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gretchen whitmer

Multiple potholes along a concrete road.
User: Pearl Pirie / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer breaks down the rationale behind her proposed 45-cent gas tax in her first state budget. Plus, the Univeristy of Detroit Mercy School of Law is celebrating the anniversary of a Detroit meeting between two prominent abolitionists 160 years ago this week. 

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

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she is standing by her first state budget proposal.

Whitmer joined Stateside Monday to discuss the proposal, including the widely-criticized fuel tax increase to pay for road repairs. She says the pain people might feel at the pump would mean fewer dollars spent fixing their cars.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Business leaders wondering whether they have a new ally in the governor’s office got an answer this week: not so much.

The net effect of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s business tax proposals — aside from her plan to raise the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon – amounts to a tap on the economic brakes just as the hometown auto industry’s sales and profit pace is beginning to slow.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

From changing the state’s freedom of information laws to attempts to stop observing daylight-saving time – lawmakers in Lansing are trying again on issues that didn’t pass during previous sessions.

Multiple bills have already been introduced since January that revisit old issues. In some cases, they’re bills that have been introduced multiple times in the past, but never gotten anywhere.

picture of paczkis
Michigan Radio Razi Jafri

Today on Stateside, we grow our understanding of Jewish and Muslim communities in Michigan and learn more about their histories and their futures. Plus, we celebrate Fat Tuesday with paczki! 

a gas pump
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made fixing the state’s roads a cornerstone of her 2018 campaign. Now, she’s revealed exactly how she wants to pay for that campaign promise.

Whitmer for Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is slated to include an increase in spending for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Whitmer will present the plan as part of her budget proposal Tuesday. She wants to put more money toward students with additional educational needs. That includes special education, low-income, and career and technical education students.

Michigan governor's office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will share details of her first proposed budget this week. The centerpiece will be her campaign promise to fix roads and improve other infrastructure.

Most of the Michigan budget is earmarked for specific purposes. The governor says the share of the budget that’s adopted by the Legislature and the governor has gone almost unchanged in two decades.

Saugatuck Dunes
Wikimedia / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying again to restructure the state Department of Environmental Quality. Whitmer signed a second executive order on Thursday to restructure the DEQ after the Legislature voted to overturn the initial order last week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) says her administration is working with Flint’s leaders to finish replacing lead service lines.

Since Flint’s water crisis, the city has been replacing lead and galvanized steel service lines connecting homes to city water mains. The pipes were a primary source of lead particles which contaminated the city’s drinking water. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The dispute between Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders over revamping the state’s environmental regulatory department is set to begin another round.

Republican lawmakers have already thwarted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first attempt to use an executive order to overhaul the Department of Environmental Quality. GOP lawmakers were critical of Whitmer’s decision to eliminate panels created by state lawmakers to oversee the agency’s decisions.

prison bars
Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has canceled the pending sale of a former correctional facility in Ionia to a private prison company, Immigration Centers of America, for use as an immigrant detention center.  

She says she could not get an assurance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the facility would not house parents who were separated from their kids.

capitol building
Wikimedia Commons

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to restructure the state Department of Environmental Quality is dead. The Senate voted to overturn the order on Thursday. That was the final vote the Republican-led Legislature needed to eliminate Whitmer’s order.

The MDEQ's Bay City Business Center
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to re-organize the department that enforces environmental rules. Senate Republicans are opposed to the Democratic governor's executive order to do that.

The Republican-led state Senate Oversight Committee has 60 days to make its recommendation on whether the Senate should accept or reject the order, one of the first signed by Whitmer since she took office.

Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer set some big goals in her first State of the State address Tuesday night. She’s calling for major investments in infrastructure, education, and clean water, among other things. But Republicans are skeptical about the costs of her ideas.

Governor Whitmer wasted little time in her speech hitting on the subject that defined her campaign: fixing the roads. She said Michigan residents are paying for poor road conditions at the auto repair shop.

“We are fixing our cars and paying a road tax that doesn’t even fix the damn roads,” she said.

Multiple potholes along a concrete road.
User: Pearl Pirie / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Benton Harbor's emerging problem with lead in drinking water, and what it tells us about the risk of lead in other Michigan communities. Plus, the city of Midland is documenting its unique, and massive, treasure trove of mid-century modern architecture. So far, they've found more than 400 structures. 

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

Michigan House of Representatives
MittenStatePhotog / Flickr

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is scheduled to give her first State of the State address Tuesday. Whitmer will be the first Democrat to give the speech in 9 years. She succeeded term limited Republican Rick Snyder.

Charles Ballard is an economist at Michigan State University. He says Whitmer is giving a speech when the economy is doing better than a decade ago, but it’s a “mixed picture.”

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Updated Feb. 12, 2019, at 9:08 p.m.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her first State of the State address, calling out two major crises she feels the state is facing: Michigan's crumbling infrastructure and failing schools. 

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Several members of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet are likely to get to keep their jobs. The state Senate began its Advice and Consent hearings this week for several directors appointed by Whitmer. There are more hearings to come.

The committee heard from appointees to the Department of Transportation, Michigan State Police, children’s ombudsman, and state treasurer.

Issues & Ale panel
Crissy Zamarron / Michigan Radio

Gearing up for the State of the State Address on Feb. 12, our Issues & Ale crew gathered Monday, Feb. 4, at Brewery Becker in Brighton to talk about the new administration in Lansing. Over 100 politically engaged listeners packed into the venue for the entertaining night of local and national politics.

A choppy surf crashes against the beach underneath the Mackinac Bridge.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A new report says the State of Michigan did not thoroughly review Enbridge’s ability to cover costs in the case of a spill from its twin Line 5 oil pipelines before it signed an agreement with the company. The pipelines run underneath the Straits of Mackinac.

capitol building
Wikimedia Commons

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality could be overturned before any changes are made.

Some Republicans don’t like that Whitmer’s executive order gets rid of several environmental oversight panels that were put in place by state law last year. The state House passed a measure to undo the order Wednesday, before a Senate committee reviewed the order Thursday.

Paul Ajegba (right) talks with people before Tuesday's Senate Advice and Consent committee meeting.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The man picked to implement Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s main campaign promise to “fix the damn roads” was grilled by state senators Tuesday.

Paul Ajegba has been with the Michigan Department of Transportation for nearly three decades. He was picked by the governor in December to serve as MDOT director. 

He told the Senate Advice and Consent committee that Michigan’s poor roads are a result of a history of temporary fixes to stretch state tax dollars. Ajegba noted Michigan has ranked near the bottom for per capita spending on roads.

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is restructuring the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Whitmer signed several measures Monday, including one that creates new offices in what will become the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. The restructuring creates offices of public advocates for environmental justice and clean water, and it creates an interagency environmental justice response team.

Environmental groups called this a great first step.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Environmentalists are giving a road map to Michigan’s elected leaders for dealing with threats to the state’s land, lakes and drinking water.  

Twenty conservation and environmental groups delivered their recommendations last week.

Lisa Wozniak is the executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. 

power lines in trees
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Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cold snap is expected to be over by Friday. But once the cold weather eases up, there will be new issues for the state to handle.

The dramatic freeze and upcoming rise in temperatures is bad for roads, and the Michigan Department of Transportation is getting ready.

Paul Ajegba is the director of the department. He says MDOT has had about 1,200 trucks on the road putting salt and sand out. But they also expect to have to patch roads once there’s a thaw.

State government stays closed amid cold snap

Jan 30, 2019
michigan state capitol building
Wikimedia Commons

The State House and Senate have cancelled their Thursday session day, making Tuesday the only day they’ve met this week. This is due to the ongoing cold snap across the state. Lawmakers are expected to return for session on Tuesday, February 5.

Whitmer for Governor

UPDATED at 7:08 am on 1/30/19

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address will happen a week later than originally scheduled.

Whitmer was scheduled to deliver the speech on Tuesday, February 5th. But Speaker of the U-S House Nancy Pelosi announced she would invite President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union address on the same day.
 

Whitmer now plans to give her State of the State address to the Legislature in the Michigan House Chamber on Tuesday, February 12th.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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The Senate will start the oversight process for some of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state department appointees.

The state Senate has 60 days to object to certain Whitmer appointees, otherwise the appointee is automatically confirmed.

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