There are 59 different taxes yielding nearly $40 billion in public revenue. That is a snapshot of current Michigan tax levies contained in a comprehensive new report. The money is used to pay for police and fire protection, Medicaid coverage, state employee salaries, schools, roads and lots more.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week came out with another controversial ruling on our nation’s campaign finance laws.
In the case McCutcheon versus the FEC, the Supreme Court struck down the limits on the overall amount of money an individual can give to all federal candidates and committees in a two-year election cycle.
Last week, Michigan House Republicans proposed a new funding plan that would allocate nearly a half billion dollars each year through 2018 to repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. Fixing Michigan roads is a perennial problem each spring, and the situation is particularly dire after such a severe winter. Certainly, everyone wants their own neighborhood streets and highways repaired first. But transportation planners and engineers must rely on hard data to make decisions about which roads get fixed, and when.
Michigan's Democratic candidate for Governor, Mark Schauer, selected his running mate this week. To no one's surprise, Schauer selected Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown.
Before her election as Clerk, the West Bloomfield resident represented central Oakland County for two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before that, she worked both as an attorney and realtor.
The Pure Michigan brand has brought attention to the state’s lakes, breweries and museums. Some are hoping that the Pure Michigan designation may bring the same attention to the state’s trail systems. Recently, a five bill package was introduced to lawmakers that would promote a “Pure Michigan Trail Network.” The bill would solidify trail standards and connect trail ways with communities.
General Motors has recalled 2.6-million vehicles for ignition switch failures, failures that are linked to at least 13 deaths. Considering the recent $1.2 billion dollar penalty levied against Toyota for that company’s problems related to sudden accelerations, dealing with the ignition switch problem could become very costly to the automaker.
At the end of every calendar month, Current State hosts its regular reporter roundtable to review the biggest stories of that month. Current State looked back at the drop out of a shoe-in, the unresolved gay marriage issue, the bumps facing road funding and the contest for Attorney General in Michigan.
One of the issues being considered at the state capitol in recent weeks is the regulation of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat up a liquified nicotine solution. That produces a vapor rather than the smoke from tobacco cigarettes. Users call this “vaping” as opposed to smoking.
Mike Rogers, U.S. representative of our 8th district in East Lansing, says he will not seek reelection after his term ends this year. He made the announcement official on a Detroit radio station, and said that he has been invited regularly to talk about national security issues on T.V. and radio.
After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night: The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.
The legal status of same-sex marriage here in Michigan was taken for quite the ride over the weekend. Late Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Bernard Friedman declared Michigan’s 2004 ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. By Saturday afternoon, the clerks in four Michigan counties – Washtenaw, Muskegon, Oakland and Ingham – issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s request to put the ruling on hold was granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. That temporary hold lasts until Wednesday.
General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.
It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature two services from the Capital Area United Way: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and their 2-1-1 support line.
The controversy over wolf hunting continues in Michigan with new developments this week.
Last November and December, hunters killed 23 wolves in three parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. That was a little more than half the number allowed under the state's new wolf hunting rules. The wolf debate didn't end with the hunt, though.
Drunk driving has been a public safety problem for years across the United States. A similar and growing threat is that of drugged driving. Some new law enforcement programs are targeting people who get behind the wheel under the influence of various drugs, sometimes in combination with alcohol.
On February 21, a campus-wide email was sent out by Paulette Granberry Russell, MSU’s Title IX Coordinator and director of its Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. In it, she stated that the university was “collaborating” with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. It was later revealed by local news outlets that MSU was in fact under a federal investigation for its policies and response to sexual assault claims.
A deal to renew federal benefits for the country’s long-term unemployed continues to elude the U.S. Congress. However, supporters of the effort, which include Democrats and a growing number of Republicans, are hopeful of a breakthrough in the Senate this week. There, Senators are looking at two proposals, one from each party.
Another Democrat has announced her candidacy to represent Lansing and East Lansing in Congress.
Susan Grettenberger is the director of Central Michigan University's Social Work Program and an associate professor in the department. In a news release about her candidacy last week, the Lansing resident discussed "a theme of economic populism and giving voice to everyday Americans."
The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments today on what should be done with more than 350 prison inmates sentenced to life with no chance of parole as juveniles. The Michigan case follows a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring life without parole sentences for minors violates the U.S. constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Since 2006, East Lansing's Prima Civitas has been a catalyst for economic and community development --initially in mid-Michigan and eventually across the state. The non-profit brings together business owners, entrepreneurs and Michigan State University resources to spark economic growth.
The Michigan Political Leadership Program, or MPLP, is designed to promote diversity and dialogue in how our communities, our state, and our nation are run. It started in 1992 and is administered by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University.
Every year, 24 people from across the state and across the political spectrum are chosen for the 10-month program. They develop skills to help them win elections, address the media and serve their constituents. The latest group has just started the program.
Michael Colaresi researched 136 civil wars from 1936 to 2007 for his recent study, “With Friends Like These, Who Needs Democracy? The Effect of Transnational Support from Rivals on Post-Conflict Democratization.”
There’s probably never been a time in history when there wasn’t war and conflict going on somewhere in the world, but amid the Arab Spring and the situation between Russia and Ukraine, right now seems like an especially good time to talk to an expert on international conflict.
Mason Democrat Tom Cochran prevailed in the 67th State House District race last November. In his freshman term, the former Lansing fire chief sits on the House Transportation and the Insurance committee.
He shares his thoughts on state's road funding, the leadership of Michigan Democrats, and getting acclimated to the state capitol.
On December 15, the day after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, a stay-at-home mom in suburban Indianapolis founded One Million Moms for Gun Control.
Now called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Shannon Watts’ initial Facebook page has transformed into more than 80 chapters and hundreds of thousands of members nationwide. Their goal is to become the MADD equivalent for gun violence while advocating for “sensible” gun regulations.
In five weeks, Michigan’s so-called Right to Work law takes effect. Some local Michigan teacher unions are working to lock in new contracts before then. In some cases, it’s an effort to delay the impact of the controversial new law since it will not include contracts already in place by March 27, when it takes effect.
There’s been significant movement at the state capitol regarding medical marijuana recently. The week before last, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the state’s pot law does not allow dispensaries. But late last week, State Representative Mike Callton of Nashville announced he’ll introduce a bill that would allow businesses to dispense cannabis.
Stuart Dunnings Jr. is Ingham County prosecutor and among the many legal officials and police who’ve been frustrated by the vagaries of Michigan’s medical marijuana law. Robin Schneider is a Lansing resident and a legislative liaison for the National Patients’ Rights Association. They both help clear some of the haze around Michigan's medical marijuana regulations.