Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

opioids, prescription drugs, vicodin
Sharyn Morrow / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Opioid tracking in Michigan is getting an overhaul in the future. A state task force has been working on using millions of dollars to put a dent in Michigan’s opioid drug problem. A big portion of the money and resources will go toward a new opioid tracking system.

Michigan’s current system, MAPS, keeps track of opioid prescriptions and use by patients. That helps law enforcement and medical professionals keep opioids out of the hands of drug abusers.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A program meant to help struggling Detroiters pay their water bills is accepting more applicants now.

There had been some confusion about how much money was in the pot for the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP).

The Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, which runs the WRAP for the Great Lakes Water Authority, said just this week that it wasn’t accepting new clients because it had already committed all its funding for the year.

Stateside 8.18.2016

Aug 18, 2016

Today we learn about Michigan's new auto industry partnership with Ontario. And, we talk about how well-intentioned "voluntourists" often miss the point.

Flickr user Gage Skidmore / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Donald Trump is coming back to Michigan – his second visit in as many weeks. It’s a sign that Michigan matters to the Republican presidential candidate.

He will speak at a rally on Friday afternoon at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Eaton County’s Dimondale.

Bruce Barlond, chair of the Eaton County Republican Party, said he was surprised to hear Trump would be visiting his county.

“But I really think it’s a great choice on his part, because Eaton County is a great county,” Barlond said. “It’s very easy to get to from Grand Rapids, Detroit area – it’s really in a great, great position.”

Stateside 8.17.2016

Aug 17, 2016

Today, we talk about Ford's push for mass producing fully autonomous vehicles by 2021. And, we learn how to prevent sitting from bringing down your health.

Barring a successful appeal, Michigan voters will be able to use a straight-ticket voting option on November's ballot.
MICHAEL DORAUSCH / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal appeals court has declined to stay a lower court ruling that declared Michigan's ban on straight-ticket voting unconstitutional.

Barring a successful emergency appeal by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the decision means straight-ticket voting will remain available to Michigan voters in November's general election. 

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou discuss accusations that Republicans are shielding Gov. Snyder from accountability in the Flint water crisis and a set of bills that would legalize doctor-assisted suicide in Michigan. Lessenberry and Tribou also look at the state's plan to warn struggling school districts they might be closed at the end of this school year and a former Michigan governor who was ousted by his own party.  


Stateside 8.16.2016

Aug 16, 2016

Today, we hear how Detroit's Heidelberg Project plans to evolve after 30 years of bringing art to the city's east side. And we discuss how religious liberty is running into hate and fear in Sterling Heights.

Diego Cambiaso / Flickr

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are dominating the presidential campaign, but in many states, other names also will be on the November ballot.

Former GOP congressional aide Evan McMullin announced his candidacy last week. He joins third party and independent candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein with the Green Party as long-shot candidates.

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally near Lansing later this week.

The Republican presidential candidate will rally supporters Friday afternoon at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Eaton County's Windsor Township.

It is Trump's second visit to Michigan in as many weeks, following his economic speech in Detroit last week.

The public can request tickets on a first-come, first-served basis on Trump's campaign website.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is part of the team planning Hillary Clinton’s move into the White House if she wins the presidency in November.

The Clinton campaign announced its White House transition team this morning.

Clinton tapped former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to lead her White House transition team. Salazar will chair a team that includes Granholm, former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and longtime Clinton allies Neera Tanden and Maggie Williams.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing residents will decide in November if they want to renew a public safety and road millage.

The Lansing City Council approved putting the millage renewal on the ballot Monday. 

The millage raises nearly $8 million annually and costs the average Lansing homeowner about $200 a year.

Back in 2011, Lansing voters narrowly approved a millage increase to pay for police and fire, as well as road improvements. Voters had rejected it six months before.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Democratic Party leader is accusing Republicans of “shielding” Gov. Rick Snyder from accountability for the Flint water crisis.

Brandon Dillon is the Michigan Democratic Party chairman. At the first of a series of news conferences today, Dillon spoke in Flint about the need to not let the governor “off the hook.”

“Anybody, whether they were a state employee or a political appointee right up to the governor himself, need to be held accountable,” Dillon said, “And the Republican Legislature has so far has been shielding him at all costs.”

How much of a role will the state of Michigan’s economy play in deciding your vote in November? Last week, the presidential candidates acted as if it might be a big deal as they both made stops in Michigan to deliver speeches on jobs and the economy. 

Michigan, and Detroit, in particular, remain economically emblematic. But there are two stories to tell and the candidates each packed a different one for the trip. 

A Detroit water shutoff notice
Ali Elisabeth / Michigan Radio

Detroiters looking for help with their water bills are hitting some barriers, as a new aid program tries to get a handle on its funding situation, and navigate confusion between the different agencies involved.

The Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) just launched in March. It was touted as a comprehensive solution to Detroit’s chronic problem with delinquent water bills, and the subsequent service shutoffs that have hit tens of thousands of households over the past three years.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Flint officials hope to ink contracts with three companies to begin removing lead service lines.

The service lines have been a major source of lead in Flint’s drinking water. But of the thousands of lead service lines in the city, to date, only 33 have been replaced.

Final agreements are expected to be signed this week with the companies hired to replace about 250 service lines. Plans are to fully replace 100 lines. Another 150 will involve partial replacement. Homeowners may be notified later this week that their service lines will soon be replaced.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were in Michigan this week to deliver big economic speeches. This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rebecca Kruth talk about each candidate's fiscal vision, and whether it will resonate with voters. Lessenberry and Kruth also discuss the latest move in a battle over straight-ticket voting in the state.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The federal emergency declaration for the Flint water crisis ends Sunday.

One big change will be who’s paying for all the bottled water and filters being handed out to Flint residents.

The feds have been picking up 75% of the cost, with the state chipping in 25%.  

Now the state will have to pay 100% of the costs. 

A map shows the link between water debt and property tax foreclosures in Detroit.
We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective

New citizen-led research is drawing a link between two of Detroit’s biggest social crises: water service shutoffs, and property tax foreclosures.

The We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective gathered that data for its report “Mapping the Water Crisis: The Dismantling of African American Neighborhoods in Detroit.”

Detroit’s aggressive and controversial water shutoff policy for delinquent households was ramped up during the city’s bankruptcy, and has continued with some modifications since then.

Stateside 8.12.2016

Aug 12, 2016

Today, we reflect on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton's visits to Michigan this week. And, we learn about rising out-of-pocket health care costs. 

According to Charley Ballard, the biggest difference between Trump and Clinton is their stance on immigration.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Warren this week to lay out her economic vision for the country. The speech was also intended to counter the speech given by her Republican rival, Donald Trump, at the Detroit Economic Club. 

Michigan State University economics professor Charley Ballard joins Stateside to break down the speech.

According to Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas, we didn't hear anything terribly surprising from Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump when they visited Michigan this week
flickr user Gage Skidmore/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton made stops in Michigan this week to give their big economic speeches. 

Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas joined us today to talk about those speeches and how they might impact the presidential race.

Stateside 8.11.2016

Aug 12, 2016

Today, we look at the not-so-readily-apparent social costs of the Flint water crisis. And we learn how dark money groups try to influence your vote.

Courtesy of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network

It looks like dark money groups were hard at work trying to influence your vote during last week’s primary – particularly targeting Republicans running for the State House.

Craig Mauger heads up the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

“This was an effort, a well-orchestrated effort, to keep extremely conservative candidates out of the House GOP caucus,” Mauger told us.

He sat down with us today to talk about what role these secret donors play, and why they’re so hard to identify.

Trump supporters at the Hillary Clinton speech in Warren.
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Under the watchful eyes of several Warren police officers, about 40 Trump supporters gathered on one side of the street, near the building where Hillary Clinton gave a speech on her economic policies.

About 30 supporters of Clinton gathered on the other side.

“Lock her up!” chanted the Trump side. “Where’s your taxes?” chanted the Clinton side.

On the Trump side, Lisa Mankiewicz of Shelby Township is a true believer. She is sure Donald Trump will create jobs, and Hillary Clinton won’t.

According to Charley Ballard, the biggest difference between Trump and Clinton is their stance on immigration.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Millions of Americans would be put to work if Hillary Clinton is elected president. That was the promise the candidate delivered in Metro Detroit Thursday. Clinton said Republican nominee Donald Trump is presenting a dismal and incorrect picture of Michigan’s economy. She pushed pack at Trump’s economic plans while at an advanced manufacturing plant in Warren.

Flint city council President Kerry Nelson addresses the board overseeing Flint's transition out of receivership.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The panel in charge of Flint’s exit from state oversight says the city council isn't ready yet.

The Receivership Transition Advisory Board has extended the end of council’s probation period from October to December.

The board cites the council’s ongoing conflict with Flint’s mayor over a trash collection contract.

So often we hear people say, "Our immigration system is broken." But what exactly does that mean? 

In this State of Opportunity special, we hear answers to that question from various angles.

Stateside 8.10.2016

Aug 10, 2016

So often we hear people say, "Our immigration system is broken." But what exactly does that mean? In this State of Opportunity special, we hear answers to that question from various angles.

Hillary Clinton addressed the 2016 SEIU international convention in Detroit this May.
SEIU / via Twitter

Hillary Clinton will pitch her economic plan in Macomb County Thursday.

Clinton will speak at Futuramic Tool & Engineering, a Warren auto parts supplier that’s branched out into defense and aerospace.

It comes just days after Donald Trump shared his economic vision with the Detroit Economic Club.

It will be a very different crowd. In Warren, Clinton will try to win over some of Macomb County’s famed Reagan Democrats — white, blue-collar voters.

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