Politics & Government

Politics & Government
11:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

After marathon session, Rep. Greimel analyzes road funding compromise

House Democratic leader Tim Greimel
Credit http://029.housedems.com/

Early this morning, Michigan’s 2014 legislative session concluded dramatically. The state legislature will be sending a proposal to Governor Rick Snyder for a one-cent increase in the Michigan sales tax. The additional revenue would generate about $1.2-billion a year for road and bridge repair. Michigan voters will decide whether to implement the measure, possibly next May.

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Politics & Government
5:37 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Time Running Out For Medical Marijuana Bills In State Legislature

Credit nypost.com

Supporters of legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan say it’s not likely to pass in 2014.

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Politics & Government
4:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Voters Would Have To Approve Road Funding Plan

Credit mlive.com

Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders are trying to convince state lawmakers to adopt a plan to raise $1.3billion dollars for roads, and then put the question on the ballot in May.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

RFRA measure triggers tension between religious liberty, LGBT rights

Protesters took to the streets of Lansing this week to voice opposition to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Credit courtesy photo: Progress Michigan

One of the hot button issues of this year’s lame duck session was the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill. The bill would exempt people from state and local laws if they can prove those laws violate deeply held religious beliefs. Opponents of the legislation say it amounts to a “license to discriminate”, and they are worried about its implications after a companion bill that would have expanded LGBT protections died in committee.

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Politics & Government
11:47 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Lansing attorney weighs in on new U.S.-Cuba relations

Attorney Richard McLellan (right), with Current State host Mark Bashore
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Americans have been busy discussing President Obama’s call to normalize relations with Cuba. Lansing-based attorney Richard McLellan, a long-time Michigan political insider and a two-time visitor to Cuba, supports the President’s move.

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Politics & Government
11:38 am
Thu December 18, 2014

A legal primer on religious displays at the Capitol

MSU Law professor Frank Ravitch
Credit http://www.law.msu.edu/

A display at the state Capitol sponsored by a group called “The Satanic Temple” is raising eyebrows, even though it hasn’t been put up yet.

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Politics & Government
4:46 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

14 Charged In Meningitis Outbreak

Credit mlive.com

The owners of a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts face federal murder charges for mishandling medical steroids that were distributed nationwide and caused a meningitis outbreak.

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Politics & Government
4:14 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Prospects Of Road Funding Compromise Begin To Look Dubious In Lame Duck

Credit freep.com

State lawmakers are entering the final hours of their two-year session without having reached a deal to boost road funding.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Gov. Snyder says hope still alive for road funding compromise

Gov. Rick Snyder
Credit http://www.michigan.gov/

Audio Pending...

The Michigan legislature is in the eleventh hour of this year’s lame duck session. This week, legislative leaders and Gov. Rick Snyder have been meeting more often to try to hammer out a measure for road and bridge funding in the state. A couple meetings were held yesterday, and the Governor expressed concern over how little time remains. The 2014 session is scheduled to conclude tomorrow.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Breaking down Michigan's competing road funding plans

The clock is counting down on the lame duck legislature at the state Capitol. Tomorrow is the last full day of the session. Lawmakers are facing a hard deadline to reach a deal to raise more than a billion dollars each year in new revenue to fix Michigan’s deteriorating roads.

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Politics & Government
11:34 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Michigan AG office warns of holiday charity scams

The Michigan Attorney General's office investigates reports of unsolicited phone calls from people claiming to represent charitable organizations.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We’re halfway through December, and you’ve probably noticed retailers aren’t the only people competing for your cold, hard cash. ‘Tis the season for charitable organizations to ramp up their efforts to solicit donations. Most groups out there do represent worthy causes, but the holidays also tend to bring out the less-than-legitimate actors hoping to pull off the perfect scam.

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Politics & Government
5:24 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Snyder: Road Money Discussions “Constructive”

Credit mlive.com

Governor Rick Snyder met Friday with the Legislature’s Republican and Democratic leaders to try and strike a deal on road funding.

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Politics & Government
12:20 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rep. Singh updates Michigan's lame duck session

Sam Singh (D-East Lansing)
Credit Courtesy of Rep. Sam Singh

The Michigan legislature is in the middle of an eventful lame duck session. Efforts are in high gear to hammer out a road and bridge funding measure before the session wraps next Thursday, but many other important issues are also being debated.

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Politics & Government
5:55 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

State Senate Approves Increasing Penalties For Coercing Abortion

Credit mlive.com

Coercing someone to have an abortion would carry tougher penalties under bills approved Thursday by the state Senate.

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Politics & Government
4:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

MI Supreme Court To Decide If Locals Can Require Union Wages On Projects

Credit wkar.org

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether local governments can order construction companies to pay union wages on public projects.

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Politics & Government
4:11 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

State Legislature Getting Ready To Hammer Out Compromise On Road Funding

Credit 9and10news.com

The state Legislature is taking steps to hammer out a road funding compromise.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Amid funding uncertainty, MDOT plans for the future

Credit Flickr - Doug Kerr

The Michigan Department of Transportation this month released its draft 2015-2019 Five-Year Transportation Program. MDOT will be taking public comment on the draft plan until January 5.

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Politics & Government
11:26 am
Thu December 11, 2014

EL officials push back against GOP plans limiting local control

East Lansing city manager George Lahanas
Credit http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/

This week, the Michigan legislature has caught the ire of some municipal leaders who fear the state may be overstepping its reach into local government. One Republican sponsored bill now headed to the House floor would ban local communities from entering into negotiations with developers over wages and  so-called “community benefits.”  The measure has evoked criticism from a number of Democratic civic officials.

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Politics & Government
11:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

LPD chief, leading pastor address community's policing concerns

Union Missionary Baptist Church pastor Dr. Melvin T. Jones addresses the crowd gathered for a forum on community and police relations in Lansing.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

For weeks, the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved in their deaths have sparked sometimes violent protests across the country. The cases have even reached mid-Michigan.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Mon December 8, 2014

State, child welfare advocates spar over DHS oversight

Sara Bartosz is lead counsel for Children’s Rights.
Credit http://www.childrensrights.org/

After six years of federal oversight, Michigan is seeking to reclaim control of its child welfare system. The state came under supervision of federal monitors in 2008. That was after a 2006 class action lawsuit that alleged the Michigan Department of Human Services had failed to protect the safety and well-being of almost 19,000 children in state custody.

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Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Snyder: House Transit Plan Not Sufficient

Gov. Rick Snyder holds a piece of concrete that fell from a bridge as he makes the case for a gas tax hike to fix roads.
Credit mprn Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder says a plan adopted by the state House to shift sales taxes collected on fuel sales to roads won’t work.

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Politics & Government
11:15 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Ingham County experiments with police body cameras

Recent police custody deaths have led to a call for more widespread usage of law enforcement body cameras.
Credit Flickr - West Midlands Police

The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.

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Politics & Government
5:25 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Religious Protection Bill Teed Up For House Vote

Credit change.org

A bill that’s supposed to protect people exercising sincerely held religious beliefs has been approved by the state House. It now goes to the state Senate.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

The bill was brought up right after House Speaker Jase Bolger declared the effort to add LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law dead. State Representative Jeff Irwin and other Democrats oppose the bill. He says this would make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Bernstein hopes to bring "blind justice" to state's highest court

Richard Bernstein will become a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in January.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.

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Politics & Government
4:42 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

State House Approves Suspicion-based Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

Credit youngcons.com

Legislation that would revoke welfare payments from people who fail drug tests has passed the state House.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports.

The bill would create a one-year pilot program in three counties that have not yet been selected. Lawmakers could decide to implement a statewide welfare drug testing system later on.

Some Democrats voted against the bill. Representative Diane Slavens says it would unfairly hurt poor children.

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Politics & Government
4:38 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

House Holds Hearing On LGBT Civil Rights Bill

Retired Ford executive and former Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour says adopting LGBT protections in law will help the state attract and retain talent.
Credit mprn Rick Pluta

A state House committee adjourned Wednesday without a vote on legislation to add LGBT protections the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

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Politics & Government
11:16 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lawmakers take up roads, LGBT rights in lame duck

Credit Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard the words “lame duck” in the last few weeks? You have a little while longer to be tired of the term. The Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session lasts for just over two more weeks.

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Politics & Government
5:13 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

State Senate rejects bill to reduce truck weight limits

Credit calhouncounty.org

The state Senate has rejected a bill that would reduce the amount of weight trucks are allowed to carry on Michigan’s roads.

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Politics & Government
4:36 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

MI asks federal judge to end oversight of child foster care

Credit mieb.uscourts.gov

Michigan wants out from under court-ordered oversight of the state’s child foster care system.

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Politics & Government
4:21 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Metro Detroit lawmakers Putting Up Fight Against Road Funding Proposal

Gov. Rick Snyder and MDOT Director Kirk Steudle survey road damage along the Lodge Freeway in Detroit on Monday.
Credit mprn Jake Neher

State lawmakers will spend their last nine session days of the year trying to agree on a way to fix Michigan’s roads.

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