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It’s Just Politics: Recapping Mackinac, and Republican infighting over state budget

As state political leaders leave the Grand Hotel after this week's Mackinac Policy Conference, there's a state budget waiting for them to settle and approve in Lansing.
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
As state political leaders leave the Grand Hotel after this week's Mackinac Policy Conference, there's a state budget waiting for them to settle and approve in Lansing.

The Mackinac Policy Conference wrapped up today. Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team, Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta?, were on the island covering it all week.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley announced a government reform initiative, but it was not the announcement many expected him to make. Republicans are in the preparatory stages of dropping their names in the hat for Michigan’s next gubernatorial election, and it was thought that Calley could announce his candidacy at this year’s policy conference.

Although that announcement didn’t come, Pluta said it’s clear Calley intends to run. Republican Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is also widely expected to run for governor.

Republicans control every branch of state government in Michigan, but there’s still in-fighting over the state budget and the issue of teacher retirement plans. Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof support getting rid of the pension system for teachers and replacing it with 401(k) style plans for new teacher hires instead.

Governor Snyder has made a tradition of passing the state budget in early June, but Republicans in favor of defined contribution retirement plans for teachers are threatening to hold up the budget approval process.

Listen to the entire conversation with Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, above. 

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