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In this morning's Michigan news headlines

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Brother O'Mara
Morning News Roundup, Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Presidential Visit

President Obama made a broad, impassioned case for his re-election in Metro Detroit yesterday. Sarah Cwiek reports:

The President resurrected the “change” theme of his 2008 campaign. He said change is a slow process. But he touted some milestones of his first term, including health care reform and the resurgence of the U.S. auto industry. The Henry Ford Museum hosted the first of the two Metro Detroit fundraisers for the President. He then moved on to a private fundraiser at the Bingham Farms home of businesswoman Denise Ilitch. The top price for a ticket there: $40,000.

The President was last in the state in January when he spoke about college affordability at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

Snyder in Afghanistan

Governor Snyder made a surprise trip to Afghanistan this week to meet with Michigan Air and Army Guard units. The trip was organized by the U.S. Department of Defense. In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Snyder said the trip made him more committed to helping returning veterans.“I can tell from the experiences that I’ve had, it just makes me even more determined to say, for the hard work, the wonderful effort our service people are doing for us in all these countries, we need to a better job of helping them find a job, their health care.” Snyder, along with the Governors of Rhode Island and South Dakota, first stopped in Kuwait and, after his stay in Afghanistan, will travel to Germany before returning back to Michigan.

Calley Signs Autism Bill

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley signed a bill into law yesterday that will require insurance companies to cover childhood autism treatments. Rick Pluta reports:

Calley signed the bill to the applause of families and activists who’ve spent years lobbying for the coverage mandate. The issue is a personal one for Calley, who has a daughter with autism. He says early treatments help autistic children grow up to be self-sufficient and will save taxpayers money on special education and public assistance. Calley says there will also be more and better services for families now that autism specialists know their services will be covered. He says the administration has not taken a position on extending the coverage mandate to mental health conditions.

The lieutenant governor signed the legislation because Governor Snyder is overseas.*Correction - an earlier version of this story stated "and other advocacy groups said insurance companies should also cover treatments for other mental health disorders." ASD is classified as a developmental disorder. The copy has been corrected above.

Zoe Clark is Michigan Radio’s Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.