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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

City of Detroit

After years of being ravaged by property tax foreclosures that claimed more than one in three city homes,  Detroit will see fewer than 5,000 properties go to the annual Wayne County tax auction this fall.

The county announced preliminary 2018 tax foreclosure numbers Friday. They show the county is set to foreclose on 4,676 properties this year, with 1,499 of them occupied properties.

pixabay

Michigan is one of only two states in the nation that does not require candidates for statewide office to file financial disclosures, according to state Rep.Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor.

Rabhi is one of 31 Democrats in the State House to voluntarily submit the documentation, in a show of support for bills spearheaded by Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids.

Rabhi says voters deserve more transparency in government.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit expanded a program this year that gives some people a last-minute chance to avoid tax foreclosure, but its reach could be limited by time and money.

CG for AG Facebook

A federal prosecutor has quit his job to launch an independent candidacy for Michigan attorney general.

Christopher Graveline headed the violent crime unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit, prosecuting gang members and drug traffickers. He faces a July 19 deadline to collect 30,000 signatures from voters to get on the November ballot.

Graveline has support from Barbara McQuade, his former boss and a University of Michigan law professor. McQuade was U.S. attorney for eastern Michigan under President Barack Obama.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some supporters of an anti-gerrymandering ballot proposal are targeting the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and particularly board chairman Mark Davidoff, over the Chamber’s support for a lawsuit that aims to get the proposal removed from the November ballot.

graffiti saying "vote"
Flickr user H2Woah! / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

For the first time in Michigan history, Libertarian candidates for governor will be on the August primary ballot. That’s because the party got enough Michigan votes in the 2016 election to put the party on the primary ballot.

Libertarian Party of West Michigan Vice Chair, Jamie Lewis, said getting the party on the primary ballot helps people know early on that they have options besides Republicans and Democrats.

A flooded road in Houghton.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

The state is asking President Trump to declare three Upper Peninsula counties hit by flash flooding last month disaster areas.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley wants the federal designation extended to Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. Those counties were hit by record-breaking rainfall on June 17th, flooding homes, buckling roads, and causing one death.

steel bars
Pixabay

 


On Friday, President Trump's first tariffs hit $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Beijing quickly responded with its own tariffs on equal amounts of American-made goods. Many believe that this back-and-forth between China and U.S. is the start of a trade war.

Imported steel and aluminum are one of the main targets of Trump’s latest tariffs. 

Dan Cooper is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. He sat down with Stateside's Cynthia Canty to discuss why these tariffs would have minimal effect on the U.S. if the country did a better job recycling its scrap metal. 

Wikimedia Commons

The Trump administration has extended temporary protections for some Yemenis currently living in the U.S., but the decision also leaves others in a state of limbo.

Screenshot / Off the Record / WKAR-TV

Two Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate squared off on Friday. During a debate on WKAR-TV’s Off the Record, Sandy Pensler and John James both said they were the best choice to take on incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow, though the candidates mostly focused on each other – not Stabenow – during the debate.

Pensler and James sharply disagreed on the issue of capital punishment. Pensler said he’s okay with the death penalty in extreme cases. But James said it disproportionately affects the poor.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Courtesy of Governor Snyder's office

Recent blogs from the free-market think tank the Mackinac Center for Public Policy applauded Governor Snyder's $10 million cut to what it calls "the state’s corporate and industrial handout complex." 

Tonya Schuitmaker
Senate PhotoWire

 

On August 25th, Republicans will meet for the 2018 state convention to nominate candidates. 

Among those vying for the nomination for Michigan Attorney General are Representative Tom Leonard, currently Speaker of the House, and state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker.

Stateside 7.6.2018

Jul 6, 2018

On today's Stateside, Congressman Dan Kildee talks about his visit to one of the centers that house migrant children separated from their parents at the border. Plus, a Zeeland drum maker who makes everything from snare drums to professional quality tambourines. 

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below: 

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

There is just over a month to go before Michigan’s primary elections on August 7th. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) says she has concerns about some of the individuals President Trump is considering naming to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Though she declines to say which of the prospective candidates to fill the vacancy on the nation’s highest court concern her.

Trump is promising to select a "great" Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. He’s expected to name his choice Monday.

US Census Form
Heidi Ponagai / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today a U.S. House Committee is holding a hearing to get a progress report on the 2020 census. 

If the Trump administration gets its way, the next census will have something that hasn't been on a census in 70 years: a question about your citizenship status.

That has critics on high alert, fearing the question will keep non-citizens and even legal immigrants from responding to the census.

They say an inaccurate head-count is bad for their communities, and for Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats running for governor were busy today walking in parades, handing out candy to children, while talking to their parents about voting in next month’s primary.

With one month to go in the campaign before the August primary, candidate Gretchen Whitmer says it’s “all hands on deck.”

“We’re on the doors. We’re on the phones. I’m attending events across Michigan at senior centers or parades,” Whitmer said as she waited for the start of Wyandotte’s 4th of July parade, her second parade of the morning. 

governor snyder at podium
Gov. Snyder signs Medicaid bill last month / Facebook

Last week, a federal judge blocked the State of Kentucky from the requiring low-income people to work in order to qualify for Medicaid.

In Michigan last month, Governor Snyder signed a similar bill. It requires all able-bodied Medicaid recipients work, or possibly lose their Medicaid benefits.

So how will the Kentucky decision impact the fate of Michigan's law?

Stateside 7.3.2018

Jul 4, 2018

Today on Stateside, we learn about the longest-running Korean language and culture summer camp, which has taken place for 44 years in Roscommon, Michigan. Plus, if voters decide to legalize recreational marijuana this November, what will and won't be legal? 

Listen to individual conversations by clicking here or see below: 

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Most Detroiters facing possible water shutoffs will get a short reprieve this week.

According to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, the reprieve is due to the July 4th holiday coming right in the middle of the week, not the high heat that’s expected to continue for the next few days.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters of a new plan to bring single-payer health care to Michigan rallied at the state Capitol Monday.  

The legislative proposal promises to cut health care costs by twelve to twenty percent. The plan calls for paying Michigan’s health care bill with a mix of progressive income and business taxes, along with federal funds.

Michigan's 14th congressional district
Public Domain

Michigan really does has a gerrymandering problem, according to a non-partisan group’s report.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder credits a stronger economy, as well as state and local reforms, for an absence of Michigan cities and school districts being run by state appointed emergency managers.

This is the first time since 2000 that there is not a single emergency manager running a Michigan city or school district. Highland Park schools were taken out from under state oversight last month. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

General Motors is warning that President Trump’s threatened tariffs on car imports could shrink the company and cost U.S. jobs.

Stateside 6.29.2018

Jun 29, 2018

On today's Stateside, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow weighs in on proposed changes to food stamp benefits in the farm bill. Plus, Detroit native Mario Moore's new exhibit, which he began working on after he had brain surgery, explores images of black men at rest. 

To hear individual interview, click here or see below: 

Debbie Stabenow
stabenow.senate.gov

 


Yesterday, the United States Senate passed the farm bill, which establishes agricultural and food policy for the next five years. One key component within the bill is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often referred to as food stamps. 

The Senate version of the farm bill differs substantially from the House version in regards to SNAP. 

Debbie Stabenow is a U.S. Senator for Michigan and the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She spoke with Stateside’s Lester Graham about the differences between the House and Senate versions of this year's bill.

Kenny Eishoff / WDIV

Thursday night’s Republican governor’s debate saw Attorney General Bill Schuette touting his ties to President Trump, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley focusing on his record with Gov. Snyder, State Senator Patrick Colbeck playing up his conservative credentials, and Dr. Jim Hines playing the role of non-politician outsider in the race.

On Stateside today, Michigan has budgeted tens of millions of dollars to improve an indigent defense system consistently ranked as one of the worst in the country. Plus, should companies that bottle Michigan water be paying more in taxes? 

To hear individual interviews, click here or see below: 

A group trying to get a redistricting measure on the November ballot says arguments against the measure by the state Attorney General are redundant.

Schuette submitted a brief to the Michigan Supreme Court – it’s currently deciding if it will look at a court case filed by a group that wants to keep the proposal off the ballot. This comes after a 3-0 decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals that ordered the state’s election committee to send the proposal to the ballot.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed has proposed a sweeping overhaul of Michigan’s public education systems that would increase school funding, provide universal early childhood education, and make college near tuition and debt-free for most students.

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