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Progress Michigan

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of groups wants to close what it calls loopholes that allow lobbyists in Lansing to abuse the system.

The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes is comprised of liberal and union groups, including Progress Michigan, the Michigan Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Abortion rights advocates are questioning the intent of a bill that would allow expectant parents in Michigan to claim a child tax deduction.

State Senator Tom Barrett’s (R-Potterville) bill would change the state’s tax code to allow a 12-week-old fetus to be eligible to be declared a dependent on state income tax forms.

He says Senate Bill 393 recognizes the expenses expectant parents rack up before their child is born.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists are using this week’s 9th anniversary of the Kalamazoo River oil spill to dramatize their opposition to a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

The 2010 oil spill started when a pipeline near Marshall broke and started spewing crude oil.  The oil reached the Kalamazoo River, eventually spreading over about 30 miles of the river.   The cleanup took several years. 

Michigan AG Bill Schuette
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Several years ago, Progress Michigan started what would become a years long court battle with then-attorney general Bill Schuette.

The group accused Schuette and his office of using private emails for state business in 2016. The group filed a public records request for emails that were sent using private accounts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A liberal group plans to appeal a judge’s decision dismissing its lawsuit claiming the Republican candidate for Michigan governor used his office for political gain.

The group, Progress Michigan, claimed in its lawsuit filed in May that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette violated the state Constitution by using his office for political patronage and his state employees for campaign purposes.

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Courtesy of Bill Schuette

A progressive watchdog group says the state attorney general has misused his office for political gain – and it has the emails to prove it.

Progress Michigan released a batch of emails Wednesday. They’re part of an ongoing lawsuit the group filed against Schuette.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A small group of protesters were on hand as Vice President Mike Pence came to Michigan today.  

In Birmingham, the vice president attended what a spokesman described as a “significant" fundraiser for Attorney General Bill Schuette’s campaign for governor.   

But while Mike Pence was welcome inside, outside was a different story.

Report: Records highlight Aramark's shortcomings

Aug 19, 2015
Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

A new report says contract monitors found 3,707 issues with food provider Aramark's performance from March 1, 2014 to September 12, 2014.

Aramark  lost its contract to provide food services to Michigan prisons a month ago, after a string of controversies. Trinity Food Service, another private company, will soon be providing food services to the prisons. 

House Speaker Jase Bolger.
Jase Bolger / Facebook.com

State House Speaker Jase Bolger is facing harsh criticism about his business record from a liberal advocacy group.

Progress Michigan released documents alleging Bolger’s company, Summit Credit Service, failed to pay more than $100,000 in taxes and fees between 1997 and 2000.

The papers include liens from the Michigan Treasury Department, the state Unemployment Agency, and the IRS.

Bolger’s spokesperson, Ari Adler, said all taxes and fees have been paid in full.

“All of these issues were addressed more than 10 years ago. And now Speaker Bolger and his partners have a successful small business that is employing people in Michigan,” Adler said.

The Speaker is currently under investigation by a grand jury for allegations of election fraud in a separate matter.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 2:31 p.m.:

A spokesperson from the Governor’s office responded via email with the following:

"The proposed budget and tax plan is based on fairness and preserving core safety net services – while improving and strengthening our economy so ALL can prosper and benefit."

2:06 p.m.:

A handful of people gathered in Ann Arbor on Monday to speak against Governor Snyder’s proposed budget for an event organized by Progress Michigan, a progressive organization. The speakers included union representatives, city officials, and individuals.

Lois Richardson is Mayor Pro-Tem of Ypsilanti and voiced criticism of the budget. She says cuts to revenue sharing and historic tax credits will devastate Ypsilanti and other cities. Richardson says the changes will affect everyone in the state of Michigan, not just those who relied directly on the funding.

Brit Satchwell is the President of the Ann Arbor teacher’s union. He says students will feel the cuts the most:

“I’m a sixth grade math teacher and I’m here to tell you, the kids don’t get a makeover year. You don’t get to do sixth grade again because the adults messed it up.”

Satchwell also said school districts like Ann Arbor have already been cutting their budgets for the past few years.

This was one of several events held across the state in preparation for a protest scheduled for Wednesday at the Capitol.

-Bridget Bodnar, Michigan Radio News