Jase Bolger http://michiganradio.org en House speaker's dad to join Western Michigan University board http://michiganradio.org/post/house-speakers-dad-join-western-michigan-university-board <p>KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed House Speaker Jase Bolger's father to serve on the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.</p> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 23:20:00 +0000 The Associated Press 18002 at http://michiganradio.org House speaker's dad to join Western Michigan University board Rumors of the demise of minimum wage petition drive are greatly exaggerated http://michiganradio.org/post/rumors-demise-minimum-wage-petition-drive-are-greatly-exaggerated <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">So now that the Michigan Senate has approved a new, higher minimum wage, with bipartisan support (14 Rs, 10 Ds) no less, this is practically a done deal. Right?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Not so much.</span> <span id="docs-internal-guid-a850aade-0650-754c-0145-0e2550edd44f" style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">The </span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">headlines and stories that said it would “kill” the petition drive are speculative and premature.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">This Senate bill is – at the bottom of it all – an effort to pull the rug out from under the ballot drive to raise the Michigan minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. It's a cause beloved by Democrats and progressives.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">So why then did 10 out of 12 Senate Democrats go along with it? Particularly after some had already blasted the proposal as a gimmick and too paltry – especially for workers earning the lower tipped wage?</span> Fri, 16 May 2014 18:38:35 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 17640 at http://michiganradio.org Rumors of the demise of minimum wage petition drive are greatly exaggerated House Speaker Bolger balks at state support for Detroit bankruptcy http://michiganradio.org/post/house-speaker-bolger-balks-state-support-detroit-bankruptcy <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>It’s Thursday, the day we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.</p><p>This week, Jennifer White, host of <em>All Things Considered,</em> examines the latest developments surrounding the Detroit bankruptcy case. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr spent two days in Lansing this week, trying to galvanize lawmakers to support a grand bargain to&nbsp;reinforce Detroit pensions while protecting the Detroit Institute of Arts. The state is being asked to contribute $350 million, but House Speaker Jase Bolger has balked at the proposal.</p><p>Ken Sikkema&nbsp;emphasizes that because it is an election year, Speaker Bolger will have a difficult time getting full Republican support to contribute state money to help with Detroit’s financial woes, and that in order for a deal to proceed where the state will contribute financially, it will rely on bipartisan support.</p><p>“The speaker is walking a fine line here, between driving a hard bargain to show that Republicans actually got something in the way of more accountability so that this doesn’t happen again,” Sikkema explains. “Down in Detroit, the pieces are starting to fall into place to make this happen and the last big piece is state participation. But he’s never going to get full Republican support for this, particularly in an election year, it’s going to have to be a bipartisan vote.”</p><p> Thu, 01 May 2014 21:15:42 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & Jennifer White 17453 at http://michiganradio.org House Speaker Bolger balks at state support for Detroit bankruptcy Gov. Snyder and Senate leader not embracing Bolger’s union demands http://michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-and-senate-leader-not-embracing-bolger-s-union-demands <p>Republican leaders in Lansing are not joining House Speaker Jase Bolger’s calls for unions to contribute to Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement.</p><p></p><p>Gov. Rick Snyder and several foundations have signed off on a complicated deal to protect retiree pensions and artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The state’s contribution to the so-called “grand bargain” would be about $350 million, and state lawmakers would have to approve that money.</p><p></p><p>Bolger, R-Marshall, says it’s only fair for unions to contribute to the deal as well.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:51:26 +0000 Jake Neher 17343 at http://michiganradio.org Gov. Snyder and Senate leader not embracing Bolger’s union demands Local governments are hopeful, cautious about state road-funding plan http://michiganradio.org/post/local-governments-are-hopeful-cautious-about-state-road-funding-plan <p>The organization championing the interests of Michigan’s local governments is <a href="http://blogs.mml.org/wp/inside208/2014/04/03/speaker-bolger-unveils-new-transportation-funding-plan/">withholding judgment on a proposal</a> to fix the state’s roads.</p><p>Officials with the Michigan Municipal League say they’re cautiously hopeful about <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140406/POLITICS02/304060020/Snyder-calls-House-road-funding-plan-constructive">the plan Republican State House leader Jase Bolger unveiled</a> last week.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17125 at http://michiganradio.org Local governments are hopeful, cautious about state road-funding plan 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 Auto no-fault overhaul is GOP’s ‘Holy Grail’ http://michiganradio.org/post/auto-no-fault-overhaul-gop-s-holy-grail <p>A political controversy in Lansing that just won’t die is back: <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/few-issues-reveal-political-divide-auto-insurance">auto no-fault insurance</a>. There is yet <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/gop-lawmakers-try-revive-no-fault-overhaul">another Republican effort</a> to muscle through an auto no-fault overhaul, this time being led by state House Speaker Jase Bolger.</p><p>There’s a lot in this proposal, released just yesterday, but one of the main things is a cap on the state’s currently unlimited medical benefits if you are injured in a crash. Under the Bolger plan, these benefits would top out at $10 million. Other parts of the proposal include limits on hospital fees and payments for in-home care, incentives to avoid litigation, and a guaranteed rate rollback in the first two years of coverage.</p><p>Essentially, there is something in this plan for all of the special interests that have a stake in the auto no-fault system – hospitals, insurance companies, trial lawyers – to dislike. But, Bolger says, bring it on. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:44:01 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 16550 at http://michiganradio.org Auto no-fault overhaul is GOP’s ‘Holy Grail’ Stateside for Wednesday, November 13, 2013 http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-wednesday-november-13-2013 <div><p>On the show today, a surprising new study shows binge drinking is up among high school students, and that's not all. It's a rising problem across the Midwest.</p></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then, a very personal story from a filmmaker who overcame being a bully, and how her mission to educate kids and parents resulted in a powerful film.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And, we took a look at Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's&nbsp;visit to Detroit and what he learned while there.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>First on the show,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.</span></p><p>But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.</p><p>That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.</p><p>Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.</p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 21:32:44 +0000 Stateside Staff 15270 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside for Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger visited Detroit and left enlightened http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-house-speaker-jase-bolger-visited-detroit-and-left-enlightened <p>Late last month, on October 28th to be precise, the Speaker of Michigan’s House traveled from Lansing to Detroit. Not for a political meeting, or a dinner, or a ball game.</p><p>Jase Bolger&nbsp;(R-Midland) came at the invitation of a Detroit lawmaker to see for himself what people in Detroit face day-in and day-out.</p><p>And it would seem that what he saw and heard left its mark.</p><p>Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley has written a series of columns about this apparent enlightenment of House Speaker Bolger, and she joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 21:24:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 15268 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger visited Detroit and left enlightened A small glimpse into the Bolger-Schmidt grand jury probe http://michiganradio.org/post/small-glimpse-bolger-schmidt-grand-jury-probe <p style="color: rgb(54, 54, 54); font-family: Georgia, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;">Jase Bolger&nbsp;said he made some mistakes in plotting Roy Schmidt's party switch and recruitment of a patsy Democratic candidate to run against the newly-crowned-Republican. But he said he broke no laws - and after a year-long investigation - a grand-jury of one agreed.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:26:14 +0000 Mark Brush 13933 at http://michiganradio.org A small glimpse into the Bolger-Schmidt grand jury probe Grand juror clears Bolger, Schmidt of crimes in election scandal http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-juror-clears-bolger-schmidt-crimes-election-scandal <p>There will be no criminal charges in the election-rigging scandal that embarrassed state House Speaker&nbsp;Jase Bolger and cost another lawmaker his job. Judge Rosemarie Aqualina in Lansing says there’s no evidence any crimes were committed.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This wraps up a year-long inquiry based on a complaint filed by Democratic leaders.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The investigation focused on the leap by state Representative Roy Schmidt of Grand Rapids from the Democrats to the Republicans.</span></p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 17:20:16 +0000 Rick Pluta 13917 at http://michiganradio.org Grand juror clears Bolger, Schmidt of crimes in election scandal Duggan and Dugeon poised for alpha-battle http://michiganradio.org/post/duggan-and-dugeon-poised-alpha-battle <p>This week, it’s another shenanigans edition of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/programs/its-just-politics"><em>It’s Just Politics</em></a>. Thanks to Jack Lessenberry for his <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/latest-detroits-election-mess">explainer on the latest political mischief </a>coming out of Detroit. It’s important to note this kind of political behavior is nothing new: Very crowded primary ballots with names that are very similar; recruited by opposing campaigns. Efforts to divide the vote can also take into account ethnicity, gender when one side recruits candidates with no hope of winning but, can maybe split the vote to sink another campaign come Election Day. No matter what you think of political games, they’re pretty normal.</p><p><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/mike-duggan">Mike Duggan</a>, former hospital CEO, prosecutor and problem-solver for the late Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara launched his Detroit mayoral write-in campaign after he was booted from the ballot after one his opponents challenged him for filing his nomination petitions before he was a city resident for a full-year. But a lot of experts were giving his write-in effort a pretty good shot at getting him into the two-person runoff this coming fall. He’s topping the polls and appeared to have a good shot at winning a spot on the November runoff. Fri, 26 Jul 2013 17:49:18 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 13713 at http://michiganradio.org Duggan and Dugeon poised for alpha-battle The chief of staff to Michigan's Speaker of the House leaving for new job http://michiganradio.org/post/chief-staff-michigans-speaker-house-leaving-new-job <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's chief of staff is leaving to take a job in the private sector in northern Michigan.<br><br>Bolger on Wednesday announced that Suzanne Miller Allen will resign at the end of August. She's a long-time Republican staffer who splits her time between Lansing and Traverse City, an area her husband Jason represented as a state lawmaker from 1999 through 2010.<br><br>Allen also was chief of staff to former Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema and former House Speaker Paul Hillegonds.<br> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:59:20 +0000 The Associated Press 13591 at http://michiganradio.org The chief of staff to Michigan's Speaker of the House leaving for new job Medicaid impasse: Tea Party pushes around a Nerd http://michiganradio.org/post/medicaid-impasse-tea-party-pushes-around-nerd <p>This week on <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/topic/its-just-politics"><em>It’s Just Politics</em></a>, we break down the breakdown over the Medicaid expansion. We’re thinking a bit about Mick Jagger right now (something along the lines of, “You can’t always get what you want") and Jagger might just have been singing that tune for Governor Snyder, who, yesterday, was once again denied by the Michigan Legislature. This time, by the state Senate, they left town, out-of-dodge for the summer apparently, without voting on an expansion of Medicaid.</p><p>The Medicaid expansion is the governor’s top policy objective at the moment and, so, Mr. Relentless Positive Action ain’t too happy. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘angry,’ but, obviously this is not my normal demeanor. What word you’d like to put on it, I’ll leave it to you.”<br><br>Peeved? Vexed? Splenetic. We’ll step away from the thesaurus, now, and breakdown this breakdown. First of all, Rick Snyder played a big part in creating this problem for himself. He and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley were both missing during some critical days of these negotiations. This was the final week of session before the Legislature’s summer break and, yet, face-to-face Medicaid negotiations were delegated while the governor went on a trade trip to Israel and the lieutenant governor was on a tour of the U.P.<br><br>Both of those trips were cut short as things melted down in Lansing, but precious time was lost. There are things only a governor can promise and he has to be in the room to do it. But, the governor may have set the stage for this impasse two summers ago when he signed into law the new legislative district maps; a lot of very safe Republican seats. When you do that, you also give outsize influence to the more extreme elements of your party. No wonder you can’t get Republicans to support you, governor. That’s how you set it up. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:21:39 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 13189 at http://michiganradio.org Medicaid impasse: Tea Party pushes around a Nerd Bolger considers adding sexual orientation to civil rights law http://michiganradio.org/post/bolger-considers-adding-sexual-orientation-civil-rights-law <p align="LEFT">Michigan State House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) could be opening the door to extending civil rights protections to gays and lesbians. That would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in areas such as employment and housing.</p><p align="LEFT">The state's civil rights act protects a variety of groups from discrimination. It includes protections for categories like race and age, but sexual orientation has yet to be included.</p><p align="LEFT"> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 18:58:03 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13043 at http://michiganradio.org Bolger considers adding sexual orientation to civil rights law Michigan leaders decide where to spend budget windfall http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-leaders-decide-where-spend-budget-windfall <p>There’s a tentative budget deal between Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders.</p><p>It puts more money into savings, schools, and roads. But, it also delays decisions on some of the governor’s priorities.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>“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.</p><p>Road funding is especially difficult with a Legislature that’s been opposed to higher gas taxes and registration fees.</p><p>There’s also no arrangement to take federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility.</p><p>Bolger says those discussions are ongoing.</p><p>“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.”&nbsp;</p><p>The governor says Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law will save Michigan taxpayers money, but Republicans in the Legislature are not on board.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Bolger says the governor and the Legislature are on track to get the new budget wrapped up by their deadline of June 1. Wed, 22 May 2013 13:57:25 +0000 Rick Pluta 12676 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan leaders decide where to spend budget windfall How much is it costing us to investigate Jase Bolger? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-much-it-costing-us-investigate-jase-bolger <p>That's the nugget in <a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/tim_skubick_a_lesson_in_open_g.html">Tim Skubick's MLive column today</a> on politicians' practice of being 'transparent' only when it's convenient.</p><p>Skubick writes about an effort to find out how much money has been spent on the one person grand jury investigating Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall).</p><p>Bolger was caught up in a potential election rigging scandal last year.</p><p>Skubick writes the information about the Bolger investigation was hard to get - at first:</p><blockquote><p>Eventually that hard and fast, “I can’t divulge” stonewall turned into a little sunshine.</p><p>And two days after the original inquiry came, a one liner: The cost for two lawyers, Mike Ferency and John Smeitanka, was <strong>$28,362.44</strong>...</p><p>They’ve worked a combined total of <strong>211.90 hours plus $2,046</strong> in gas mileage and other expenses.</p></blockquote><p>The one-person grand jury - Judge Rosemary Aquilina - <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/judge-grants-further-investigation-election-rigging-scandal">was recently granted more time</a> to investigate the scandal. Information about the scandal can continue to be collected through August 22 of this year. Tue, 21 May 2013 17:45:21 +0000 Mark Brush 12663 at http://michiganradio.org How much is it costing us to investigate Jase Bolger? State lawmakers introduce bill to overhaul, expand Medicaid http://michiganradio.org/post/state-lawmakers-introduce-bill-overhaul-expand-medicaid <p>Republicans in the state House have introduced a bill to overhaul and expand Medicaid in Michigan.</p><p>Among other things, it would limit able-bodied adults to four years in the program.</p><p>The Republican-led state Legislature has balked at the idea of accepting money from the federal government to add hundreds of thousands of people to Medicaid.</p><p>House Speaker Jase Bolger says this is an alternative to that plan.</p><p>“If we are going to say ‘no’ to something, we must offer an alternative. We ask that all of the time from our colleagues across the aisle, and therefore we’re going to continue to live by that ourselves,” said Bolger.</p><p>The bill would also require the federal government to fund 100 percent of the expansion. Thu, 09 May 2013 21:30:00 +0000 Jake Neher 12503 at http://michiganradio.org State lawmakers introduce bill to overhaul, expand Medicaid Have Jase Bolger and L. Brooks Patterson kissed and made up? http://michiganradio.org/post/have-jase-bolger-and-l-brooks-patterson-kissed-and-made <p>Not exactly.</p><p>Right after Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, R,&nbsp;<a href="http://youtu.be/7eoS0BasBbw">made the "Adolf" comment</a> about Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, he was challenged.</p><p><strong>"Isn't that a little over the top?"</strong> asked "Off the Record" host Tim Skubick.</p><p><strong>"Yeah, I want it to be!"</strong> replied L. Brooks Patterson.</p><p>Patterson was upset about how Bolger has handled the discussion around proposed changes Michigan's no-fault auto insurance law.</p><p>You can watch the exchange here:</p> Tue, 07 May 2013 16:47:46 +0000 Mark Brush 12447 at http://michiganradio.org Have Jase Bolger and L. Brooks Patterson kissed and made up? Commentary: Brooks and Adolf http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-brooks-and-adolf <p></p><p>Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime bad boy of Michigan Republican politics, stirred things up again last Friday. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last.</p><p>If you don’t already know this, Patterson went on "Off the Record," the public affairs TV show, and referred to the Speaker of the House as “Adolf” Bolger.</p><p>There wasn’t any doubt who he meant. Brooks has never been subtle. In fact, he pulled out a pocket comb and held it up to his face in an imitation of a Hitler mustache.</p><p>That sparked a tremendous outcry. Before the day was over, the state Anti-Defamation League was denouncing Brooks Patterson for what they called trivializing the Holocaust by comparing his fellow Republican, Jase Bolger, to Adolf Hitler.</p><p> Mon, 06 May 2013 12:36:14 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 12420 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Brooks and Adolf