politics and government

Politics & Government
12:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

More questions about Aramark contract after hearing, arrest

Aramark Logo
Credit Aramark

There’s been more controversy this week involving Aramark. That’s the beleaguered food service company contracted to serve Michigan prisons. Yesterday at a meeting of the state civil service commission, one member said he felt mislead when told of a $98,000 dollar fine against the company that had actually been dropped.

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Economy
12:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The numbers behind Michigan's incomplete comeback

Credit michigan.gov

Are we truly a Comeback State? Just how much can a governor influence the economy? The Citizens Research Council, an independent, non-partisan research organization that analyzes public policy questions, recently analyzed data to try to answer these questions.

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Politics & Government
12:30 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Local firefighters train for difficult rescues

Firefighters must sometimes rescue victims trapped in confined spaces, like underground equipment rooms.
Kevin Lavery/WKAR

A number of firefighting crews have been camped out along a main road at Michigan State University for the last couple of days. They’ve been taking part in an annual training exercise to learn how to rescue victims trapped in confined spaces. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports that it turns out MSU has an ideal spot for this type of instruction.

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Politics & Government
1:36 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Ingham judge spotlights flaws, illegality in court funding

Thomas Boyd, chief judge, Ingham County 55th District Court
Credit http://dc.ingham.org/

Michigan courts, especially District Courts, assess criminal defendants all sorts of fines and fees. This revenue is crucial for cities and counties, and these fines and fees vary widely across Michigan. Ingham County relies on them for $800,000 of its annual budget. The District Court in East Lansing, according to city budget numbers, has netted the city $3-million a year for the past three years. It’s one of the only departments that actually makes money for the city.

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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Land campaign ducks MSU student debate request

Terri Lynn Land in one of her TV ads.
Credit TV Campaign Ad

Where in Michigan is Terri Lynn Land? With the November election fast approaching for Michigan’s first open Senate seat in 20 years, many are wondering where the GOP candidate has been. She’s taken heat for not publicizing her campaign schedule, for avoiding the media, and for refusing to debate her Democratic challenger, Congressman Gary Peters.

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Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Outgoing state health leader reflects on eventful career

Credit www.michigan.gov/mdch

James Haveman has enjoyed a long career in public health in Michigan, including several in key leadership positions. Twice the director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, Haveman’s last day in that position is next Monday.

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Politics & Government
1:17 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Lansing activists spur dialogue on racism, gun violence

Lansing residents march along Holmes Street to call attention to recent shootings in the city. The activists were also protesting police brutality. Organizers will host a community forum on these issues tonight at 7 p.m. at Letts Community Center in Lansing.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Tomorrow marks one month since the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The event sparked protests and violent clashes in Ferguson on a level seldom seen since the Civil Rights Era of the 1960’s. The incident also spurred positive conversations and peaceful activism across the country, including Lansing. On Saturday, a few dozen people gathered on the city’s southwest side for a peace march.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Month in Review: August's biggest news stories | WKAR

Credit Flickr - lehooper

With August just about behind us, Current State takes a look back at Michigan’s biggest statewide stories with our monthly reporter roundtable.

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Politics & Government
11:54 am
Wed July 2, 2014

State Rep pushes corrections reform, prisoner rehab

Rep Haveman says that locking people up without concern for their rehabilitation is one of the biggest issues in the corrections system.
Credit Flickr - Todd Ehlers

In a recent op-ed, Republican State Representative Joe Haveman of Holland describes coming to Lansing five years ago to advance principles of limited government and restrained spending. He goes on to describe how his commitment to those principles unexpectedly led him to advocate reforms to Michigan’s $2 billion a year correctional system.

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Politics & Government
12:18 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Cooley Law professor breaks down Hobby Lobby ruling

Schindler says the ruling may have some unanticipated consequences in the future.
Credit Flickr - American Life League

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled yesterday that the craft company Hobby Lobby can be exempted from paying for certain types of employee birth control.

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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
1:42 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Bridge Magazine assesses Detroit's Duggan at six months

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
Credit Flickr- Aaron Eckles, Crains Detroit Business

Among Detroit’s many challenges, one painful reality is the decreasing population. The city’s become known for surreal, sparsely settled ‘urban prairies’ that thousands of residents used to call home. 

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Canadian Consul: new Detroit bridge a priority

Consul General Douglas George
Credit http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca

Canada has a new Consul General in Detroit. Douglas George has more than 30 years of experience in Canada’s foreign service, including working on the creation of the World Trade Organization and representing his country in places like Jamaica and Kuwait.

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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
1:57 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

EL city attorney position stirs emotion

Jeff Hank
Credit Votehank.org

Voters in East Lansing may decide whether to alter policy involving the city’s attorneys. Two East Lansing activists claim the city could save money and avoid potential conflicts of interest by hiring a full-time municipal lawyer. The East Lansing City Council already has that option, but often opts to contract legal work hourly to private firms.

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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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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
1:10 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Michigan roads: Is the solution in the asphalt?

Consultant Rahn Bentley explains how asphalt cement is blended with crushed rocks and other aggregates to form road pavement. Lansing Asphalt in Delta Township heats the mix to more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce up to 400 tons of asphalt each hour.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The $1-billion road funding package that Michigan lawmakers have been struggling to pass in the final days of the session failed to achieve consensus last night. As of this morning, the Michigan Senate will have just a few hours to try to cobble together  a plan to raise the revenue to fix the state’s roads.

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Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Report denounces 'outdated' juvenile justice laws

'Youth Behind Bars' co-author by Michelle Weemhoff thinks current juvenile justice laws do more harm than good.
Credit miccd.org

“Michigan’s outdated approach to youth justice does little to rehabilitate children, protect public safety or wisely invest taxpayer dollars.” This quote is among the provocative conclusions of a new report, co-authored by Michelle Weemhoff and her organization the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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Sports
12:52 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Beyond sport, the underlying politics of the World Cup

The World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Brazil.
Credit Flickr - Anderson Vaz

Once every four years, hundreds of millions of soccer fans get swept up in the excitement of the World Cup.  The month-long spectacle begins play tomorrow in Brazil.

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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.

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
2:32 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Michigan's iron man: Congressman Dingell on 58 years in D.C.

Congressman Dingell in the 112th Congress.
Credit Flickr-dingellmi15

Congressman John Dingell holds the record as America’s longest serving elected official, representing Michigan’s 12th district since 1955. He has served 21,000 days during which he cast 25,000 votes, alongside 11 U.S. Presidents. 

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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
1:22 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Net neutrality debate: Will the way we use the internet change?

Credit Flickr - Jason Mcleod

There has been a lot of recent buzz around the idea of net neutrality and how it will affect people’s everyday use of the internet. Net neutrality is the debate over free use of the internet and has been going on for several years now.

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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
12:19 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Councilmember Wood on new Lansing budget

Lansing City Council members approved 2015 budget on Monday.
Credit Flickr - Michigan State Historical Preservation Office

The Lansing City Council approved a 2015 fiscal year budget totaling $118 million on Monday night. The budget debate was less intense than in recent years since the city did not face a deficit. The document was essentially the same one proposed by Mayor Virg Bernero back in March.

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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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