Tomorrow evening at Lansing Community College, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero makes his tenth State of the City address. In the speech, which has the theme "Lansing 3.0", the Mayor will review developments of the past year and share his agenda for 2015.
On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder’s call for improvements in the delivery of state services included the merging of two, large and important state agencies. Snyder says the Departments of Human Services and Community Health need to become more “people-centric” and less “program centric.” He says that resulting efficiencies will improve services to state residents and, with other reforms, create a "River of Opportunity".
Gene Wrigglesworth has worn a policeman’s badge for almost 50 years. For more than half that time, he’s served as the Ingham County Sheriff. But in 2016, an era in the county’s history will come to an end. This week, he announced that he will not seek re-election.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder updated his near term goals in the annual State of the State speech last night. The centerpiece was the creation of what the Governor called a “River of Opportunity” that would improve state services, especially those coming Michigan’s Departments of Community Health and Human Services. Snyder plans to combine the two into one. He says their work represents a “failed model” that is too focused on programs than on people.
Recently, Michigan has been through a Gubernatorial campaign, an election, a lame duck legislative session and an inauguration. And Governor Snyder delivers his annual State of the State address this evening. Amid all this political activity, what do Michiganians think of their top elected officials?
Two weeks ago, Democrat Gary Peters had the honor of replacing Michigan Senator Carl Levin in the U.S. Senate. Peters had already served five years in the U.S. House representing parts of southeast Michigan. Mr. Levin had just wrapped up a 35-year career.
Lansing’s Andy Schor has begun his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives after being sworn in on Wednesday. In a statement on his web page, the former Ingham County Commissioner says the start of a new session “presents new opportunities.”
Last November, Ingham county voters resoundingly approved two millage proposals. The new Board of Commissioners will be turning its attention to those soon, as it launches its 2015 session. One will expand the county’s network of trails. The other will maintain the Ingham County Health Plan, which provides medical care coverage for the county’s neediest residents.
More than a year after he came under fire for his utility’s heavily criticized response to widespread ice storm outages, Peter Lark has been dismissed as General Manager of the Lansing Board of Water and Light. In a 5-to-3 vote, the board that oversees the city-owned utility voted to fire Lark with cause. The motion also named former BWL manager Dick Pefley as interim GM.
For just over a week, Mike Bishop has served as the new U.S. Congressman representing Lansing and East Lansing. Bishop takes his seat at the Capitol amid a wave of confidence for Republicans in Washington. For the first time since 2007, the GOP enjoys a majority in the Senate as well as the House. That’s obviously changing the political dynamic in the nation’s capital.
Two members of the board that oversees the Lansing Board of Water and Light have called for a meeting to discuss whether General Manager Peter Lark should be running Lansing's city-owned utility. That meeting is set for 4:30 this afternoon at BWL headquarters on South Washington.
Governor Rick Snyder has signed a bill allowing some crimes to be erased from public records.
The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports.
Some low-level offenders will be able to ask the court that convicted them to erase up to one felony or two misdemeanors. Supporters say it will make it easier for them to get jobs and housing after they’ve served sentences or paid fines.
Shelli Weisberg is with the ACLU of Michigan.
“We really think that this gives people with records a really meaningful second chance,” she says.
What is ahead for Michigan in 2015? An income tax cut? A sales tax hike? Could elected officials move to repeal the state’s prevailing wage provisions? All are possible. A clearer picture will begin to emerge Wednesday when the 2015 Michigan legislature convenes.
On today's show, we heard briefly from Keith Allard of the recently formed group, "Protect MI Taxpayers." Allard is also Chairman of the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association and a recent unsuccessful candidate for the state legislature. His group is launching a campaign urging voters to defeat the call to increase the state sales tax by a cent. Michigan voters will decide that issue on May 5.
Governor Rick Snyder is still making his way through the stack of bills on his desk after lame duck. Among the bills that have already gotten his stamp of approval is one that authorizes suspicion-based drug tests for some welfare recipients. It requires the state to establish pilot programs for screening and testing people on public assistance in three Michigan counties.
Four months from today, Michigan voters will make the next move regarding our state’s crumbling roads and bridges. They’ll decide whether to hike the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar. Approval would create over a billion dollars annually to help repair the roads, but it would also restore the state’s earned income tax credit and send more state revenue to schools. Rejection means Governor Rick Snyder and the legislature are back at square one in the road funding debate. So, what can we expect to see and hear over the next four months?
Last month, WKAR-TV capitol correspondent and "Off The Record" host Tim Skubick welcomed the senior U.S. Senator from Michigan, Carl Levin. On the eve of his retirement, Sen. Levin discusses what sparked his interest in politics, lessons learned from nearly four decades in the senate, his post-senate plans, and more.