budget

Politics & Government
10:25 am
Wed July 2, 2014

The week in Michigan politics

Credit user aunt owwee / Flickr

This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss how Michigan businesses will be affected by the US Supreme Court ruling that corporations don't have to include contraceptive coverage for employees for religious reasons, what the state is doing to prevent more felons from being home health care workers for Medicaid patients, and the new budget bill for the state.

The week in Michigan politics interview for 7/2/14

Politics & Government
3:27 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Big budget process predicted to be a "pain"

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Credit Matthileo / Flickr

State lawmakers are waist-deep in the big budget process. The mission is to iron out the differences in what the governor wants and what the House and Senate are willing to give.

It's looking like many differing views add up to lots of haggling, lots of need for compromise, and it has one State Senator talking like Mr. T as Clubber Lang in Rocky 3. 

Kathy Gray of the Detroit Free Press joined us to explain why Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Roger Kahn is predicting "pain". 

Listen to the story above.

The Environment Report
8:55 am
Thu March 6, 2014

President's budget cuts Great Lakes programs

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provides money for habitat restoration, keeping invasive species out of the Lakes, and cleaning up polluted areas.
Rebecca Williams Michigan Radio

You can listen to today's Environment Report above.

President Obama’s 2015 budget includes some cuts to Great Lakes programs.

Obama is asking for $275 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. That would be $25 million less than the current funding level.

Todd Ambs is the campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. He says if the cuts go through, you'd see projects slow down.

“Whether it’s a contaminated cleanup project that’s underway but not completed, or a habitat restoration effort or dealing with the problems of keeping aquatic invasive species out of the Great Lakes.”

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Politics & Government
8:34 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Same-sex marriage, war against blight in Flint and Obama's budget proposal make political headlines

NOAA

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockely discuss the trial challenging Michigan's same-sex marriage ban, the mayor of Flint's proposal to fight blight in the city, and what President Obama's budget proposal could mean for Michigan.

Week in Michigan Politics interview for 3/5/14

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Politics & Government
6:54 am
Thu January 9, 2014

In this morning's headlines: More money in MI, power outage investigation, the good in polar vortex

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Lawmakers kick off 2014 with a budget surplus

"The state Legislature has kicked off its 2014 session. One of the first big debates of the new year will be about what to do with a projected budget surplus. Early estimates suggest the state will have hundreds of millions of dollars more than it expected," Rick Pluta reports.

State regulators investigate utilities' response to massive power outage

"State regulators will investigate how Michigan’s two largest electric utilities responded to a massive power outage last month. State regulators will not be investigating how the Lansing Board of Water and Light handled the same outage. They do not have jurisdiction over municipal utilities," Steve Carmody reports.

Polar vortex could stave off invasive species

"It might be difficult to think of this week's deep freeze as anything good, but scientists say the extreme cold could slow the migration of invasive species and kill some of the insect pests that have ravaged forests. Heavy ice could also prevent erosion and protect wetlands along big lakes," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
6:13 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow backs compromise budget bill

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow will be among a large group of Democratic U.S. Senators and a small group of Republican senators expected to vote to approve a budget compromise tomorrow.   

The budget bill will allow the federal government to operate without the threat of a shutdown for two years.

Stabenow says the compromise bill is an important bi-partisan step.

“It allows us to reinvest in education…in innovation to grow the economy…while continuing to focus on long-term deficit reductions. I think it’s a very important step,” says Stabenow.

Politics & Government
3:54 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Fiscal health of local goverments gradually improving, but many still in bad straits

Percentage of jurisdictions overall reporting they are better or less able to meet their fiscal needs in current year compared to previous year, 2009-2013.
Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy UM's Ford School of Public Policy

Michigan's cities, towns, and villages are seeing an overall improvement in their ability to meet their financial needs, but hundreds continue to struggle. That's according to an annual report by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy.

The report finds that smaller municipalities are having a tougher time than those with populations of more than 30,000. And municipalities in central Michigan and the southern lower Peninsula have been particularly hard hit.

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Education
5:13 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

3% boost in public school funding might be wiped away one year later

MSU researchers say Michigan educators could better serve students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
user frank juarez Flickr

Michigan schools got about a 3% boost in funding under the state budget passed last month in Lansing, but a new report says that might not be sustainable.

The non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says the extra money could be wiped out after next year. 

Bob Schneider is the group's state affairs director.

"Unless we find new revenue growth that isn't anticipated yet, or the state draws upon additional general fund resources, or other resources to bring them into the School Aid Budget, the K-12 schools are looking to potentially have to give back a good chunk of the gains that they've made."

The report projects a budget shortfall of about $240 million for the School Aid Budget in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Schneider says that's partly because of additional state spending commitments to things like teacher retirement and early childhood education.

Politics & Government
9:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Michigan leaders decide where to spend budget windfall

Talking money at the State Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

There’s a tentative budget deal between Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders.

It puts more money into savings, schools, and roads. But, it also delays decisions on some of the governor’s priorities.

A budget windfall will allow the state to sock away more in savings, provide a boost to schools, and come up with enough money to qualify for federal matching funds to pay for some road repairs.

But House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) says it doesn’t solve the problem of how to come up with an additional $1.2 billion for roads.

“This provides a solid down payment on our transportation needs. However, that’s all it is. It’s not a full solution. This is a down payment,” said Bolger.

Road funding is especially difficult with a Legislature that’s been opposed to higher gas taxes and registration fees.

There’s also no arrangement to take federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Bolger says those discussions are ongoing.

“We’re going to continue our conservative budget based on existing sources,” he said. “We’re not going to plan for dollars or answers that aren’t there yet. So, Medicaid has not been answered.” 

The governor says Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law will save Michigan taxpayers money, but Republicans in the Legislature are not on board.  

Bolger says the governor and the Legislature are on track to get the new budget wrapped up by their deadline of June 1.

Economy
11:06 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Michigan projected to get $542M more than expected

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan could take in $542 million more in revenue than projected 4 months ago.

That's according to a report Monday from the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency. It's good news for lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder as they work to finalize a state budget for the fiscal year starting in October.

Senate experts say Michigan could have a $739 million surplus in the current budget year. The extra money could be used to boost spending, lower taxes or be socked away in savings.

The Snyder administration and economists are meeting Wednesday to agree on budget figures. The House Fiscal Agency and state treasurer also will put out revenue projections for the meeting.

Legislators aim to pass the next budget by June, though sticking points remain over Medicaid expansion and road funding.

Stateside
5:26 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Budget showdown at the State Capitol

State Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Ifmuth Flickr

Last week, we saw a flurry of voting at the State Capitol as lawmakers put together the next state budget, which is expected to total about $48 billion.

The Republican controlled State House approved spending for schools and colleges as well as a budget to fund the rest of state government.

The State Senate, also controlled by Republicans, approved about half of its budget plan with more votes scheduled this week.

The votes set the stage for negotiations between the two chambers in May.

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Politics & Government
4:06 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

House budget panel approves cutting 1,000-plus human service workers

The legislature will vote on changes to health care benefits for public employees tomorrow.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

A state House budget panel is recommending cutting more than a thousand human service workers. The Michigan Department of Human Services handles things like child welfare and food assistance.

The subcommittee’s plan would also close the state’s three juvenile justice facilities.

Rashida Tlaib is the top Democrat on the panel. She says the proposed cuts are extreme.

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Economy
4:46 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Seniors rally against 'chained CPI' idea

The AARP is fighting the idea of 'chained CPI.' This put together an infographic explaing their opposition.
AARP

Next week, President Barack Obama will present his budget to Congress. 

There's a lot of speculation about what changes will be proposed for Medicare and Social Security.

Specifically, some analysts are focusing on something called 'chained CPI.'

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Politics & Government
12:07 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Flint leaders look to emerge from emergency manager control

Many people in Flint have not been happy to have an emergency manager running their city. (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is expected to vote tonight on a plan that may set the stage for the city to emerge from state oversight. 

The council will consider asking the governor to appoint a “receivership transition advisory board.”    

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says the board would guide the city after the departure of the emergency manager.

“This is an area of the law that we want to take advantage of,” says Walling, “We want assistance with our revenue estimates…with budget amendments.”

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Politics & Government
3:57 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

Lansing's mayor rolls out his proposed budget Monday night

Are there more budget cuts coming to Lansing's police and fire departments?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will deliver his proposed city budget for the next year to the city council tomorrow. 

The mayor’s proposed budget is expected to deal with a projected nine million dollar budget shortfall.

A team appointed by Mayor Bernero suggested deep contract concessions by the city’s police and fire unions, among other cuts.

Tom Krug is the executive director with the local Fraternal Order of Police.

He says Lansing police officers have already agreed to more than a million dollars in contract concessions since 2009.

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Fri February 8, 2013

This morning's news: Snow across the state, Snyder's budget, and charter school unionization

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Snow blankets most of the state

Most of the Lower Peninsula is blanketed in snow as an overnight storm brought up to 9 inches in some areas, creating a potentially treacherous morning commute and causing many school districts to cancel classes. 

Three to 7 inches of snow are expected in parts of mid and West Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Areas of Southeast Michigan received up to 5 inches of snow. Parts of the northern Lower Peninsula could get up to 9 inches. 

Snow is expected to continue throughout the morning, and it should taper off by around noon, the paper reported. 

Gov. Snyder releases budget proposal

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder released his annual budget proposal Thursday morning. 

"Sixty-one percent of the total investments we’re recommending are either for savings or education. This is a responsible budget. This is a budget to look to that long term, and learn from our past mistakes," Snyder said in his announcement. 

Among his priorities were increasing taxes to help pay for upkeep of the state's roads. Snyder proposed raising the gas tax to 33 cents a gallon for all types of fuel. He also wants to raise vehicle registration fees. 

Michigan Radio's Mark Brush has a run down of Snyder's other budget priorities, which include increasing funding for all levels of education and expanding medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

Detroit charter school teachers vote to unionize

Teachers at Detroit's largest charter school voted overwhelmingly last night to be represented by a union. 

The teachers and staff at Cesar Chavez academy voted by a 2-1 margin to have the American Federation of Teachers represent them, Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports. 

Only a small number of Michigan’s charter schools have unionized employees.

Nate Walker is with the AFT. He expects teachers in some other Michigan charter schools will also unionize this year.

“I think in the future we can certainly expect more collective bargaining campaigns,” says Walker,  “But we can also expect charter school teachers to engage in the policy discussions that impact them.”

- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
12:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Gov. Snyder proposes his vision for Michigan through budget

Gov. Snyder delivering his proposed budget to the Legislature today.
LiveStream

Want to know someone's priorities? Follow the money.

Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled his vision for the state by delivering his proposed budget today to the state Legislature.

"Sixty-one percent of the total investments we’re recommending are either for savings or education. This is a responsible budget. This is a budget to look to that long term, and learn from our past mistakes," said Snyder.

Here are some of the highlights of his budget proposals:

Taxes for road repair and maintenance

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Politics & Government
10:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

LIVESTREAM: Gov. Snyder talks numbers, unveils his budget

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will unveil his budget this morning at 11 a.m.

Then the leaders in the Legislature will wrestle with the numbers and push their priorities for state spending and income.

Watch Snyder's budget unveiling here:

Politics & Government
8:07 am
Thu February 7, 2013

This morning's news: Snyder's numbers, Trooper saves girl, and more snow

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Gov. Snyder releases his numbers today

At 11 a.m., Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to unveil his budget to the state Legislature. It'll then be up to those representatives to wrestle with the numbers and come up with a final budget for the state. Among the things he's expected to call for:

  • After years of cuts, he'll call for a 2 percent increase in public education funding
  • More funding for road construction
  • And an expansion of Medicaid

More details emerge on I-75 crash, trooper saves one girl

More details came out yesterday on the deadly pileup on I-75 near Detroit the morning of Jan. 31.

A whiteout caused 12 crashes involving 43 cars on the Interstate. There were 12 injuries and 3 fatalities.

This morning, the Detroit News has more on Michigan State Trooper Seth Swanson's actions:

After failing to find a pulse on the first two children, Swanson went to the other side of the car, broke out the rear window with a hammer and reached in to see if the third child, a 10-year-old girl, was still alive. She had a faint pulse.

He cleared her airway and administered rescue breaths until she finally took a deep breath and regained consciousness.

And more snow is on the way, so drive carefully

Snow is expected for the entire state starting this evening. The middle of the state is expected to get the most snowfall. From the National Weather Service:

This system has the potential to generate heavy snowfall. 7 to 11 inches is expected north of M 46 and near Lake Huron, while 3 to 8 inches is possible for areas across the rest of Southeast Lower Michigan.

Mark Torregrossa from MLive says computer models for storms like this can predict higher snowfalls. His prediction is 4 to 9 inches for the middle of the state, and 1 to 4 inches for the rest of the state.

Politics & Government
5:57 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Stateside: Getting ready for the Governor's budget

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

News out of Lansing: Governor Snyder announced  today that he supports expanding Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents without insurance.

The expansion comes under the Obama administration's health care overhaul.... and there are benefits for states that decide to expand Medicaid. The federal government will pick up the entire cost in the first three years... and 90 percent over the long haul.

But, Snyder is likely to run into resistance from fellow Republicans who are opposed to the Affordable Health Care law.

Meanwhile, the Governor is also gearing up to deliver his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013-2014 tomorrow. You could say, unveiling the proposal begins the "debate" (sometimes putting that kindly) in Lansing over what should and should not be funded.

So which programs and initiatives could be winners? And which could be losers in the Governor's spending plan? And in what the Legislature ultimately does with it?

Cyndy talked with Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business and Dave Eggart, the Lansing reporter for the Associated Press.

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