Michigan politics

Mike Bishop photo with Mark Bashore
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Current State talks with Cong. Mike Bishop about same sex marriage, other topics.


State capitol
Jake Neher / MPRN

Every month we look back at the state's top news stories. For June, the topics include important U.S. Supreme Court rulings and the ongoing issue of how to pay for road repairs.


Current State talks with Barb Levine, lead author of a report from The Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending that offers a roadmap to reducing the prison population and saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars every year.


markschauer.com

In last November’s elections for the Michigan House of Representatives,  49-percent of voters chose a Republican to represent them. Nonetheless, a headcount reveals that House Republicans comfortably outnumber Democrats, 63-47. The reason is the way legislative districts are drawn.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Since the launch of Obamacare, close to 300,000 Michigan residents have enrolled in health insurance plans offered through the state exchange.  

Many of them are now watching the U.S. Supreme Court closely.   A decision in the the case ‘King v Burwell’ is due by the end of the month.  It will determine whether or not federal subsidies, which help pay premiums for about three-quarters of those participants, will continue.

State capitol
Jake Neher / MPRN

Legislation granting Michigan faith-based adoption agencies the right not to serve same-sex and unmarried couples may be going to Gov. Rick Snyder soon. Yesterday, the Michigan Senate followed the lead of the House and passed such a measure. First, it will return to a House conference committee to resolve one part of the measure.

Office of Kevin Cotter

  Road funding, education spending and other budget issues are among the focus of discussions at the state capitol.   There were several developments yesterday in education spending.  A measure meant to bridge the funding gap between school districts emerged.   Meanwhile, a focus in the road funding debate continues to be whether the money for a fix can be found among existing revenue or if new revenue is required.

State capitol
Jake Neher / MPRN

The end of a stimulating month in Michigan politics and government is about here. The legislature is busy hammering out a new budget, considering a prevailing wage repeal and getting to know some visiting Presidential candidates better.

Flickr - Scott Ellis

Coming up with more money for roads is a big topic of discussion this week on an island with no cars. The key issue: can the legislature finally come up with more than a billion dollars in new revenue for transportation.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

An effort to repeal Michigan’s 50-year old prevailing wage law moved forward this week. On Tuesday, the state board of canvassers approved the form of a citizen petition that could put it to a vote in the state legislature. Meanwhile, the Michigan Senate has already passed such a measure and sent it to the House, but a citizen petition, if approved by the legislature, could not be vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder. The Governor opposes repeal.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

State lawmakers are again looking for ways to pay for road repairs in Michigan, and that means subsidies for the film industry are again being targeted. That has amounted to $50-million a year in recent years. 

Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

It’s a busy time under the dome in Lansing these days. Just two weeks after the historic defeat of a road funding proposal that would have altered the Michigan Constitution, House Democrats and Republicans are offering competing alternatives. The GOP plan would shift revenue to a transportation fund by various means, including siphoning funds from tribal casino revenues and eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit. Meanwhile, Democrats propose raising the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon over the next three years.

http://www.senatormikeshirkey.com/

People who build schools and other public infrastructure projects in Michigan might soon see a lighter paycheck. Yesterday, the Michigan Senate voted to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. That provision mandates that wages paid in state government contracts are based on collective bargain agreements.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s no shortage of talk in Michigan about renewable energy sources. But despite all our efforts to go green, our state is still very dependent on fossil fuels. Recently, a Traverse City-based oil and gas company has been looking at an area in and around the city of Mason as a possible drilling site.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

In four days, Michigan voters will decide whether or not to increase the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Proposal 1 would raise just over $1.2-billion which would, in a couple of years, be spent on road and bridge improvements. But the measure also earmarks about $800-million for areas including education, municipalities and help for some low income Michigan residents.

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