Politics & Government

Politics & Government
8:33 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Police officers, firefighters push for exemption from bargaining law

It used to be that when municipal unions bargained a new contract that included a pay increase those raises would be retroactive to when the last contract expired.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Police and firefighter unions are pushing to be exempt from a state law that puts limits on municipal union contracts.  

A state Senate committee takes up the bill Wednesday. 

It used to be that when municipal unions bargained a new contract that included a pay increase, those raises would be retroactive to when the last contract expired. 

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Breaking
5:14 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Michigan lawmakers commit $195 million to Detroit's bankruptcy reorganization

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers have committed to contributing $195 million to Detroit's bankruptcy settlement.

The state Senate gave final legislative approval to the bills to help protect retiree pensions and prevent the sale of city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“Today we are all Detroiters and we are all Michiganians,” said U.S District Court Judge Gerald Rosen following the vote. Rosen has been overseeing talks between Detroit and its creditors, and is considered the architect of the "grand bargain."

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Politics & Culture
4:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

  Once the United Auto Workers boasted a formidable membership with more than one and half million members. Today: that number is drastically smaller, almost three-fourths smaller, with 390-thousand members.

Much has been written about whether or not the UAW is dead.

But, on today's Stateside, we asked, with such dwindling numbers does it really matter? And, to whom?

There is still ice on Lake Superior in the beginning of June. What is the cause?

A literary map of Detroit as seen through the eyes of writers, author’s and storytellers provides insight of Detroit’s history.

Also, want a free house? Well, if you're a writer, and ready to move to Detroit, you might just be in luck.

But, first on Stateside…

Michigan’s roads are crumbling and people want them fixed. Some estimates say it could cost almost 2 billion dollars a year to fix them.

State lawmakers are in the midst of considering raising revenue through higher taxes on gas and that has raised a lot of debate around what we already pay at the pump.

Michigan Radio’s Mark Brush set out to sort this out for all of us. 

*Listen to full show above. 

Politics & Government
6:32 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Snyder defends “pension tax” in special message on aging

Credit gophouse.com

Governor. Rick Snyder is firing back against critics of his so-called “pension tax.”

Snyder gave a special address on aging Monday in Rochester. He used part of the speech to defend his 2011 decision, which ended the practice of exempting pensions from state income tax.

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Politics & Culture
5:05 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Stateside for Monday, June 2, 2014

According to a report by a former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Michigan has been cutting taxes over the last 20 years. That's He finds, overall, Michigan's had the smallest increase in taxes in the country as measured on a per capita basis between 1977 and 2011.

On today’s Stateside, we looked at the effect of two decades of tax cuts in Michigan, and found out whether anyone has actually benefited.

Next, we checked in with an Ann Arbor- based group that records music by people who live in struggling villages in Senegal and turns the recordings into profits that go directly back to the communities.

But first on today’s show, we got an update on Detroit’s bankruptcy.

It has been a busy few days in Detroit's bankruptcy journey. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Mike Duggan were on Mackinac Island last week making their collective cases to the state's lawmakers and business leaders.

At the same time, the city's pensioners have begun to vote on the plan of adjustment, even as opponents of the “Grand Bargain” are seeking new ways to get their hands on the city's art.

Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood joined us today.

*Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The latest on Detroit's bankruptcy after the Mackinac Policy Conference

Credit Peter Martorano / Flickr

Today we got an update on Detroit’s bankruptcy.

It has been a busy few days in Detroit's bankruptcy journey. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Mike Duggan were on Mackinac Island last week making their collective cases to the state's lawmakers and business leaders.

At the same time, the city's pensioners have begun to vote on the plan of adjustment, even as opponents of the “grand bargain” are seeking new ways to get their hands on the city's art.

Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood and Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The new right-to-farm requirements and backyard animals

Josh Larios Wikimedia

Recent changes in the Michigan right-to farm requirements have drawn criticisms from those worried it may curtail their ability to keep bees, chickens, or other farm animals in their backyards.

But are these changes as threatening to urban farming as detractors fear?

Writer Anna Clark has looked into the revisions in the right-to farm requirements and she believes the answer is “no.”

*Listen to the full show above.

Politics & Government
4:13 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Michigan congressman critical of deal to win release of American POW in Afghanistan

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed yesterday after President Barack Obama agreed to release five high-level Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Credit U.S. Army/Department of Defense

A Michigan congressman is highly critical of the deal the Obama administration struck to win the release of America’s only prisoner-of-war in the Afghan war.

The Taliban released Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after holding him for five years because the U.S. agreed to release five senior Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

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Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

"This is f****** b*******" rally to be held in Brighton tomorrow

A young man (no relation to Andersen) sitting near Brighton Mill Pond. Was he whispering expletives under his breath too?
User: raymond beardsall Flickr

The name of the rally was coined after a phrase uttered by a Brighton 19-year-old.

According to Amanda Whitesell of LivingstonDaily.com, Colin Andersen was hanging out in Brighton with his friends when things went wrong:

Colin Andersen, 19, was hanging out with friends April 11 in a parking lot next to the pavilion and Imagination Station when he became upset that a friend, who had been ticketed for skateboarding, was told by police to leave. He said he swore under his breath, saying “This is f------ bulls---.”

He said no children were around or heard him swear.

However, police ticketed him for disorderly conduct. Andersen challenged the ticket in court and lost; he was fined $200.

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Politics & Government
3:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Poll indicates same-sex marriage is losing support in Michigan

Is same-sex marriage losing support in Michigan?
Credit user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

A new poll done by EPIC-MRA for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV indicates that same-sex marriage has lost support in Michigan. 

In 2013, the poll indicated that 51% supported same-sex marriage, and 41% said they opposed.

If it were put to a vote now, however, the poll found that only 47% would vote yes and 46% would vote no. The other 7% were either undecided, or refused to say. (The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4%.)

You can see the results from EPIC-MRA here (see question 26).

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It's Just Politics
2:32 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Despite waffling, Snyder did join call to add LGBT protections to state's civil rights law

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week at the annual Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference on Mackinac Island, Governor Snyder joined the chorus of people calling for an update to Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights act to include protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people… sort of.

There is a lot of spoon-feeding to the press here on the Island – a litany of press conferences and media scrums. And, yesterday, one of those press conferences was held by a group of business leaders who want LGBT protections rolled into the civil rights law.

Meanwhile, at almost the exact same time as these business leaders were making their announcement, the Governor was talking to us, telling us he thought the legislature ought to take the issue up.

But, did he actually endorse it? “I’m encouraging them to say there’s been a lot of dialog and discussion on this. It’s been healthy in the public and I think it could be an appropriate topic for the legislators to take up. I would appreciate that,” the Governor said. And, that statement is fairly typical of the multiple exchanges we had with the governor on this topic.

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Politics & Culture
8:26 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, May 29, 2014

First on Stateside, Gov. Rick Snyder joined us from the Mackinac Policy Conference, followed by Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

The prevalence of social media has changed a lot in our world, and in the wake of graduation season social media may affect job prospects for applicants. Having social media profiles that are professional may be the key to landing a job. 

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new app for smartphones that can detect mood swings in bipolar patients via voice analysis, so that patients can get the help they need. 

In the midst of all of the recalls, General Motors is approaching its five-year anniversary of declaring bankruptcy. 

*Listen to the full episode above. 

Politics & Government
6:31 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Duggan's pitch to companies: Change a Detroit teen's life with a summer job

Mike Duggan

Helping Detroit teens get summer jobs could change their lives forever, and benefit whole communities.

That was Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s pitch for his new “TeenWork Initiative” at the Mackinac Island Policy Conference.

Duggan said too many Detroit teens feel like they’ve been “discarded” by society and the economy.

But he thinks that could change if they heard a different message.

“How powerful would it be if hundreds of companies came together and said, ‘We believe in you; we believe in your potential?” Duggan said.

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Stateside
4:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Gov. Snyder joins us from the Mackinac Policy Conference

Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder joined us on Stateside from the Mackinac Policy Conference to talk about minimum wage, the economy, and other issues being covered at the conference.

Then, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us.

*Listen to the full interviews above. 

Politics & Government
10:27 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Gov. Snyder says he wants Legislature to add LGBT protections to civil rights law

Credit Guillaume Paumier/Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder says he’d like the Legislature to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to add protections for gays, lesbians and transgendered people.

“I don’t believe in discrimination and I think it would be great if they, the Legislature, looked at it later in the year,” said Snyder.

The governor says he’d lawmakers to first deal with the Detroit bankruptcy and road funding. But he thinks action on the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act could take place before the end of the year. The governor is attending the Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, where a group of business leaders has endorsed adding LGBT rights to the civil rights law.

Stateside
7:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The chairs of both major parties chime in from the Mackinac Policy Conference

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  The 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference began today at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Political and business leaders are gathering to discuss the major issues and challenges facing Michigan, and to hear from guest speakers.

Statewide elections are just five months away, so both parties have a lot of work to do between then and now.

We got the views from the Michigan leaders of both parties.

Joining us from Mackinac Island, we welcomed the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Bobby Schostak, and the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Lon Johnson.

*Listen to the interviews above.

Politics & Culture
7:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  Many in state government tout the fact that more jobs have been created in the past 10 years, but these are not necessarily high wage jobs with benefits; sometimes not even enough of a paycheck to raise a family of four above the poverty line.

On today’s Stateside, what does it mean if the economy is creating a majority of low-wage, unskilled jobs?

Later in the show, we listened to the winners from Michigan Radio's Great Michigan Read "One Minute" story-writing contest. The theme for the contest was "Hidden branches of your family tree: Unexpected stories that changed the way you think of yourself or your family."

But first we get an update on the happenings at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Politics & Government
5:07 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Land and Peters disagree at forum on Mackinac

Gary Peters official photo
Credit Peters campaign

The Republican and Democratic candidates for Michigan’s open US Senate seat pitched themselves to business people at a conference on Mackinac Island today.

Peters and Land made back-to-back appearances at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac conference.

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Politics & Government
4:37 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Campaign to raise minimum wage to $10.10/hour turns in petition signatures

Credit Perezhilton.com

Activists from the Raise Michigan coalition have turned in petition signatures to raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017.

That’s despite a new minimum wage law signed by Governor Rick Snyder just one day earlier.

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Politics & Government
12:34 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Watch two of Detroit's top leaders speak at the Mackinac Policy Conference

More than 1,500 statewide businesses, government and community leaders will be at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, May 28 through May 30.

The conference will feature speakers, stakeholders and panelists discussing issues in STEM education, workforce development, public policy, and more.

You can join a live chat and screening for two sessions with two of Detroit's top leaders: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

The chat and screening will take place on a social screening platform called OVEE (Online Video Engagement Experience).

Watch and discuss Mayor Duggan's keynote address today at 4:45 p.m. by clicking here. You can also add this event to your calendar.

And you can watch and discuss Kevyn Orr's keynote address on Friday, May 30, at 9:45 a.m. by clicking here, or add it to your calendar.

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