Politics & Government

Politics & Government
12:47 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz reflects on a life of service

Former Cong. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

Last Thursday, Current State aired part of an interview with former Congressman Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek. Dr. Schwarz, who is a physician and head and neck surgeon, represented Michigan’s 7th district in 2005 and 2006. That discussion focused on his political and medical careers, and his service in southeast Asia, which included service as a surgeon during the Vietnam War and then as a CIA operative. Schwarz has never returned to that part of the world in the 40-plus years since those experiences.

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Politics & Government
3:42 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

DeBoer Attorney Says SCOTUS Arguments Will Focus On Children

Attorneys for the lesbian couple challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban have filed their briefs with the US Supreme Court.

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Politics & Government
12:09 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Month in Review: Sales tax vote, state party conventions, 2016 budget

Credit File photo / WKAR

At the end of the month, Current State takes one last look back at the top news stories in Michigan politics and government. This time around, we revisit a proposed, new state budget, new leadership for Michigan’s Republican Party, and the discussion over May’s sales tax proposal.

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Politics & Government
5:14 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

House Adopts Bills To Relax Air Guns Rules

The state House has adopted legislation that would exempt air-, spring-, and gas-powered guns from Michigan firearms laws.

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Politics & Government
5:11 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

State Senate Sends Budget Cuts To Gov. Snyder That Divert Surplus School Aid Dollars

Legislation headed to Governor Rick Snyder would divert surplus school aid money to help fill Michigan’s budget hole.

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Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Voices of Experience: Joe Schwarz on life in politics, medicine

Dr. Joe Schwarz
Credit http://fordschool.umich.edu/

We all know Michiganians we feel are extraordinary for their memorable life experiences or their sacrifices. Maybe for their success, or their service, and for the insights that result from those experiences. Getting better acquainted with extraordinary people is the focus of Current State’s occasional series, “Voices of Experience.”

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Politics & Government
5:11 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

State House Approves Overhaul Of Concealed Pistol License Approvals

Concealed weapons bills similar to ones Governor Rick Snyder vetoed last month are one step closer to heading back to his desk.

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Politics & Government
3:55 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

New Fight At Capitol Over Film Subsidies

A state House committee held a hearing Wednesday on legislation to end Michigan’s big tax breaks for film, TV, and movie projects.

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Politics & Government
11:42 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Ingham official: 'Renaissance' development is "marriage made in heaven"

Ingham County Drain Commissioner Pat Lindemann (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Developers are about to become the owners of 30 acres of city land straddling Lansing and East Lansing. Monday evening, the Lansing City Council approved the sale of the former Red Cedar Golf Course property to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC. Developer Joel Ferguson and his partner Frank Kass want to build a $276-million complex at the site that could include a ten-story hotel, restaurant and housing. Part of the site would remain green space.

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Politics & Government
5:23 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Snyder Cheers Bond Funding For Workforce Training Programs

A state board has approved selling bonds to come up with $50 million to help community colleges ramp up their career and technical training.

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Politics & Government
3:44 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

State Lawmakers Taking Another Crack At Corrections Overhaul There’s a renewed push in the state Leg

There’s a renewed push in the state Legislature to overhaul Michigan’s corrections system.

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Politics & Government
1:38 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

U-M survey shows local officials hungry for more state road money

Credit WKAR File Photo

One in four local government officials around Michigan say the roads and bridges in their jurisdictions are in poor condition.  But there appears to be little agreement among those same officials on how to generate the billions of dollars needed to repair that infrastructure.

Those are among the findings in a new survey out of the University of Michigan.

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Politics & Government
4:46 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Michigan Employer Survey Hints At More Hiring In 2015

Credit azcentral.com

A survey of some of Michigan’s largest employers suggests more hiring is in store this year.

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Politics & Government
12:11 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

MSU assistant dean to join Lansing City Council

MSU Assistant Dean Vincent Delgado is joining the Lansing City Council.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The Lansing City Council will officially be back at full strength tonight, when it swears in its newest member.  Vincent Delgado was appointed to the council Thursday night in a 6 to 1 vote.  He’ll finish the current term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who stepped down after becoming the new Ingham County Register of Deeds.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

A Romney takes top spot on Michigan GOP

Ronna Romney McDaniel, niece of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, takes the reins as the new chairwoman for the Michigan GOP.
Credit Credit: http://www.migop.org

Michigan’s Republican Party has a new Chairwoman.

At its Lansing convention Saturday, activist Ronna Romney McDaniel got the nod on the first ballot.

She replaces commercial property developer Bobby Schostak at the top of the Michigan GOP. The 41-year old niece of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said ‘We need to a Republican in the White House through Michigan in 2016.’  Current State talks to Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta about the state's new GOP leader.  

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Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Audit Slams MDOT Over Road Warranties

A new report says the Michigan Department of Transportation has done a poor job of ensuring that road builders repair problems with their work.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Michigan GOP Presidential Primary Set For March 8

It looks like Michigan Republicans will hold their presidential primary on March 8th of next year.

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Politics & Government
3:19 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Pro-Gun Groups Blast State Senate For Passing “No-Carry Zone” Exemption

Credit guns.com

Retired federal law enforcement officials would be able to carry concealed weapons in “no carry zones” under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports.

“No carry zones” include places such as schools, day care centers, and sports arenas where concealed weapons are prohibited. Supporters say former federal agents face greater dangers than the general public. But many pro-gun groups oppose this and similar legislation.

Tom Lambert is with Michigan Open Carry.

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Politics & Government
12:03 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

CRC recommends new approaches to state revenue sharing

If you track how the state of Michigan spends its money, you're aware that much of it  goes to cities and municipalities. Eight days ago, Governor Snyder proposed an increase of $24-million in the states next budget be assigned to revenue sharing for cities, townships and villages. That would make a total of $788-million. Another $214-million would go to counties.

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Politics & Government
4:39 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

New International Bridge Clears Major Hurdle With Canada Paying For Customs Plaza

One of the final hurdles facing a new international crossing between Detroit and Windsor has been cleared.

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Politics & Government
3:54 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

State’s Tax Break Questions Bigger Problem Than Expected

A problem with uncashed business tax credits that threatens future state budgets is bigger than originally thought by about $3 billion.

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Politics & Government
11:46 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Michigan activists respond to immigration injunction

Immigration advocates in Michigan are decrying a federal judge’s ruling striking down two executive orders protecting millions of immigrants from deportation. Last November, President Obama announced two programs that were set to take effect today.  One would prevent  undocumented parents of children legally living in the U-S from being sent back to their countries of origin. The other extends protections for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U-S as children.

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Politics & Government
11:39 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Hertel plan aims to stem MI brain drain

State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
Credit http://www.hertelforsenate.com/

East Lansing Democratic state Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. is seven weeks into his legislative career at the state Capitol. He represents the 23rd district, which covers almost all of Ingham County. Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee began discussing a bill sponsored by the former Ingham County official. Hertel wants to offer recent Michigan college graduates tax credits in exchange for a pledge to stay in Michigan.

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Politics & Government
5:26 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Michigan House Likely To Vote On GOP Primary This Week

The state House is supposed to vote before the end of the week on legislation to hold Michigan’s Republican presidential primary in March of next year.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Democrats Decry Loss Of Local Control As Concealed Pistol Bills Clear Committee

Credit mlive.com

Several controversial gun bills cleared a state House committee Tuesday.

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Politics & Government
5:10 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Auditor General Faults MDOT Rail Program For Wasting Millions

Credit mlive.com

The state Auditor General says the Michigan Department of Transportation spent millions of dollars on commuter rail cars that aren’t being used.

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Politics & Government
5:09 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Senate Approves March 15th GOP Primary Date

Credit wzzm13.com

Michigan Republicans would vote for their presidential nominee on March 15th of next year under a bill that’s cleared the state Senate.

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Politics & Government
4:09 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Lawmakers Will Try Again To Fix Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Law

Credit whaxy.com

State lawmakers will again consider making major changes to Michigan’s medical marijuana system.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Appropriations committee members respond to Snyder budget

State Representatives Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Earl Poleski (R-Jackson), with Current State host Mark Bashore.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Stakeholders across Michigan are responding to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal. The $54-billion spending plan includes increases in education, job training and the state police. It also includes spending reductions in about a dozen state agencies. As always, there’s something for almost everyone to like and to dislike.

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Politics & Government
4:53 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Police, Corrections Take Biggest Cuts In Budget-Balancing Plans

Governor Rick Snyder signed an order Wednesday to cut spending on state police, corrections, and health services as part of a plan to retire a deficit.

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