Politics & Government

Politics & Government
3:46 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Court: Utility Has To Justify Smart Meter Fee

Credit mlive.com

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ordered a state utility board to take another look at “smart meters” and how much utilities can charge customers who don’t want to use them.

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Politics & Government
12:02 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Prop 1 foe: look for MI road dollars elsewhere

Paul Mitchell is leading the fight to defeat Proposal 1 next Tuesday.
Credit 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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Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Threat Of Marijuana Legalization May Help Medical Pot Bills Pass

Credit nypost.com

Bills to expand access to medical marijuana in Michigan may be benefiting from efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.

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Politics & Government
11:48 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Month in Review: Auto no-fault reform, Proposal 1, gay marriage

Credit File photo / WKAR

Auto-no fault insurance reform, a U.S. Supreme Court hearing for Michigan’s same sex marriage ban and critical budget discussions were among the top  political news stories in our state in April.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu April 30, 2015

EL voters face proposals on marijuana, city property sales

East Lansing mayor Nathan Triplett (center) and attorney Jeff Hank (right) talk with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Along with Proposal 1 to increase the state sales tax to fund road repairs going before voters in Michigan next Tuesday, East Lansing is presenting a couple of proposals to voters. One would allow for the use, possession and transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana on private property by people over the age of 21. The other would amend the city charter to allow for the sale of certain city properties with the approval of a simple majority of voters rather than the current requirement of approval by three-fifths of votes cast.

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Politics & Government
4:41 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Governor Declares Flint’s Financial Emergency Over

Credit buickturboregal.com

Governor Rick Snyder has lifted the city of Flint’s financial emergency.

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Politics & Government
2:27 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Snyder renews Opposition To Open Carry In Schools As Pro-Gun Activists Rally At Capitol

Credit mprn jake neher

Governor Rick Snyder is renewing his support for banning openly carrying firearms in Michigan schools.

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Politics & Government
11:37 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Proposed MI no-fault reforms generate heated debate

Credit Flickr - Ray Dumas

Michigan legislators are in a pitched and partisan battle over proposed reforms to the state’s auto no-fault insurance system. Mainly Republican reformers are intent on lowering the state’s sky-high car insurance premiums by imposing cost controls on catastrophic accident claims. Mainly Democratic opponents say the move threatens a strong system that may be the best in the nation. Many allege it’s a money grab by the insurance industry and their allies in the legislature.

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Politics & Government
5:42 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Both Sides Say Victory Within Their Grasp In SCOTUS Marriage Case

Credit getreligion.org

Michigan is now waiting for the US Supreme Court to make its decision on same-sex marriage bans.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban reaches the U.S. Supreme Court

MPRN's Rick Pluta is at the U.S. Supreme Court to cover arguments in Michigan's landmark gay marriage case.
Credit Courtesy Rick Pluta

The day millions of Americans have been waiting for is finally here. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a series of cases focusing on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Thirty-six states currently allow the practice. Michigan is not one of them. Michigan joins three other states in defending their bans.

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Politics & Government
12:27 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Lead Prop 1 campaigner: measure not a special interest grab

The months-long discussion about whether to raise Michigan's sales tax by a penny is nearing an end. Voters will decide the issue next Tuesday. According to Michigan’s ‘Citizens Research Council,” the measure would eventually generate about an additional $1.3-billion to be spent on the state’s roads and bridges. It creates a new formula for assessing the state’s gas tax, which would be tied to the wholesale price of gasoline. At current prices, it would go up about 10 cents per gallon. Whatever the increase, it would be lessened somewhat by the removal of sales tax from gasoline.

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Politics & Government
12:14 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

MI Air National Guard troops to combat ISIS

Brigadier General Leonard Isabelle
Credit Courtesy, Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

The Michigan Air National Guard has sent troops to the Middle East to, in the words of military officials, “eliminate” ISIS, the terrorist group responsible for numerous acts of violence in Iraq and Syria. About 350 airmen based at Selfridge Air National Guard base near Detroit are now in the region, as well as twelve A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. The A-10, nicknamed, the “Warthog,” is equipped with a high-powered rotary cannon capable of destroying a tank.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Newest Lansing city council member won’t run in August

Lansing city councilmember at large Vincent Delgado has decided not to run in this year's election.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Vincent Delgado was appointed to the Lansing city council in February to fill the remaining term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who left the post after his selection as Ingham County Register of Deeds. Delgado has decided not to run for re-election in the August 4 primary. His term will end January 1.

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Politics & Government
2:57 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Insurance Panel OKs Auto No-Fault Overhaul With Rate Rollback

Credit bankingsense.com

A state House committee has approved some big changes to Michigan’s no-fault law.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

State Representative Tom Leonard chairs the House Insurance Committee. He says this will save consumers money.

“There is a mandatory rate rollback of 100 dollars per vehicle that has been put in this bill,” he says.

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Politics & Government
11:41 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Former Detroit EM Kevyn Orr credits city workers for "rising to the occasion"

Credit Flickr - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Four months ago, the city of Detroit turned the page on a difficult chapter of its long and storied history. Last December, Detroit emerged from the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy. The so-called “grand bargain” that sealed the deal cut $7-billion of the city’s debt and injected millions of dollars to reduce pension cuts for city retirees.

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Politics & Government
11:25 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lansing property owner slams city, Niowave over revised remodeling

Dale Schraeder in one of the many neighbors unhappy with the modifications made to the Niowave facility.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last night, there was yet another episode in the dispute between Niowave and its residential neighbors in Lansing’s Walnut neighborhood. The Lansing City council’s Planning and Development committee heard from about ten exasperated Walnut residents about a plan that would let the high-tech company out of some of the requirements it agreed to last year to fix up a large metal building on its property.

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Politics & Government
3:09 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Justice Betty Weaver, Frequent GOP Critic, Dies

Credit mlive.com

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Betty Weaver has died at the age of 74.

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Politics & Government
11:36 am
Wed April 22, 2015

MI faces hurdles in getting second federal Medicaid waiver

Credit Flickr/surroundsound5000

Medicaid benefits used to be available mostly to low-income children, pregnant women, and disabled adults in Michigan. But that changed in 2013 when Michigan voted to use federal funds from the Affordable Care Act to extend those benefits to more people. Gov. Rick Snyder was a major force behind the legislation, saying it would mean lower healthcare costs and more federal dollars for Michigan. Healthy Michigan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program, has enrolled nearly 600,000 people to date. But the future of the program depends on the Department of Health and Human Services getting a waiver from the federal government.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Former Gov. Engler remembers “workhorse” Sen. Robert Griffin

After his time in the U.S. Senate, Robert Griffin was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1987 to 1994. His portrait by artist Joseph Maniscalco hangs in the Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.

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Politics & Government
4:11 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

House Takes Up No-Fault Overhaul

Credit callava.com

An overhaul of Michigan’s no-fault insurance law is moving quickly through the Legislature, where a House committee has opened hearings on the issue.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Tue April 21, 2015

LSJ reporters explore flawed MDOT road warranty program

Credit Flickr - The Tire Zoo

Two weeks from today, Michigan voters will decide whether to increase investment in the state’s crumbling roads and bridges with a one cent increase in the state sales tax. The discussion over whether to invest more in infrastructure has raised the issue of  the warranties that sometimes cover that work.

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Politics & Government
4:11 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

State Capitol To Re-Open To Public On Saturdays

Credit flickr.com

After almost two decades, the state Capitol in Lansing will re-open for the public to visit on Saturdays.

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Politics & Government
11:58 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Reporter details juvenile offenders’ lawsuit alleging prison rapes

Credit Flickr - Ben

From 2003 to 2013, Michigan prosecuted over 20,000 juvenile offenders as adults. Advocates for juvenile justice reform say youth housed in adult prisons are at a much greater risk for sexual abuse and suicide than the adult prison population. And while there is now a sight and sound barrier between juvenile offenders and the adult prison population, that wasn’t always the case. The state is now facing allegations from seven former juvenile offenders that they were sexually abused by both other prisoners and prison staff while housed in those facilities.

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Politics & Government
12:13 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Bishop: Obama Pacific trade deal “will increase economic growth”

Cong. Mike Bishop (left), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Yesterday, Republicans in the U.S. Congress marked their 100th day of being the majority legislative party in Washington. Mike Bishop represents that majority in his capacity as the recently sworn in congressman from Michigan’s 8th District, which covers Lansing and East Lansing along with Ingham and Livingston counties and part of Oakland county.

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Politics & Government
12:04 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Lansing police chief anticipates the future of body cameras

The Lansing Police Department will soon add a controversial new tool to its equipment list: 100 body cameras. Some law enforcement agencies in mid-Michigan are already experimenting with the devices. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office has 25 body cameras on hand. In Ingham County, officers are testing a few cameras at the county jail, and the department is preparing to receiving more. The East Lansing and Michigan State University police departments are also planning to use body cameras. The device has evolved from a technological novelty to the centerpiece of a new front in the struggle for racial harmony and civil rights.

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Politics & Government
11:20 am
Wed April 15, 2015

As ballot efforts surface, legislator clarifies medical marijuana bill

Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville)
Credit http://gophouse.org/representatives/southwest/callton/

For years now, Michigan has struggled with how to implement its medical marijuana law. Voters approved legalized pot in 2008, but applying the law has been fraught with complications. Patients, caregivers, physicians, law enforcement, local and state governments and the courts all have had different concerns. The challenge boils down to how to regulate the drug and how to get it safely and responsibly to the people who are entitled to it. In recent years, Republican State Rep. Mike Callton has been in the middle of the state legislature’s effort to move forward.

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Politics & Government
2:11 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Snyder Would Like Energy Grid That Connects Upper, Lower Peninsulas

Credit michfb.com

Rick Snyder says one of his long-term ambitions is to improve Michigan’s access to electricity by extending the power grid to connect the upper and lower peninsulas.

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Politics & Government
11:44 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Prop 1: more than just roads

In just over a month, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Proposal 1. That’s the statewide ballot initiative that would generate more than $1-billion to repair and maintain Michigan roads. It’s a complex plan with many parts, the implications of which reach beyond highways and bridges. If approved, the measure would enact a constitutional change to the state sales tax, and also trigger a number of statutory changes. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been following the developments of Proposal 1.

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Politics & Government
5:11 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Wolf Hunt Foes Challenge Law That Circumvented Referendums

Credit fanpop.com

Wolf hunting opponents have filed a lawsuit challenging the state law that circumvented voter referendums on the question.

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Politics & Government
4:25 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Snyder Says He Would Veto A Michigan RFRA

Credit mlive.com

Governor Rick Snyder says he would veto a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act if the Legislature sends it to him.

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