michigan legislature http://michiganradio.org en Michigan lawmakers stall plan to replace MEAP with new exams http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-stall-plan-replace-meap-new-exams <p></p><p>One of the many decisions made by state lawmakers during their budget actions last week was to keep the MEAP in place for another year.</p><p>The more than 40-year-old MEAP exam stays put even though Michigan adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010. And the state's education department has been working for the past three years to bring in the new testing that is aligned to the Common Core. That new test is called the Smarter Balanced Assessment.</p><p>The state lawmakers' recent decision could mean that educators and students have to hit the reverse button and go back to MEAP. But State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said in April that the MEAP was simply “not an option."</p><p>Brian Smith has been reporting on the Common Core and Smarter Balanced vs. MEAP tussle. He said that as the issue moved forward, the Department of Education started to talk to testing vendors and see what could possibly be done.</p><p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 23:25:36 +0000 Stateside Staff 18018 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers stall plan to replace MEAP with new exams Why has it been so difficult to get consensus on a funding package? http://michiganradio.org/post/why-has-it-been-so-difficult-get-consensus-funding-package <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The intense Michigan winter has put roads funding at the top of the legislative agenda. Things lagged for the past few months but began to heat up as the Legislature prepares for summer break which begins next week.</span></p><p>Why has it been so difficult to get consensus on a funding package? &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Today we talk Michigan politics with Ken&nbsp;</span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan&nbsp;</span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.</span></p><p><em>Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 20:48:00 +0000 Jennifer White 17974 at http://michiganradio.org Why has it been so difficult to get consensus on a funding package? Thank God the Michigan Legislature is spending time passing laws about beaver traps http://michiganradio.org/post/thank-god-michigan-legislature-spending-time-passing-laws-about-beaver-traps <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It is not exactly true that the Michigan Legislature can’t get anything done.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For example, our lawmakers did pass a bill to allow a fur dealer to hold a license to trap beaver.</span></p><p>Don’t you feel better about that? The governor signed it yesterday.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On the down side, they completely failed to get done the voters' most important priority, fixing our terrible roads.</span></p><p>You see, fixing the roads would cost money.</p><p>It would also require making hard choices, which many elected officials seem allergic to, especially in an election year. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Some of our lawmakers seem dead set against raising any taxes, even though polls have shown this is the one thing voters are willing to pay for. Some can’t see past their narrow ideological blinders enough to simply get the job done.</p><p></p><p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:22:04 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 17967 at http://michiganradio.org Thank God the Michigan Legislature is spending time passing laws about beaver traps Bill would change who can make end-of-life decisions in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/bill-would-change-who-can-make-end-life-decisions-michigan <p>Friends, partners or neighbors in Michigan who make legal medical decisions for a person when alive are not allowed the same right when the person passes away.<br /><br /><a href="http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2013-HB-5162" target="parent"><u><font color="#0066cc">House Bill 5162</font></u></a> would change that by allowing someone who is not related to the individual to be designated as his or her funeral representative.<br /> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:23:47 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17911 at http://michiganradio.org Bill would change who can make end-of-life decisions in Michigan Meth production targeted by Michigan lawmakers http://michiganradio.org/post/meth-production-targeted-michigan-lawmakers <p><br />LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are trying to curb methamphetamine use by making it harder for certain people to buy its main ingredients.</p> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:44:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17903 at http://michiganradio.org Meth production targeted by Michigan lawmakers The end of the road may be coming for Michigan's Driver Responsibility fees http://michiganradio.org/post/end-road-may-be-coming-michigans-driver-responsibility-fees <p>Michigan is edging closer to ending its very unpopular Driver Responsibility fees.</p><p></p><p>The state fees were created a decade ago to help raise much needed-money for the state budget.</p><p></p><p>People with driving violations, like drunk driving, have to pay the fees which can climb to a couple thousand dollars.</p><p></p><p>Joe Haveman is a state representative from Holland. He says the fees are unfair.</p><p></p> Mon, 26 May 2014 15:43:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17752 at http://michiganradio.org The end of the road may be coming for Michigan's Driver Responsibility fees Where things stand on completing Michigan's budget http://michiganradio.org/post/where-things-stand-completing-michigans-budget <p><br />LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers are tackling some hefty issues like fuel taxes, Detroit's bankruptcy and the minimum wage in the last weeks before their summer break.<br /><br />They're also trying to finalize Michigan's next spending plan.</p> Sat, 24 May 2014 15:23:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17743 at http://michiganradio.org Poll shows strong support for raising taxes to pay for repairing Michigan roads http://michiganradio.org/post/poll-shows-strong-support-raising-taxes-pay-repairing-michigan-roads <p>A proposal to greatly increase Michigan’s gas tax goes before a state Senate committee tomorrow.</p><p></p><p>The proposal has already cleared the state House. Among other things, it calls for taxing fuel based on price, instead of volume. It would generate about $500 million in new tax revenue. That's about a third of what Gov. Rick Snyder and others say is needed to fix the roads.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 19:12:23 +0000 Steve Carmody 17659 at http://michiganradio.org Poll shows strong support for raising taxes to pay for repairing Michigan roads The 'Grand Bargain' may see progress this week at the state capitol http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-bargain-may-see-progress-week-state-capitol <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Governor Snyder hopes the State House will make progress toward approving the ‘Grand Bargain’ this week.</span></p><p></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 17:32:38 +0000 Steve Carmody 17656 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder wants the state House to consider minimum wage legislation soon http://michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-wants-state-house-consider-minimum-wage-legislation-soon <p>Governor Snyder hopes the state House will turn its attention soon to a proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage.</p><p></p><p>The Senate already approved a bill to increase Michigan’s minimum wage, in steps, to $9.20 an hour.</p><p></p><p>Snyder says it was good to see the bill pass in the Senate with bi-partisan support.</p><p></p><p>“I hope the House will take it up relatively soon. And make a serious review of it,” says Snyder.</p><p></p><p>Supporters say Michigan’s minimum wage has needed an increase for a long time.</p><p></p> Mon, 19 May 2014 17:27:42 +0000 Steve Carmody 17654 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder wants the state House to consider minimum wage legislation soon Michigan Senate eyes bigger gasoline tax increase http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-senate-eyes-bigger-gasoline-tax-increase <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan senators are considering whether to significantly increase gasoline taxes over five years to mend roads and bridges.<br /><br />The talk of pumping more money into transportation infrastructure comes on the heels of a House vote to gradually allow Michigan's 19-cents-a-gallon gas tax to go as high as 32 1/2 cents over time.</p> Sun, 18 May 2014 14:15:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17645 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Senate eyes bigger gasoline tax increase Law would make "revenge porn" a crime in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/law-would-make-revenge-porn-crime-michigan <p>It may soon be a misdemeanor in Michigan to post <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/03/06/286388840/race-to-stop-revenge-porn-raises-free-speech-worries">“revenge porn”</a> on the Internet.</p><p>A half-dozen states already have <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/10/02/228551353/calif-bans-jilted-lovers-from-posting-revenge-porn-online">laws on the books </a>to punish people who post nude or sexually explicit photos to the Web without the person’s consent.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 19:19:11 +0000 Steve Carmody 17455 at http://michiganradio.org Law would make "revenge porn" a crime in Michigan Tax cut plans dim as focus at the state capitol shifts to potholes http://michiganradio.org/post/tax-cut-plans-dim-focus-state-capitol-shifts-potholes <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - An income tax cut seemed inevitable just two months ago, as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers offered up and even began passing rival plans to use some of a budget surplus for tax relief before the 2014 elections.</p><p></p> Sat, 26 Apr 2014 14:00:02 +0000 The Associated Press 17372 at http://michiganradio.org Tax cut plans dim as focus at the state capitol shifts to potholes Flanagan: "The MEAP’s not an option" for next year http://michiganradio.org/post/flanagan-meap-s-not-option-next-year <p>State Superintendent Mike Flanagan is warning Michigan lawmakers against trying to take <a href="http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2014/04/meap_test_is_not_an_option_for.html#incart_river_default">a step back on school testing.</a></p><p></p><p>An amendment to next year’s school aid budget would require schools to give the MEAP exam next year. Some lawmakers are upset the state has contracted with a new company using a test tied to Common Core standards.</p><p></p><p>Flanagan says the MEAP test is not an option at this point. He says changing now would cost the state.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:52:25 +0000 Steve Carmody 17344 at http://michiganradio.org Flanagan: "The MEAP’s not an option" for next year State legislators debate expanding state's controversial Education Achievement Authority http://michiganradio.org/post/state-legislators-debate-expanding-states-controversial-education-achievement-authority <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy </span>Richardville<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says he hopes there will be a final vote this week on a bill to expand the state’s controversial Education Achievement Authority.</span></p><p>That’s the state-run authority meant to turn around some of Michigan’s lowest-performing schools. Right now, the EAA runs 15 schools in Detroit. The bill would pave the way for it to expand up to 50 schools statewide.</p><p>Michigan Public Radio Network’s Lansing reporter Jake Neher&nbsp;joined us to talk about the EAA.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:34:34 +0000 Stateside Staff 17332 at http://michiganradio.org State legislators debate expanding state's controversial Education Achievement Authority Student demand change to Michigan school 'zero tolerance' policies http://michiganradio.org/post/student-demand-change-michigan-school-zero-tolerance-policies <p>Dozens of high school students have completed a trek from Detroit to Lansing to highlight their concern about ‘zero tolerance’ policies in Michigan schools.</p><p><a href="http://tubmanorganizing.org/michael-reynolds-is-willing-to-go-to-extremes-to-shed-light-on-what-he-says-is-a-big-problem-zero-tolerance-policies-that-are-driving-kids-like-him-out-of-school-for-often-minor-offenses-he-and-doz/">The students say</a> violating even minor ‘zero tolerance’ policies may land them on suspension.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:19:51 +0000 Steve Carmody 17329 at http://michiganradio.org Student demand change to Michigan school 'zero tolerance' policies Metal theft bill hung up despite push by legislative leaders http://michiganradio.org/post/metal-theft-bill-hung-despite-push-legislative-leaders <p> LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Five years after Michigan targeted copper thefts plaguing cities like Detroit and disrupting railroads and utilities, plans to better restrict sales of stolen scrap metal are caught in a legislative fight.<br /><br />Lawmakers are generally in agreement over giving law enforcement more tools to crack down on the problem.<br /><br />But a provision to make people wait three days for payment for copper wire, air conditioners and catalytic converters is angering scrap buyers and dividing legislators.<br /> Sat, 15 Mar 2014 14:12:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16860 at http://michiganradio.org Metal theft bill hung up despite push by legislative leaders Compromise on emergency road funding to be announced this afternoon http://michiganradio.org/post/compromise-emergency-road-funding-be-announced-afternoon <p>State lawmakers will roll out a deal this afternoon on a spending package to fix Michigan’s pothole-filled roads.</p><p></p><p>The supplement funding bill is expected to include $200 million for local road agencies. Brutal winter weather has drained county and city road budgets.</p><p></p><p>State House Speaker Jase Bolger declined to give specifics about the compromise road bill this morning, except to say it will address the state’s immediate road problems.</p><p></p> Tue, 11 Mar 2014 15:19:20 +0000 Steve Carmody 16807 at http://michiganradio.org Compromise on emergency road funding to be announced this afternoon Drivers navigate pothole-strewn roads as Michigan lawmakers debate emergency funding http://michiganradio.org/post/drivers-navigate-pothole-strewn-roads-michigan-lawmakers-debate-emergency-funding <p>Many county road budgets in Michigan are idling on empty after our brutal winter.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">They hope state lawmakers will agree soon on an emergency road funding bill.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Drivers in Michigan could be forgiven if they think their morning commute feels more like an off-road adventure.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Brutal winter weather has turned many roads into a moonscape of potholes, more suited to an ATV than the family car.</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:34:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16763 at http://michiganradio.org Drivers navigate pothole-strewn roads as Michigan lawmakers debate emergency funding Michigan should 'bite the bullet' on road funding, suggests a PA state transportation official http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-should-bite-bullet-road-funding-suggests-pa-state-transportation-official <p>County road commissioners meeting in Lansing today heard from a Pennsylvania transportation official on how Michigan can spend more money on its crumbling roads.</p><p></p><p>Bradley Mallory is the executive deputy secretary of Pennsylvania’s transportation department.</p><p></p><p>His state recently passed a $2.3 billion road spending plan. The plan includes a higher gas tax and other fees.</p><p></p><p>Mallory says like Michigan, Pennsylvania lawmakers know they have to do something to fix their roads.</p><p></p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 22:14:22 +0000 Steve Carmody 16735 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan should 'bite the bullet' on road funding, suggests a PA state transportation official