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The week in Michigan politics

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In this “Week in Michigan politics” Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss Governor Rick Snyder’s upcoming State of the State address and how a judge ruling over the Detroit Public School district could set a precedent for emergency managers in the state.

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his State of the State address this evening. One of the issues he's expected to discuss is money for roads, bridges, and rail.

Lessenberry says this will be a big focus because, “every study agrees that the state needs to put a whole lot more money into roads just to maintain them in the condition they are,” He says, “This is now somewhere between $1.4 and 1.6 billion just to maintain them and to prevent them from collapsing into gravel and powder, same thing with the bridges.”

As far as where they money will come from, Lessenberry says some ideas the governor has mentioned involve raising the gas tax. One of his earlier ideas he abandoned was raising car registration fees.

But with any tax increase, there’s opposition. Lessenberry says not only would Republicans not want a tax increase, but, “Democrats are so bitter at the Governor over right to work and some other things. They’re inclined to vote against anything for something they would normally favor.”

Shockley and Lessenberry also discuss how a court ruling today could determine what power the Detroit Public School board has over operations.  

Christina began her career in radio at Michigan Radio while a student at the University of Michigan. She was a producer and researcher for The Todd Mundt Show, and then hosted Weekend Edition.