, including a plan to hold back Michigan third graders who aren’t reading at that level. Another would impose a letter grading system on school districts statewide. Another addresses the regulation of so-called “issue ads.”
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.
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.
The Michigan House Education Committee is looking over a controversial proposal that could hold back thousands of the state’s young learners. A measure introduced last week would require third-graders to repeat that year if they did not score “proficient” on the MEAP standardized test.
After weeks of pointed criticism, the Snyder administration announced on Monday that it would shut down its so-called NERD fund. The “New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify" Fund was not legally obligated to disclose its donors.
On the last weekday of each month, Current State looks back on the biggest news stories around Michigan with a panel of journalists. Tim Skubick of WKAR-TV and Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network join Current State to discuss the Michigan GOP establishment pushback against the Tea Party, common core education standards, the possible federal government shutdown, and more.