Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat January 19, 2013

The week in review

Week in review interview for 1/19/13

This “week in review” Michigan Radio’s Weekend Edition host Rina Miller and political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss: Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State speech, the possibility of no fault absentee voting, a positive report on Michigan’s housing market, and a possible tax amnesty program for Detroit.

Lessenberry says Governor Snyder’s State of the State speech was not as effective as his first two.

“Part of that I think was the acrimoniousness left over from the lame duck session,” Lessenberry says.  “It was clear that everyone, including the Governor was jittery about that.”

Miller asked about Governor Snyder’s mention of absentee voting in the State of the State address. Lessenberry explained that Governor Snyder “basically wants to have no fault absentee voting.” Governor Snyder did not mention anything about early voting.

A report out this week says foreclosure activity in Michigan fell about 23 percent last year compared to the year before and sellers are getting about 94 percent of their asking price. Miller wondered if this means Michigan is back on solid ground. Lessenberry wasn’t so sure.

“We have fallen so far in terms of foreclosures that this is not a good result, it is just a less bad result than it was before,” Lessenberry says. He added that “we simply don’t have enough data to know whether people are lowering their prices with lowered expectations.”

Miller also asked about Detroit’s attempt to have another tax amnesty program. Lessenberry says it is hard to say how successful this program could be.

“They are hoping to get 4 million dollars out of this which is nothing to sneeze at,” Lessenberry says. “But it’s far less than the amount of the budget deficit and there’s a school of thought that says if you offer these tax amnesty plans, people won’t pay their taxes.”

Lessenberry says “the odds of this being a major factor in their revenue stream are probably pretty low.”