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Stateside: Whitmer’s plan for rural roads; Chicago Hamilton star on MI roots; Hash Bash turns 48

sunset in frankenmuth michigan with bridge and road
The money raised by Gov. Whitmer's proposed 45-cent gas tax increase would be distributed based on a new funding formula that gives more money to heavily-trafficked, urban roads and less to more rural areas.

Today on Stateside, we talk about how the money from Governor Gretchen Whitmer's proposed 45-cent gas tax increase would be divvied up. Plus, we hear from an Ann Arbor man who was among the attendees at the inaugural 1972 Hash Bash. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Rural roads would get smaller cut of new money under Gov. Whitmer’s funding plan 

Stateside's conversation with Lindsay VanHulle

  • Governor Whitmer's road funding plan has a lot of people talking about the pros and cons of the proposed 45-cent per gallon hike in gasoline taxes. But there's another new element to the plan. It would change the way money collected from those taxes is divvied up among the state's roads.
  • Bridge Magazine reporter Lindsay VanHulle joins Stateside to talk about how this would impact rural areas of the states, which would get a smaller cut of the new revenue than more heavily-trafficked urban areas. 

Free Press investigation raises ethical questions about Duggan’s use of city resources to boost nonprofit 

Statesides' conversation with Kat Stafford

  • Reducing infant mortality has been a top priority for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and he chose Wayne State University physician Dr. Sonia Hassan to lead this effort. The Detroit Free Press has been investigating if Mayor Duggan used city resources to try and help a nonprofit headed by Hassan, and whether ethical lines were crossed. 
  • Kat Stafford from the Detroit Free Press joins Stateside to talk about what she found in her reporting on whether the mayor gave special treatment to Hassan's group. 

From church choir to studying opera at MSU, Southfield native reflects on his path to Hamilton stardom

Stateside's conversation with Jonathan Kirkland

  • Michiganders have been making the most of not having to travel to Chicago or New York to see the smash hit musical Hamilton. The hip-hop musical about the "ten-dollar Founding Father without a father" continues its run at Detroit's Fisher Theatre. It will open in East Lansing in May, and make its way to Grand Rapids in January 2020. 
  • Southfield native and Michigan State University graduate Jonathan Kirkland played the role of George Washington for two years in the Chicago production of the show. Kirkland joined Stateside in late December to talk about how he got his start in music, and what his time in Hamilton's Chicago company meant to him.
  • This interview was originally broadcast on January 7, 2019. 


Breaking down the GOP legislative maneuver to “adopt and amend” ballot initiatives in the same session


Stateside's conversation with Vicki Barnett and Ken Sikkema

  • Michigan lawmakers adopted two ballot proposals before the election last year: one raising the minimum wage, and the other mandating paid sick time. But organizers of the ballot campaigns weren't celebrating. That's because the state legislature moved quickly to scale them way back.

  • We talk to our Friday political commentators about the legislative strategy known as "adopt and amend." Vicki Barnett is a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic state legislator. Ken Sikkema is a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader.

During first year of legal weed in Michigan, Hash Bash is partying like it’s 1972 

Stateside's conversation with Chuck Ream

  • It's been nearly five decades since the first Hash Bash brought together cannabis-lovers in Ann Arbor on April 1, 1972. Chuck Ream, one of the attendees at the first Hash Bash and a cannabis advocate, joins Stateside to talk about the event's history, and discuss how he's seen attitudes toward marijuana use shift over time. 

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