politics and government

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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Politics & Government
11:28 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Report suggests Michigan tax cuts have hampered prosperity

Michigan ranks 49th in the country in terms of the percentage of state and local taxes paid by business.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A recent report casts doubt on the impact of two decades of tax-cutting in Michigan. It suggests that the resulting cuts in public revenue have seriously prevented greater prosperity.

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Politics & Government
11:27 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Moms rally for gun background checks

Weapons for sale at a gun show.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today as Michigan lawmakers make their way to their offices, they’ll be offered some treats, from a group who is sweet on gun sense. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America will rally at the Michigan capitol.

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Politics & Government
11:14 am
Tue May 13, 2014

After objections, Detroit bankruptcy process continues at capitol

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday marked the deadline for objections to Detroit’s plan of adjustment to be filed. Over a dozen criticisms were registered by residents, creditors and even the federal government.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Construction expert looks at the worsening state of MI bridges

Nystrom says bridges deemed to be structurally deficient could have issues with the foundation, beams, or holes in the deck.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The state of Michigan’s roads has gotten a lot of attention lately, and if you drive or pay attention to the state legislature, you know why: our roads are just flat-out awful. But what about Michigan’s bridges? It turns out, many of those are in need of major repairs as well.

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Politics & Government
11:03 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Democratic candidate Mark Totten makes case for Attorney General

Michigan Attorney General candidate Mark Totten.
Credit http://www.marktotten.com/

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.

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Politics & Government
12:31 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Survey aims to bring focus to Michigan election issues

The survey found that Michigan residents want elected officials to focus on education and road funding.
Credit Mark Bashore / WKAR


Yesterday, the Center for Michigan released the results of a seven-month survey of people across the state. The report, issued in conjunction with Bridge Magazine, is called “Michigan Speaks: A Citizens’ Agenda for the 2014 Elections.”

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

CRT Report: BWL culture, recordkeeping, technology must change

Lansing mayor Virg Benero (left) received the Community Review Team report on the December ice storm outage yesterday from Chairman General Michael McDaniel.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

It’s become clearer how Lansing’s publicly-owned utility, the Board of Water and Light, failed its customers following last December’s ice storm. A detailed review by an investigative panel explores the utility’s actions before, during and after the storm that knocked out power to some 35,000 customers.

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Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Month in Review: April's biggest news stories

Among many important topics this past month, student evaluations were being reconsidered. Should students be evaluated using the MEAP test?
Credit Flickr

At the end of every month, Current State takes a look back at the biggest news stories of the previous 30 days. To help us put it in context, Current State talks with the host of Off The Record on WKAR-TV and other Michigan public TV stations Tim Skubick, M-Live Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting, and editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, Susan Demas.

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