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Gary Peters

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Businesses across the state have shuttered and life for Michiganders has been turned upside down amidst a coronavirus shutdown. Experts say the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak will be enormous. Lawmakers at both the state and federal level are moving quickly to try and address the twin challenges of both a public health and economic crisis. 

Money
User 401(K) 2012 / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

If you’ve been online recently, chances are you’ve seen a few political ads popping up in your social media feeds. Behind the scenes, big money is flowing to some of Michigan’s contested races. Detroit News reporter Craig Mauger has been tracking where that money ends up. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump is proposing a slight increase in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). 

It’s a change in policy for an administration that tried to slash funding in the past. The president had proposed cutting the GLRI’s budget by 90%. But Congress reinstated the funding. 

The president’s budget proposal calls for spending $320 million on projects to clean up the Great Lakes in Fiscal Year 2021.   

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators are preparing for Tuesday’s opening of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

gary peters headshot
US Senate Photography

Over the weekend, U.S. foreign policy scrambled to recover from the fatal attack on Iran's General Qassem Soleimani, the head of an elite military wing active in Iraq, Syria, and other hot spots. The U.S. has interests in all those places.

gary peters
Senate Democrats / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters has collected enough signatures to be on the 2020 ballot.

The Senator Peters campaign collected and submitted more than 24,000 signatures, which puts Peters on the ballot for re-election.

PFAS foam along the Huron River.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Congress has reached a final agreement on the annual national defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. This year’s bill includes a number of provisions to regulate the chemical family PFAS.

Protesters standing with signs
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

More than 150 protesters gathered in downtown Grand Rapids as part of a national climate strike Friday.

They want Senator Gary Peters and other Democrats to commit to the Green New Deal.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are pushing an expansion of a program designed to protect the Great Lakes.

The current Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is set to expire in 2021.

PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that looks to address PFAS contamination near military bases.

The National Defense Authorization Act has provisions in it that would require the Department of Defense to treat contaminated water that's used for agriculture.

headshots of Michigan members of congress
Wikimedia Commons / Jodi Westrick

You have to spend money to make money ... or so the old saying goes. Most members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation are spending tens, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars through their political action committees on things like five-star hotels and baseball tickets. The politicians say it’s to help with fundraising. 

Melissa Nann Burke is the Washington Bureau reporter for the Detroit News. She spoke to Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about her story, "Baseball tickets, ski trips: How Michigan lawmakers use little-known PACs."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) says he is concerned about recent North Korea missile tests, even if President Trump says he’s not.

North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles on May 4 and May 9, ending a pause in launches that began in late 2017.

The tests have been seen as a way for North Korea to pressure Washington to soften its stance on easing sanctions against it without actually causing the negotiations to collapse.

The president told reporters in Tokyo he is not “personally” bothered by the recent tests.  

Asian carp
USGS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has saigned off on a $778 million plan intended to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

The money would be used to upgrade a lock and dam in Illinois. But the proposal still needs Congressional approval.

Photos and video of damage to Line 5 released

May 15, 2019
The east Line 5 oil pipeline, which was struck by an anchor last April.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Newly released images from Enbridge Energy show damage sustained to the Line 5 oil pipelines from an anchor strike last April.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s U.S. Senator says the Trump administration is performing a “disservice” to the American people by fighting Congressional demands for documents.

President Donald Trump says the White House will be "fighting all the subpoenas" issued by House Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) says the Trump administration’s actions are “frustrating.”

“The American people have a right to know what happens in government,” says Peters. “And when you have an administration who tries to act in secret that does a disservice to the American people.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top Pentagon official told an audience in Oscoda on Wednesday that another four years of study are needed on the PFAS contamination seeping from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

The industrial chemicals present a threat to human health. They've been used in firefighting foam on U.S. military bases.

John Henderson is an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force. He says the Pentagon would like to move faster on cleanup efforts, but it has to be careful.

“We continue to study aggressively, as quickly as we can, what the extent of the problem is,” says Henderson. "So when we do get a solution, it’s the right solution. We get it right the first time.”

A Michigan lawmaker is urging swift action to combat climate change.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters hosted an Earth Day field summit in Lansing Monday.

Peters says the impacts of climate change are not a problem for future generations to tackle.

“They are significant, they are costly and they are already being felt here in Michigan,” Peters said.

Peters says the Midwest is particularly vulnerable to the challenges posed by climate change.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Advocates for victims of domestic violence say a new federal law will help Michigan women looking for help for themselves and their pets.

The Pet and Women Safety, or PAWS Act, was signed into law in December. It allocates funds to domestic violence shelters and expands protections to include survivors’ pets.

Studies have found a quarter to a third of domestic violence victims delay leaving their abuser out of fear for their pets.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) says it’s time for the president to come to the negotiating table to end the partial federal government shutdown.

But, for now, the president has other plans.

President Donald Trump says he will address the nation Tuesday night at 9 p.m. about what he says is a "crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border.

PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

U.S. Senator Gary Peters is holding a Senate field subcommittee meeting on PFAS Tuesday.

Representatives from the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, Department of Environmental Quality and some local officials will testify at the hearing.

Photo Courtesy of Laura Griskiewicz Rzanca and findagrave.com

 

Today, in the spirit of Halloween, we bring you two different segments on the Minnie Quay ghost story and its historical roots. Plus, Kirk Steudle joins Stateside on his last day as director of the Michigan Department of Transportation to discuss what he's learned about the intersection of infrastructure and politics. 

Gerald R. Ford International Airport near Grand Rapids
Photo courtesy of the Gerald R Ford International Airport

Congress has passed legislation to allow airports to stop using foam containing PFAS chemicals.

Under current law, commercial airports must use firefighting foam that contains toxic chemicals known as PFAS. However, Congress wants that to change.

U.S. Senate chamber
US Senate

More than 20 Michigan residents attended a U.S. Senate hearing on PFAS chemicals in Washington D.C. Wednesday.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters, who convened the hearing, has asked for faster action from the federal government to clean up groundwater that's contaminated by the chemicals.

PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The growing PFAS crisis, and the federal government's role in it, will be the subject of a Congressional subcommittee hearing next month.

PFAS are an emerging chemical contaminant that have been found at multiple sites across the state and are linked to health problems including cancer.

http://en.kremlin.ru

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “playing games” with the United States.

Peters says he wanted President Trump to “call out” Putin for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election during their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland today.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Both of Michigan’s United States senators announced today they will oppose President Trump's choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A report on the dangers of PFAS exposure that was suppressed by the EPA was released today.

The report details the health effects of PFAS and recommends the advisory level for these chemicals be made stricter.

Emails that surfaced last month found that the EPA feard a "public relations nightmare" would ensue once the report was made public. 

Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA
Scottpruitt.com / Scottpruitt.com

Water advocacy groups in Michigan concerned about PFAS contamination want Scott Pruitt to resign as head of EPA.

This week, emails surfaced detailing the EPA’s decision to hide a report on the danger of chemicals known as PFAS.

According to the emails, the report was kept under wraps to avoid a “public relations nightmare.”

Chris Coulon, a member of the group Need Our Water – or NOW – says Scott Pruitt should not be allowed to head the EPA after hiding this information from the public.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers wants more federal money to address drinking water contamination around the state.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters included money for PFAS contamination in their latest budget bill.

The family of toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, have been linked to certain forms of cancer as well as other health issues.

park sign
Flcikr user Patricia Drury

A National Park Service conservation program will help pay for a new 6-mile multi-use trail around Detroit's Belle Isle Park.

Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters say the program is providing $750,000 for the project. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance program provides grants for local and state park projects outside national park boundaries. Private investments will match the federal funding for the trail.

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