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Politics & Government

Netanyahu speaks, DPS reaches for financial stability and the Michigan Chamber stays neutral

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress.
PBS NewsHour
/
screenshot from YouTube

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, a new push toward financial stability for Detroit’s schools and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s decision to sit out Proposal 1.

Netanyahu's speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before Congress yesterday at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner.

Some lawmakers chose to boycott the speech, including Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers.

Lessenberry wasn’t surprised by Conyers’ decision.

“John Conyers has always been loyal to the Obama administration and has always done his own thing anyway,” Lessenberry said. “I’m surprised more people didn’t boycott the speech.”

Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools’ newest emergency manager Darnell Earley said he wants to be the last one to hold the position.

Yesterday, Earley announced his plan to stabilize the district’s finances and boost academic performance.

Lessenberry said stopping the “freefall” of students leaving the district is a vital first step.

“Clearly, [DPS] needs to persuade parents that [the schools] are a good value, that their students wouldn’t be better off in a charter school,” Lessenberry said.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Earlier this week, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced it won’t take a stance on the roads funding proposal coming up on the May ballot.

The group said its members were not able to reach a consensus on the issue.

Lessenberry said the statement shows Governor Rick Snyder’s lack of clout with the Chamber.

“You would normally expect a Chamber to support a Republican governor, but their membership is torn,” Lessenberry said. “Some of them don’t want to pay any more taxes at all, and some of them don’t think the sales tax is the right way to do this.”

-Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom