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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More than 100 local units of government in Michigan will be developing plans to ensure retirement benefits they promised employees and retirees are paid in the future.

The state treasury department said Thursday that corrective actions are needed because of underfunded pensions, retirement health care plans, or both.

Michigan Trump supporters
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Stanley Greenberg wants to know what makes the white, working class voters of Macomb County tick.

In 1985, the long-time Democratic pollster and strategist did a now-classic study of "Reagan Democrats" -- the white voters, mostly auto workers, who went for John Kennedy by 63% in 1960 and then Ronald Reagan by 66% in 1984.

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder and state lawmakers just got a windfall of $315 million to spend in the new state budget. It’s the result of better-than-expected economic growth that yielded more tax revenue.

USDAgov / CREATIVE COMMONS - HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The U.S. Senate is taking up net neutrality today. A bill that would protect net neutrality rules from repeal by the Federal Communications Commission passed a procedural hurdle earlier this afternoon.

These Obama-era rules prevented internet service providers like Verizon and Comcast, for example, from speeding up or slowing down traffic from certain apps and websites. Barring changes made by Congress and signed by the President, the FCC's repeal of these rules is set to go into effect on June 11.

money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A woman who worked for the city of Detroit has pleaded guilty to stealing $265,000.

Masharn Franklin worked in Detroit's audit and payroll department where she was in charge of garnishing money from the paychecks of city employees. The government says she came up with a scheme to embezzle money by issuing checks in the names of her relatives.

The FBI so far has recovered $58,000. Franklin pleaded guilty Tuesday and will get her sentence on August 15.

Michigan United

Members of a church that gave an immigrant man sanctuary are walking from Detroit to Lansing to raise awareness of his situation.

Supporters say Ded Rranxburgaj, an Albanian man who's lived in the U.S. since 2001, is the sole support for his disabled wife, who has multiple sclerosis, and his 15-year-old son.  

He's been living in Detroit's Central United Methodist Church for four months after the government revoked his humanitarian status.

Stateside 5.14.2018

May 14, 2018

Today on Stateside, parents and advocates worry about Michigan taking a step closer to privatizing mental health care. Plus, the singer from Warren who grew up to become a top impersonator of Frank Sinatra.

Democrats like their chances in Election 2018 as they hope President Trump’s unfavorables will help them win the House in November.

But Republicans have their own emblematic figure they are using to paint a dark picture of the ramifications of a “blue wave.”

As much as Democrats expect and hope people are ready to get out and vote against Donald Trump, Republicans think and hope the same may be true for the House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After another light voter turnout in the May election, the Genesee County clerk says it’s time to consolidate future elections to August and November.

There were elections May 8 in 66 of Michigan’s 83 counties. Voters were mostly asked to decide school millages and bond requests. 

Clerk John Gleason says the May election in Genesee County drew less than 10%, and in some cases much less.

The four Republican governor candidates on the stage together for the debate
Screenshot from WOOD-TV's stream of the debate / WOOD-TV

The four Republicans running for governor held their first debate this week. It was the first time Attorney General Bill Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Sen. Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines have appeared together on one stage.

There were arguments over the handling of the Flint water crisis and who's the biggest Trump supporter. One thing they all agreed on is that Michigan should not legalize recreational marijuana, but they said they'd respect the wishes of the voters. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what else stood out in the debate.

Stateside 5.11.2018

May 11, 2018

Today on Stateside, a startup CEO says neighbors, not just millionaires, can invest in Detroit too. And, an MSU trustee calls for a "new day." But is it too late?

Joint candidate forum 2018
Rick Pluta / MPRN

This week on the political roundupKen Sikkema, senior policy fellow with Public Sector Consultants and former Republican majority leader in the state Senate, and Vicki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and former Democratic legislator, joined Stateside to discuss their takeaways from the first Republican gubernatorial debate and a forum that brought Republican and Democratic candidates together in East Lansing.

user eljoja / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan voters have some pretty strong feelings when it comes to recreational marijuana.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The four Republicans and three Democrats running for governor appeared on a stage together for the first time today.

The biggest flashpoint came when Republican state Senator Patrick Colbeck said one of the Democrats has connections to Muslim terrorist groups. Abdul El-Sayed fired back that other Republicans should join him in condemning the allegation.

Stateside 5.10.2018

May 10, 2018

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon has covered many sports for numerous media outlets. Today on Stateside, he talks to us about his latest book, a collection of stories and essays written between 1992 and 2018. Plus, the GOP candidates for governor hold their first debate. And we hear what henna tattoos can do for women battling cancer.

RAWPIXEL / PIXABAY

Two and a half million people in Michigan get their health care coverage through Medicaid or the Healthy Michigan Medicaid expansion.

But the work requirement bill recently passed by the state Senate, and now being considered by the House, could mean tens of thousands of people lose their health insurance.

The four Republican governor candidates on the stage together for the debate
Screenshot from WOOD-TV's stream of the debate / WOOD-TV

 


 

The four Republicans who want to be your next Governor held a debate last night in Grand Rapids on WOOD TV.

 

It was the first time Attorney General Bill SchuetteLieutenant Governor Brian CalleyState Senator Patrick Colbeck, and Saginaw obstetrician Dr. Jim Hines were all together on one stage. 

Bridge Magazine

State officials say a top Democratic candidate for governor is eligible to run.

Abdul El-Sayed was registered to vote in New York state from 2012 until 2015. Michigan’s Constitution requires candidates for governor to be a registered voter in Michigan for at least four years prior to taking office.

But despite that, the state Bureau of Elections says El-Sayed, the former Detroit health department director, is still eligible to run for governor.

Michigan Truth Squad: Bill Schuette’s stand on transparent government

May 9, 2018
Bill Schuette
Bridge Magazine

Republican gubernatorial candidates Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley have traded barbs in previous weeks over accusations of political showmanship and lack of conservative bonafides.

Now the question of whether both candidates have a plan to increase government accountability has taken to Twitter, where Schuette threw down the gauntlet over their transparency track records.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters went to the polls yesterday in several cities across the state, including Jackson, Kalamazoo and Kalkaska.

Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry and Morning Edition host Doug Tribou discuss the results.

Michigan Truth Squad: Democrat candidates blast Nestlé’s ‘free’ water

May 8, 2018
Bridge photo by Jim Malewitz

The Democratic race for Michigan governor is getting spirited, but all three candidates still find plenty to agree on ‒ including criticism of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for granting Nestlé Waters North America permission to tap up to 400 gallons of water per minute (up from 250 gallons) from one Osceola County well.

Keyboard with a"Jobs" button
Got Credit / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroiters hit with driver responsibility fees have a new way to get their drivers licenses back as soon as this month.

The city announced a program Tuesday that allows residents to clear those fees before automatic statewide forgiveness kicks in October 1. The only requirement: residents must complete at least 10 hours of free workforce development training.

Stateside 5.7.2018

May 7, 2018

Can safe injection sites help reduce drug use and disease in Grand Rapids? We discuss that question today on Stateside. Also today, we hear where 2019 budget talks stand right now. 

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers continue to plug away at crafting a budget for 2019.

The House passed its budget bills on April 24, and the Senate's bills passed last Thursday.

Now comes the task of ironing out differences between the two.

Kathy Smith
Macomb County

Macomb County has a new clerk, for now.

The county’s circuit court judges unanimously picked longtime county employee Kathy Smith to temporarily head the clerk’s office Monday.

Do you have a right to have your name counted when you sign a petition? Or, can it be thrown out on a technicality that has nothing to do with you?

There are two recent instances in Michigan where, although signatures on a petition were collected, it’s unclear whether those signatures will actually be counted.

On the Kalamazoo River just downstream from the confluence of Talmadge Creek. Around 1 million gallons of tar sands oil spilled into the river in 2010.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A new study says Michigan's economy would take a big hit if there was an oil spill in the Mackinac Straits. A Michigan State University professor estimates a spill could cost the state's economy more than $6 billion. Enbridge Energy says the study is "flawed" and based on "unrealistic estimates." This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the study's potential impact.

Michigan Governor seal
Wikimedia Commons

This week on the political roundup, Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow with Public Sector Consultants and former Republican majority leader in the state senate, and Vicki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and former Democratic legislator, joined Stateside to discuss recent developments in the primary races for governor.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A new law makes it tougher and more expensive for losing candidates to demand a recount of election results.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the new law Thursday. It's a response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein calling a recount of Michigan’s 2016 election results. She demanded the recount even though she got less than 1 percent of the vote.

rawpixel / pixabay

The state House opened hearings today on a bill that would require many able-bodied adults on Medicaid to find work, or be in school. If the bill is adopted, Michigan would have one of the toughest Medicaid work requirements in the nation.

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