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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Once again, the city of Flint is being put on notice by the state about problems with its water system. 

Last year, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality listed more than dozen things the city needed to do to address problems with the water system and personnel.

Apparently some of those issues remain. 

Jennifer Granholm has been out of Michigan's gubernatorial office for over seven years. But, this year, her name is back in the spotlight. 

With Republicans running the show in Lansing for the past eight years, it has been especially hard for GOP gubernatorial candidates to run on the basis of change. This election is expected to be a referendum on Donald Trump and the way Republicans are managing things in Washington D.C., or the legacy of Rick Snyder. 

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers expect to hold a key vote on the remaining bills in response to Larry Nassar this week. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor in prison for sexually assaulting his patients.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Marijuana advocates say they are watching “very closely” as a deadline looms for Michigan’s legislature to decide whether to act or not on a petition to legalize recreational pot.

Stateside 6.1.2018

Jun 1, 2018

Today on Stateside, a marijuana industry consultant talks business trends, diversity as nation's largest cannabis confeerence kicks off in Detroit. Also, what are the consequences for Michigan manufacturers as tariffs on steel and aluminum take effect. 

To listen to individual interviews, click here or see below. 

Mackinac Bridge
Julie Falk / Flickr

 


The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Island Policy Conference wraps up today. Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team was there listening to speeches and talking to state leaders about policy, petitions, and politics.

Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief and Zoe Clark, Michigan Radio programming director and resident political junkie spoke with Stateside about some of the highlights of the conference. 

money
Mathieu Turle / unsplash

State lawmakers can now vote to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law. Prevailing wage requires the state pay union-scale wages on its contracts.

The Board of State Canvassers certified a ballot initiative today. It gives the Legislature a chance to pass the measure instead of letting the voters decide.

Supporters of prevailing wage say it helps people who work in the skilled trades.

But opponents of the law have been trying to get rid of it for years. They say it inflates the cost of government projects.

Stateside 5.31.2018

May 31, 2018

On Stateside today, House Speaker Tom Leonard talks next steps on marijuana legalization, paid sick leave, and community mental health. Plus: Why is pickleball America's fastest growing sport? 

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below. 

Map of Detroit Metro Transit plan
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Audio: A conversation with Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist. 

One hot topic at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week is the future of regional transportation in Southeast Michigan — particularly a proposed millage to fund the expansion of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.

Daniel Howes is a Detroit News business columnist. He speaks with Stateside about regional divide and larger issues at the core of the RTA debate. 

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

young people register to vote on campus
Nadine OG / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

AUDIO: Stateside's conversation with Tom Steyer, a Democratic donor from California and the founder of NextGen America

California billionaire and Democratic donor Tom Steyer is in Detroit today with NextGen America, his campaign to register young people to vote in November.

Steyer joined Stateside to talk to us about the campaign.

Listen above to hear why this three-day boot camp is based in Detroit, what the goal of the weekend is, and what NextGen America's hope is for November.

Brittany ⎈ Colette / Unsplash

For many people Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. But its official purpose is to remember and honor those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

Michigan is one of many states that lays claim to being the birthplace of the national holiday. However, like so many things in our nation’s past, Memorial Day stirred up controversy when it was created after the Civil War. 

Michigan's 13th congressional district
Wikipedia

The son of former U.S. Rep. John Conyers is asking a judge to order that his name be placed on this summer's Democratic primary ballot.

The Detroit News reports John Conyers III filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

County Clerk Cathy Garrett ruled last week that Conyers III didn't have enough signatures to make it on the Aug. 7 ballot to fill out the final two months of his father's term or for the full term that starts in January.

The Mackinac Policy Conference is held at the Grand Hotel
Deb Nystrom / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference kicks off today.

Big names in Michigan politics, business, philanthropy, tech, education, and more will be on Mackinac Island for the annual event put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. senator wants the Trump administration to provide more information to Congress about what’s on the table in talks with North Korea.

The on-again/off-again summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un appears to be back on-again.

Trump withdrew from a planned June 12 Singapore summit with Kim last Thursday, then quickly announced that the meeting could get back on track..

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats are hoping for a “Blue Wave” in state legislative races in November. 

But Republicans are seeing a “green wave” of campaign donations.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A campaign to amend the Michigan Constitution is asking a judge to order a state board to certify its question for the November ballot.

The amendment would create an independent commission to handle drawing legislative and congressional district lines. The campaign says that would take partisan politics out of the re-districting process.

Republicans don’t like the proposal. And this week, the Republican chair of the Board of State Canvassers abruptly canceled a meeting to certify the campaign had gathered enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Stateside 5.24.2018

May 24, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn what's in the Nassar-related bills passed by the House. And, we continute checking in with the 2018 gubernatorial candidates in an interview with Bill Schuette.

Bill Schuette
Bill Schuette / Facebook.com

 

It's just starting to feel like summer, but Michigan's candidates for governor are focused on November.

We've sat down with the Democrats running for their party's nomination. And now, we turn to those vying for a spot as the GOP's contendor.

Ford Service Department employees assault a UAW organizer in what came known as the Battle of the Overpass
James E. (Scotty) Kilpatrick of the Detroit News / Battle of the Overpass photo courtesy of the Archives of Michigan

Do corporations have too much power and too little oversight? That question has dominated American society since the Civil War and it does not seem to be going away any time soon.

Over the decades, the political pendulum has swung back and forth between workers’ rights and corporate power.

Passengers prepare to board the high-speed rail in Minneapolis
Micheal Hicks / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The counties in Southeast Michigan cannot agree on a regional transportation plan. Regional unity, as is well known, is an uphill struggle in the state.

A new report, recently completed for Michigan Future, Inc., discusses another Great Lakes state that has had major success in creating a unified regional transportation for its citizens, among other things.

The new report by journalist Rick Haglund is called Regional Collaboration Matters: How Metro Minneapolis has forged one of the wealthiest and most livable metropolitan areas in the United States.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Michigan Libertarian governor candidates decline to disclose financial details

May 22, 2018
income tax
ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Neither of the Libertarian Party candidates for Michigan’s governor would release their 2017 tax returns to Bridge Magazine.

Bill Gelineau, who works at a Grand Rapids-area title agency, and John Tatar, a retired teacher from Wayne County’s Redford Township, both said they comply with state campaign finance laws. Anything beyond that, they said, is voluntary.

Libertarians in Michigan will choose their candidate for governor in a primary challenge, the first for the party in state history.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan House is scaling back legislation inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case after Michigan State University agreed to a $500 million settlement with victims.

A House committee Tuesday adopted new versions of Senate-passed bills. Voting is expected this week.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Michigan Democrats El-Sayed, Whitmer disclose taxes; Shri Thanedar does not

May 22, 2018
income tax
ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

At a recent Michigan Press Association forum, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shri Thanedar effusively endorsed greater financial transparency of political candidates: “The quick answer is, absolutely, yes we must.”

Yet Thanedar, an Ann Arbor businessman whose business career includes booms and busts, has refused to release any details about his finances to Bridge Magazine, including his 2017 tax return.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: Three of four Republicans share tax returns. Bill Schuette said he will soon.

May 22, 2018
income tax
ccPixs.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Three of the four GOP candidates for Michigan’s governor have released their 2017 federal income tax returns, following a financial disclosure request from Bridge Magazine.

The fourth, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the presumed frontrunner, filed for an extension with the IRS, his campaign said, with 2017 returns to be released when they are available.

But it was real estate, not tax returns, that has escalated tensions in the last week between Schuette and Republican rival Lt. Gov. Brian Calley over Schuette’s finances.

Congressman John Conyers
The Henry Ford / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The son of former U.S. Rep. John Conyers will not have his name printed on the Aug. 7 Democratic primary ballot to replace his father. 

Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett decided Monday that John Conyers III had fewer than the 1,000 valid nominating petition signatures needed.

Garrett said Conyers III didn't have enough signatures to make the ballot to fill out the final two months of his father's term or for the full term that starts in January.

He can appeal the ruling in county court.

This year, Libertarians will join Republicans and Democrats with candidates on the August primary ballot in Michigan. This is something that doesn’t happen very often. In fact, the last time a third party qualified to hold a primary in Michigan was 1998.

Stateside 5.18.2018

May 18, 2018

Today on Stateside, state Senator Mike Shirkey says the unemployment exemption will be dropped from the final Medicaid work requirment bill. And, Interim Michigan State University President John Engler joins the show to discuss the proposed $500 million settlement with victims of Larry Nassar.

http://www.senatormikeshirkey.com/

After scathing criticism of a proposed Medicaid work requirement many saw as racist, the lawmaker behind the plan is backing off.

Under the plan, people who live in Michigan counties with more than 8.5 percent unemployment would've been exempt from the work rule.  Those are rural, mostly white counties. 

401(K) CALCULATOR / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1XMSZCG

It’s an election year and in addition to candidates, there will be a number of proposals on the ballot. A crucial ingredient for any successful ballot campaign is cash, lots of cash.

Several of the ballot campaigns have raised nearly $1 million already.

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