Jennifer White http://michiganradio.org en Support for Detroit a political liability? http://michiganradio.org/post/support-detroit-political-liability <p></p><p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week on </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">All Things Considered</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, host Jennifer White talks&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">about the status of state support for the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings and the risk of political fallout for lawmakers who support such measures.We have that conversation&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">with Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan </span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics,&nbsp;</span></p><p>Recently, Americans for Prosperity, a group funded by billionaires David and Charles Koch, announced they would run ads against a grand bargain for Detroit and against any Republican lawmaker who votes to support such a plan.</p><p>According to Ken Sikkema, while there may be some political risk involved for Republican lawmakers, it is imperative that the Legislature moves on this issue to get Detroit out of bankruptcy promptly.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 21 May 2014 21:17:21 +0000 Jennifer White & Michigan Radio Newsroom 17702 at http://michiganradio.org Support for Detroit a political liability? Michigan lawmakers move to complete budget by early June http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-move-complete-budget-early-june <p></p><p></p><p>This week, the state legislature has been steadily moving on a number of items that had trouble gaining traction in the legislature. Progress has been made on funding for roads, teacher evaluation legislation, and state support for the Detroit bankruptcy. With both the August primary and the November election approaching, state lawmakers moved on these issues in order to complete the budget by early June.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jennifer White, host of&nbsp;<em>All Things Considered</em>,&nbsp;spoke with Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan </span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, about the recent developments in the state legislature.</span></p><p> Thu, 08 May 2014 20:32:29 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17536 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers move to complete budget by early June 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 Republican state senator introduces bill to increase minimum wage http://michiganradio.org/post/republican-state-senator-introduces-bill-increase-minimum-wage <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Michigan voters could see a question about increasing the minimum wage on the ballot this year. A petition drive is under way to collect enough signatures. But one Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill to increase the minimum wage in Michigan. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, wants to increase the minimum wage from $7.40 to $8.15 an hour and an increase from $2.65 to $2.75 an hour for tipped workers.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“I’m suggesting that this is a good alternative," Jones says. "I don’t want to see all these waiters and waitresses lose these jobs; many of them are single moms who depend on this income and this is very good income for somebody typically with just a high school diploma."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Jones believes that minimum wage is intended as a starter job and that there are good jobs in Michigan, but that companies are having a difficult time filling those positions. Jones emphasizes that people need to understand the risks behind a possible ballot proposal to increase the minimum wage.</span></p><p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:53:02 +0000 Jennifer White & Michigan Radio Newsroom 17403 at http://michiganradio.org Republican state senator introduces bill to increase minimum wage Detroit bankruptcy case, bondholders and the future of the DIA http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-bankruptcy-case-bondholders-and-future-dia <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It’s Thursday, the day we talk Michigan politics with Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan </span>Demas<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.</span></p><p>This week, host Jennifer White discusses the latest developments in the Detroit bankruptcy case and examines the implications.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There was a significant breakthrough yesterday. A settlement was announced between the city of Detroit and three major bond insurers. The insurers will get about 74 cents on the dollar, a significant increase from what emergency manager </span>Kevyn<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Orr originally offered, and the roughly $50 million in savings will go to support retirees.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The question now is whether retirees will accept further cuts to their pensions, given the fact that Gov. Rick Snyder has stated that the state will not put any money forward unless the retirees agree to cuts. Ken </span>Sikkema<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says it's imperative that retirees back the plan.</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:31:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17195 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit bankruptcy case, bondholders and the future of the DIA Your plans for next week? Listen to our series on education in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/your-plans-next-week-listen-our-series-education-detroit <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Next week, Sarah Alvarez from our </span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;"><em style="line-height: 1.5;">State of Opportunity</em></a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> team will explore the long shadow of a </span>busing<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> and integration case 40 years ago, and the way the outcome fundamentally altered the notion of a neighborhood school for students in Detroit and many communities throughout the metro area.</span></p><p></p><p><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/great-detroit-draft-70" style="line-height: 1.5;">Check out this post by Kimberly Springer</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> that shows how some Detroit parents were notified that their kids were going to be bused to another school.</span></p><p>The series “Abandoning the neighborhood school” will focus on these topics:</p><p> Fri, 08 Nov 2013 16:51:09 +0000 Mark Brush 15192 at http://michiganradio.org Your plans for next week? Listen to our series on education in Detroit Author explores family secrets in the new autobiographical memoir: Annie's Ghosts http://michiganradio.org/post/author-explores-family-secrets-new-autobiographical-memoir-annies-ghosts <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This year&rsquo;s </span><a href="http://www.michiganhumanities.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Great Michigan Read</a><a href="http://www.michiganhumanities.org/programs/tgmr/" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">selection is </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Annie&rsquo;s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, by Steve </span>Luxenberg<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p>The autobiographical memoir tells the story of one man&rsquo;s surprising discovery of his aunt, Annie, who he only learns of after his mother&rsquo;s death. This is a fascinating read: its part mystery story, part family history and part exploration, as the author relearns who his mother and aunt really were.</p><p>This week, host Jennifer White talks with the author, Steve Luxenberg about why it was important for him to write such an intimate story about his family.</p><p>&ldquo;My mother had a secret, which she kept her entire life. She didn&rsquo;t tell her children that she had a sister who was institutionalized for 31 years at a Michigan Hospital called Eloise. When we found out about this, I needed to re-imagine my mother and my entire family story because when my mom was growing up she told elaborate stories about how she was an only child. Those stories turned out not to be true,&quot; Luxenberg said.</p><p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:32:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 14562 at http://michiganradio.org Author explores family secrets in the new autobiographical memoir: Annie's Ghosts Senate hesitates to vote on expanding Michigan Medicaid http://michiganradio.org/post/senate-hesitates-vote-expanding-michigan-medicaid <p></p><p>Governor Rick Snyder has called on the Legislature to pass a Medicaid expansion in Michigan in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Although the House passed the expansion, the Michigan Senate went on summer recess without voting on the bill. However, now a Senate Work Group will begin meeting over the summer months to consider the legislation.</p><p>Medicaid expansion has had the support of both the medical and business communities. Now former GOP House Speaker Rick Johnson is lending his voice in support of the call for Medicaid expansion. He discusses his reasons for supporting the proposed expansion, and the Senate’s hesitation on coming to a vote.</p><p>Former Speaker Johnson says that despite resistance to the Affordable Care Act from the Republican Caucus, the bill has been discussed for far too long to not be considered for a vote in the Senate.</p><p>“It’s been out here now six months, it’s been reviewed, it’s been kicked back and forth. We’re at a point where it’s time to make a choice. Let’s at least take the vote. Up or down, let’s take the vote,” Johnson explained.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 00:04:50 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & Jennifer White 13439 at http://michiganradio.org Rep. Theresa Abed voices concerns of her constituents http://michiganradio.org/post/rep-theresa-abed-voices-concerns-her-constituents <p></p><p>The Michigan House of Representatives welcomed 28 new members after the recent November elections, 19 of which are Democrats. Representative Theresa Abed of Michigan's 71st District, which includes Grand Ledge, is one such Democratic Representative.</p><p>Based on her lengthy experience working in Michigan schools, Rep. Abed says that her jump into the political arena was a direct result of her concerns regarding how current legislation is impacting people in her community.</p><p>"My whole life I've been an advocate...I've worked in our schools for almost 30 years, and I've always been someone who's involved in the community...Through this process, I've seen that more and more of what's impacting people right now is the legislation that's being enacted," she told Michigan Radio's Jenn White.</p><p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 23:09:41 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11025 at http://michiganradio.org Rep. Theresa Abed voices concerns of her constituents Green confidence at the North American International Auto Show http://michiganradio.org/post/green-confidence-north-american-international-auto-show <p></p><p>With the Detroit International Auto Show only just beginning, GM and Chrysler are already receiving good news.</p><p>This year's North American Car of the Year award went to the Cadillac ATS, while Truck of the Year was awarded to the Dodge Ram 1500.</p><p>According to Bernard Swiecki with the Center for Automotive Research, these awards are more significant in their effects on confidence, rather than their impact on sales.</p><p>"Interestingly, both of these vehicles are built in Michigan, so there's a very real local connection there as well. This is kind of an endorsement that both of these critical vehicles were done right by the engineering teams. "</p><p>Swiecki mentions that confidence is shown not only in the vehicles, but in the atmosphere of this year's Detroit Auto Show, and is a clear departure from the austerity of the post-bailout shows of the past.</p><p>"In the 2009 and 2010 shows, there was almost an atmosphere of allaying the fears that 'We're not going to be here next year', and that's really not the case anymore, and it hasn't been for the last two or three years. Now it's more about a confident approach, showing future products with every certainty that 1) the companies&nbsp;are&nbsp;viable and 2) the products themselves are world-class," he said.</p><p>These American vehicles are world-class, and green, according to Swiecki, who claims that green-technology continues to be a pronounced trend in new American vehicles, such as Cadillac's luxurious take on the Chevy Volt. Green technology is even moving across vehicle platforms this year to trucks with Ford's Atlas Pickup concept, which will eventually become&nbsp;the next generation Ford F-150.</p><p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:15:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10782 at http://michiganradio.org Green confidence at the North American International Auto Show Midwesterners are on the move, but where are they going? http://michiganradio.org/post/midwesterners-are-move-where-are-they-going <p>Fewer Americans are making long distance moves than at any point since the census started tracking the data in the 1940s.&nbsp;Overall, American geographic mobility is declining--except in the Midwest.</p><p>From 2007-2009, over 900,000 people left the region.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/02/10/infographic-midwest-migration/" target="_blank">A lot of them went to Texas</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>Michigan Radio&#39;s Public Insight Journalist, Sarah Alvarez, has been collecting stories from some of the people who left. Alvarez spoke with Jennifer White, host of Michigan Radio&#39;s All Things Considered, about what&#39;s driving regional out-migration, and about how Midwestern exiles feel about making the Big Move.</p><p>Through the Public Insight Network, a database of sources, Alvarez heard from about 200 former Midwesterners living all over the country--and the world.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We wanted to see if these people&#39;s stories matched up with conventional wisdom and statistics about why people left the region,&quot; says Alvarez.</p><p> Fri, 17 Feb 2012 22:45:42 +0000 6267 at http://michiganradio.org Midwesterners are on the move, but where are they going? Political Roundup: Mackinac Policy Conference (audio) http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-mackinac-policy-conference-audio <p>This week lawmakers and business leaders from around the state are attending the annual Mackinac Policy Conference. It&rsquo;s touted as a time when political deals are made and politicians have a chance to set agendas.</p><p>To give us the lowdown on the conference Michigan Radio&#39;s Jenn White talks with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service and Ken Sikkema, former Republican state Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-971673.mp3</p><p>Former Republican state Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema is familiar with what goes on at the conference. Are there really any useful conversations that come out of this event? Sikkema:</p><blockquote><p>I do think useful conversations are conducted up there, but that&#39;s a far cry from saying that fundamental solutions get agreed to, or that deals get made.</p></blockquote><p>The Mackinac Policy Conference is sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and is known to be a lavish event. Considering that businesses are paying for the event, is there a conflict of interest at play for lawmakers? Susan Demas doesn&#39;t think so. Lawmakers pay their own way. But there are some paid-for events and open bars. Demas:</p><blockquote><p>But in a way it&#39;s not all together that different than how business is conducted in Lansing every night. The bars and the restaurants are filled with lobbyists who meet with lawmakers, this is nothing new.&nbsp; But I certainly don&#39;t think anybody is violating any ethics laws that we have on the books here in Michigan.</p></blockquote><p> Thu, 02 Jun 2011 21:20:23 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 2731 at http://michiganradio.org