Michigan politics

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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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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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

New Dem LG candidate outlines priorities

Mark Schauer describes Brown as 'a fighter' who 'knows how to lead.'
Credit Courtesy of Lisa Brown

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.

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Politics & Government
12:56 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Enthusiasm for public service drives mayor in run for Rogers' seat

Barnett says he brings a unique perspective as a mayor 'who has seen what effective leadership can do and how it can deliver results.'
Credit https://www.rochesterhills.org/

In fewer than 24-hours, the race for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District picked up two new candidates. Both are Oakland County Republicans. 

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Politics & Government
12:39 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Gay marriage in Michigan in legal limbo

Michigan's first marriage licenses to same-sex couples were issued this weekend in Ingham and several other counties.
Credit Flickr - Kelly Kline

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.

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12:32 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Michigan Superintendent Flanagan on EAA, student testing, teacher evals

The EAA is the district charged with turning around MIchigan’s 15 lowest performing schools.
Credit Flickr - Mars Hill Church

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.

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Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

From the capitol: wolf hunt, EAA, roads

Rick Pluta of MPRN says along with the ongoing battle over wolf hunting in Michigan, lawmakers are considering education and road repair funding proposals.
Credit Flickr - warriorwoman531

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.

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12:03 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Pennyslvania offers lessons on clearing road funding hurdles

Pennsylvania's situation regarding roads and politics are similar to Michigan's.
Credit Flickr - chrisUK

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.

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Politics & Government
11:53 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Program trains Michigan's aspiring political leaders

State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan.
Credit WKAR/Joe Linstroth

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.

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Politics & Government
1:24 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Ex-MUCC president to challenge Senator Rick Jones

Democratic candidate Dawn Levey
Credit Courtesy www.leveyforsenate.com/

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."

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:03 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Budget director explains 2015 state spending plan

Credit Flickr - borman818

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:07 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Proposal seeks return to part-time legislature

Norman Kammeraad
Credit Courtesy WKAR/Off the Record


Norman Kammeraad is a West Michigan business owner who chairs the Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-Time Legislature. The group is calling for a two-month legislative session with salaries of $35,000.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:27 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Month in Review: State budget, minimum wage highlight news from January

Credit Flickr - mbugard

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:53 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Bipartisan effort aims to strengthen Michigan legislative resources

Rep. Andy Schor is working with the Strengthening Michigan's Government Institutions group.
Credit http://068.housedems.com/

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:50 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Coalition working on minimum wage proposal for November ballot

Credit Flickr - athrasher

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Eighth District race attracts moderate Dem challenger to Rogers

Ken Darga (D) hopes to unseat GOP congressman Mike Rogers.
Credit www.darga4congress.com/

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:05 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Detroit News' Finley on Agema, Patterson fallout

Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema
Credit WKAR

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:41 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Sen. Whitmer responds to State of the State

Gov. Rick Snyder
Credit http://www.michigan.gov/

Last night, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder gave his fourth State of the State address. He encouraged action on immigration and more support for state schools, among other issues.

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12:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

State of the State 2014

Governor Rick Snyder's annual address to the Michigan Legislature with Democratc Party response from Rep. Tim Greimel.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:43 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Hertel Jr. talks housing and Senate

Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr.
Credit http://rd.ingham.org/

Ingham County officials have announced good news about the area’s housing market. Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. reported that home sales last year were up and that foreclosures were down.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:34 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Remembering former LT Governor Connie Binsfeld

Connie Binsfeld was not an obvious choice for running mate when John Engler picked her in 1991.
Credit Courtesy Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:08 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Budget surplus, education top 2014 legislative agenda

Credit Flickr - DanMacMan

The Michigan legislature has begun its election year session. The body will reconsider unfinished business from 2013 including an expansion of the Education Achievement Authority and road funding.

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Radio Made in Michigan
10:50 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Michigan conservatives join conversation on renewable energy

Credit https://www.facebook.com/michiganconservativeenergyforum

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:18 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Month (and 2013) in Review: December's biggest news stories

Credit Flickr - DanMacMan

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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:29 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Legislature's stare down with Right to Life a rarity

Credit Flickr - mbugard

The state Legislature is in its final week of voting before it adjourns for the year. One of the big questions is whether lawmakers will cast votes on a controversial anti-abortion issue this year.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:27 am
Wed December 11, 2013

House Dem leader Greimel on year-end legislative push

Tim Greimel leads Democrats in the state House.
Credit http://029.housedems.com/

The last day of the Michigan legislature’s 2013 session is scheduled to be tomorrow.  That’s ramped up efforts by majority Republicans to pass several proposals generating a lot of debate.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:02 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

State Rep. Lyons weighs in on campaign finance, education reforms

Lisa Posthumus Lyons represents Michigan's 86th district.
Credit http://gophouse.org/

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.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:59 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

State survey shows Obama down, Snyder up slightly

Pres. Barack Obama's poll number are down, while those of Gov. Rick Snyder have risen in a new MSU poll.
Credit Flickr - Ethan Bloch

President Obama's approval rating in Michigan has dropped to its lowest point in three years, according to a new Michigan State University survey.

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