Stateside: Movement on regional transit; business tax incentives; missed lessons from PBB crisis | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Movement on regional transit; business tax incentives; missed lessons from PBB crisis

Nov 18, 2019

Today on Stateside, a reboot of efforts to expand regional transit in Southeast Michigan. Plus, as the state tackles PFAS contamination, we look at the lessons missed in the 1973 PBB crisis in St. Louis, Michigan.

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

Proposed legislation could set table for push to get public transit tax on 2020 ballot

  • County executives for Wayne and Oakland Counties, the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan joined to support legislation today that could clear the way to get a funding proposal for regional transit on the ballot next November. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek was at the event today, and shared why the proposed bill is necessary for a regional transit expansion in southeast Michigan.

County Executive says Macomb “all in” on public transit for years, shows little interest in new regional partnership

  • The last effort to push through funding for a Regional Transit Authority was in 2016. It collapsed under opposition from then-Oakland County L.Brooks Patterson and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. And that opposition from Hackel appears unchanged: Macomb is not part of today's announcement. Hackel recapped what his objections are to the RTA then and now.

Bacon: Coach Dantonio has tough decision to make on future at MSU

  • You can practically hear the cheers still echoing around Ann Arbor after the Michigan Wolverines took home the Paul Bunyan trophy for a second straight year, beating Michigan State 44-10. Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U Bacon explained what the win means for the two head coaches.

MSU economist: Business tax incentives need to be less frequent, more accountable

  • How far should the state of Michigan go in luring businesses with tax breaks? That's at the heart of a debate over incentives like the Good Jobs for Michigan program and whether it should be continued. This program lets companies retain at least a portion of the state income taxes paid by new hires staffing new developments. Michigan State University economist Charley Ballard offers his assessment of Good Jobs for Michigan and the other tax incentives the state gives businesses.

Bridge Magazine: Decades after PBB crisis, echoes seen in current PFAS crisis

  • Long before we learned about PFAS chemicals contaminating groundwater at 67 sites in 34 counties, Michiganders were faced with a pollution disaster that is still being felt today. It happened in 1973. Workers at a chemical plant in St Louis, Michigan accidentally mixed a toxic flame retardant chemical called polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) into animal feed. The end result: Millions of Michiganders wound up with PBB in their bodies. Bridge Magazine reporters Jim Malewitz and Riley Beggin discuss their series of stories comparing the two chemical contaminations and what lessons have gone unlearned. 

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