Jake Neher http://michiganradio.org en Snyder: Pensioner approval of grand bargain sets Detroit up for faster recovery http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-pensioner-approval-grand-bargain-sets-detroit-faster-recovery <p>Gov. Rick Snyder is praising Detroit pensioners for approving the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan.</p><p></p><p>The so-called “grand bargain” is designed to prevent deep cuts to retirement benefits and protect city-owned artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.</p><p></p><p>Snyder says the vote this week makes it more likely the city will emerge from bankruptcy soon.</p><p></p><p>“I really appreciate retirees taking that positive vote because it was hard,” he told reporters Tuesday at an appearance in Detroit.</p><p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:41:22 +0000 Jake Neher 18478 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder: Pensioner approval of grand bargain sets Detroit up for faster recovery Henry Paulson tells Michigan to seek out Chinese investment http://michiganradio.org/post/henry-paulson-tells-michigan-seek-out-chinese-investment <p>Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says foreign investment and immigration will be critical to turning around Michigan’s economy.</p><p></p><p>The former aide to President George W. Bush spoke before the Detroit Economic Club Monday afternoon with Gov. Rick Snyder.</p><p></p><p>“Make Michigan attractive for investment, period. OK? Make it attractive,” said Paulson.</p><p></p><p>He says Michigan should especially look to China to help boost the state’s economy. He says many Chinese businesses are looking to expand overseas, and Michigan needs to make it clear they are welcome.</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:22:20 +0000 Jake Neher 18460 at http://michiganradio.org Henry Paulson tells Michigan to seek out Chinese investment Top state House Dem: Road solution not likely before November election http://michiganradio.org/post/top-state-house-dem-road-solution-not-likely-november-election <p>The top Democrat in the state House says a road funding solution will probably have to wait until after the November election.</p><p></p><p>State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says too many lawmakers are not willing to make the tough vote until they’re past their reelection bids. That’s because boosting infrastructure spending by more than a billion dollars a year would likely mean raising taxes to pay for it.</p><p></p><p>“I think there’s a very high likelihood that it doesn’t occur until lame duck, unfortunately,” said Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, on an appearance over the weekend on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record.</p><p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:57:22 +0000 Jake Neher 18447 at http://michiganradio.org Top state House Dem: Road solution not likely before November election State could become more transparent about infection rates at hospitals http://michiganradio.org/post/state-could-become-more-transparent-about-infection-rates-hospitals <p>The state’s top health official says Michigan could be more transparent about how many people get infections while at hospitals.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A </span><a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/invisible_menaces_what_michiga_1.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">recent MLive.com series</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> suggests the state has withheld that information from the public. That includes infection rates at specific hospitals.</span></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:48:48 +0000 Jake Neher 18437 at http://michiganradio.org State could become more transparent about infection rates at hospitals State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel http://michiganradio.org/post/state-attorney-general-s-office-unveils-law-guides-vets-and-military-personnel <p>Michigan veterans and active duty military families now have new resources to help handle legal issues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released two new legal guides Thursday.</p><p></p><p>“Sometimes trying to help veterans in transition coming back from a deployment, it can get a bit complicated,” said Schuette.</p><p>“It could be anything from child custody to divorce to employment issues, what have you. And so what we’re trying to do is put out a practical guide to try to help veterans across Michigan.”</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:44:46 +0000 Jake Neher 18427 at http://michiganradio.org State attorney general’s office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel AG Schuette won’t give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills http://michiganradio.org/post/ag-schuette-won-t-give-details-his-opposition-medical-marijuana-bills <p>The state attorney general is not saying why he opposes bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan. Some top lawmakers are now urging Bill Schuette to detail his concerns.</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:31:10 +0000 Jake Neher 18424 at http://michiganradio.org AG Schuette won’t give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills Future of medical marijuana bills uncertain after clearing state Senate panel http://michiganradio.org/post/future-medical-marijuana-bills-uncertain-after-clearing-state-senate-panel <p>Two bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan are one step closer to becoming law. A state Senate panel approved the legislation Wednesday.</p><p></p><p>But it is not clear what will happen to the bills now that they are going to the full Senate.</p><p></p><p>House Bill 4271 would let communities decide to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. House Bill 5104 would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of cannabis.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:20:30 +0000 Jake Neher 18407 at http://michiganradio.org Future of medical marijuana bills uncertain after clearing state Senate panel State lawmakers to talk cash-strapped schools, marijuana, traffic fines http://michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmakers-talk-cash-strapped-schools-marijuana-traffic-fines <p>The state Legislature returns briefly from its summer break Wednesday for its only scheduled session day in July.</p><p></p><p>No full floor votes are expected in either the House or the Senate. But a number of legislative panels will meet to discuss a wide variety of issues.</p><p></p><p>The state Senate Government Operations Committee is expected to approve two high-profile medical marijuana bills. House Bill 4271 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Michigan. House Bill 5104 would allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:43:52 +0000 Jake Neher 18390 at http://michiganradio.org State lawmakers to talk cash-strapped schools, marijuana, traffic fines Michigan files tax liens against CIA http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-files-tax-liens-against-cia <p>The Michigan Department of Treasury is going after the CIA for unpaid taxes. At least, that’s what newly uncovered documents would suggest.</p><p></p><p>Three tax liens were evidently filed by the Michigan Department of Treasury against the CIA between February 2012 and March of this year. They claim the agency did not pay state income taxes on behalf of an undisclosed number of CIA employees working in the state.</p><p></p><p>The documents were first reported by the Lansing State Journal.</p><p></p><p>Many questions still surround the tax assessments. Under state law, treasury officials cannot speak publicly about individual tax cases. The CIA would not talk on the record about the liens.</p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 21:09:12 +0000 Jake Neher 18370 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan files tax liens against CIA Medicaid expansion sign-ups hit one-year target in just four months http://michiganradio.org/post/medicaid-expansion-sign-ups-hit-one-year-target-just-four-months <p>In less than four months, Michigan has already hit its 2014 enrollment goal for the state’s expanded Medicaid program.</p><p></p><p>More than 322,000 low-income Michiganders now have government sponsored healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program.</p><p></p><p>Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) say the dramatic jump in enrollment will help boost the state’s economy.</p><p></p><p>“We’ve heard stories about people who are now addressing some really serious health problems that prevented them from working,” said Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for MDCH.</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:07:05 +0000 Jake Neher 18340 at http://michiganradio.org Medicaid expansion sign-ups hit one-year target in just four months Study finds that an oil spill under Mackinac Straits would be “deathblow” to Northern Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/study-finds-oil-spill-under-mackinac-straits-would-be-deathblow-northern-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New computer modeling from the University of Michigan shows the possible effects of an oil spill under the Straits of </span>Mackinac<span style="line-height: 1.5;">. It <a href="http://graham.umich.edu/media/files/mackinac-report.pdf">shows </a>oil would spread widely across Northern Michigan shorelines.</span></p><p></p><p>The National Wildlife Federation &nbsp;says twin pipelines under the Straits are in poor condition and could rupture.</p><p></p><p>“To have an oil spill of the magnitude that’s potential … with the reach, the scope, and the travel that would occur from such a spill – it would be a deathblow for Great Lakes ecology and economy,” said Andy Buchsbaum, executive director the NWF’s Great Lakes Natural Resources Center.</p><p></p><p>“Everybody recognizes that that spill would be devastating,” he said. “And I think that this report actually puts a scientific point on how devastating it would be.”</p><p></p><p>The pipelines are operated by Enbridge, the company responsible for the 2010 oil spill in the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge says the pipelines are operating safely.</p><p></p><p><em>Below are videos of U of M's&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1.357em; font-weight: inherit; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 33px;">Straits of </span>Mackinac<span style="font-size: 1.357em; font-weight: inherit; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 33px;">&nbsp;contaminant release scenarios:</span></em></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLkpBjHvzRryqCzUAeLDxzgrRJOBbN-nBc" width="560"></iframe></p><p></p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 23:45:48 +0000 Jake Neher 18339 at http://michiganradio.org Study finds that an oil spill under Mackinac Straits would be “deathblow” to Northern Michigan Another audit says Michigan has failed to protect vulnerable adults http://michiganradio.org/post/another-audit-says-michigan-has-failed-protect-vulnerable-adults <p>Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration is again taking heat for failing to protect vulnerable adults.</p><p></p><p>A state <a href="http://209.59.148.65/finalpdfs/13_14/r431260113.pdf">audit released Wednesday</a> shows the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has mismanaged its Adult Protective Services (APS) program since 2010. Among other things, it says DHS did not adequately train caseworkers and supervisors and failed to investigate complaints of abuse.</p><p></p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:51:11 +0000 Jake Neher 18322 at http://michiganradio.org Another audit says Michigan has failed to protect vulnerable adults Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-superintendent-predicts-institutions-will-lose-authority-create-charter-schools <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The statement comes a day after state Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said he’s ready to use his authority to revoke that ability from charter school authorizers. That’s if they fail to meet new standards for transparency set by state education officials.</span></p><p>Flanagan says he met with authorizers in February about issues involving charters. He says he’s not convinced all of them will be able to meet the new, tougher standards.</p><p>“If I had to guess, just because of the candor at the February meeting, there’s probably some that we won’t extend their ability,” Flanagan said Tuesday. “But I don’t want to pre-judge that too much. That’s only hearing the anecdotal stuff.”</p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:22:25 +0000 Jake Neher 18306 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's superintendent predicts institutions will lose authority to create charter schools Superintendents blast education budget http://michiganradio.org/post/superintendents-blast-education-budget <p>As Michigan schools begin their new budget year this week, some local superintendents are urging lawmakers to return from their summer break to boost education funding.</p><p></p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new education budget last week that boosts funding for all public schools by at least $50 per student. But Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm says districts face new costs that wipe out that minimum increase.</p><p></p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:15:47 +0000 Jake Neher 18230 at http://michiganradio.org Superintendents blast education budget Background checks coming for home-aid workers; state can’t exclude all felons http://michiganradio.org/post/background-checks-coming-home-aid-workers-state-can-t-exclude-all-felons <p>Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state’s Medicaid in-home care program. That’s according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.</p><p></p><p>People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health-care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.</p><p></p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:52:34 +0000 Jake Neher 18214 at http://michiganradio.org Background checks coming for home-aid workers; state can’t exclude all felons Charter school advocate rips Detroit Free Press investigation http://michiganradio.org/post/charter-school-advocate-rips-detroit-free-press-investigation <p>One of Michigan’s top charter school advocates is blasting the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140622/NEWS06/140507009/State-of-charter-schools-How-Michigan-spends-1-billion-but-fails-to-hold-schools-accountable">Detroit Free Press’ recent investigation</a> into charters.</p><p></p><p>Reporter Jennifer Dixon and others uncovered incidents suggesting conflicts of interest, a lack of transparency, and mixed academic results in charters.</p><p></p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:53:05 +0000 Jake Neher 18195 at http://michiganradio.org Charter school advocate rips Detroit Free Press investigation Schauer says he’d push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor http://michiganradio.org/post/schauer-says-he-d-push-stricter-regulations-charter-schools-governor <p>Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he’s elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a “free pass.”</p><p></p><p>“We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools,” said Schauer. “It’s the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads.”</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 21:37:18 +0000 Jake Neher 18174 at http://michiganradio.org Schauer says he’d push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor Michigan economists warn against ending pensions for public employees http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-economists-warn-against-ending-pensions-public-employees <p>Some economists say Michigan failed to consider the consequences of ending pension plans for public workers.</p><p></p><p>The state stopped offering pensions to new employees in 1997. Budget officials say that decision has cut Michigan’s long-term debt by about $5 billion.</p><p></p><p>A new report from Great Lakes Economic Consulting says the new 401(k) style plans may be cheaper. But it says it’s not fair to compare them to traditional pensions, which provide better protections for both workers and employers.</p><p></p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:52:50 +0000 Jake Neher 18136 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan economists warn against ending pensions for public employees Michigan welcomes office to help skilled immigrants get jobs http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-welcomes-office-help-skilled-immigrants-get-jobs <p>Highly skilled immigrants in Michigan now have a new resource to help them find jobs. The national nonprofit organization Upwardly Global opened a new office in Detroit on Monday.</p><p></p><p>Upwardly Global says immigrants and refugees often have valuable job skills that are in high demand in the United States. But the group says they often still have trouble finding work because of cultural differences.</p><p></p><p>The new office is meant to help polish immigrants’ job searching skills and connect them with local employers.</p><p></p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 01:11:11 +0000 Jake Neher 18119 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan welcomes office to help skilled immigrants get jobs Michigan to make sure felons can't work as in-home health aides http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-make-sure-felons-cant-work-home-health-aides <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Health Director Jim </span>Haveman<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says a Medicaid program that pays for in-home care is being revamped.</span></p><p><br />A recent state audit showed the program allowed some convicted felons to work with patients.</p><p>Haveman says the changes will protect taxpayers and patients. Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:49:24 +0000 Jake Neher 18070 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan to make sure felons can't work as in-home health aides