Michigan Democrats http://michiganradio.org en Immigration, school year changes and other highlights from Gov. Snyder's State of the State address http://michiganradio.org/post/immigration-school-year-changes-and-other-highlights-gov-snyders-state-state-address <link href='//cdn.knightlab.com/libs/soundcite/latest/css/player.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'><script type='text/javascript' src='//connect.soundcloud.com/sdk.js'></script><script type='text/javascript' src='//cdn.knightlab.com/libs/soundcite/latest/js/soundcite.min.js'></script> <p>Gov. Rick Snyder put services for immigrants and seniors at the top of his to-do list for 2014 in his State of the State speech yesterday.</p><p>The governor also promised to extend pre-school to every child in the state that wants to attend, and trumpeted the state’s economic recovery as he prepares to seek a second term.</p><p><span class="soundcite" data-id="129992011" data-start="0" data-end="3421">"We are reinventing Michigan," Snyder said. "Michigan is the comeback state."</span></p><p>Snyder noted that hiring is up, and more people are looking for work — although Michigan still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates and many families living in poverty.</p><p>But the governor says things are getting better and the state’s improved budget position and the prospect of a revenue surplus is evidence of that. He said much of that money — more than a billion dollars over the next three years — should be used on infrastructure, investments, and savings. But he also said taxpayers should get some of it back.</p><p>“There’s going to be some opportunity for tax relief,” Snyder said.</p><p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:39:16 +0000 Rick Pluta 16067 at http://michiganradio.org Immigration, school year changes and other highlights from Gov. Snyder's State of the State address What can we expect to hear in Gov. Snyder's State of the State address? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-can-we-expect-hear-gov-snyders-state-state-address <p>Gov. Rick Snyder delivers his fourth State of the State address tomorrow night. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s <em>It’s Just Politics</em>, talk about what we can expect to hear in the governor’s address.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 20:32:09 +0000 Stateside Staff 16037 at http://michiganradio.org What can we expect to hear in Gov. Snyder's State of the State address? Opponents to target Michigan abortion law in 2014 http://michiganradio.org/post/opponents-target-michigan-abortion-law-2014 <p>Incensed Democrats and abortion rights advocates are vowing that Republican lawmakers overreached so much with new restrictions on abortion coverage in Michigan's public and private health insurance plans that it'll cost them in next elections.</p> Sun, 15 Dec 2013 19:51:16 +0000 The Associated Press 15696 at http://michiganradio.org Opponents to target Michigan abortion law in 2014 Michigan lawmakers return to work in Lansing this week http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-return-work-lansing-week <p>The Labor Day weekend signals an end to summer, and this week the Legislature returns to a full-time schedule.</p><p></p><p>The first order of business is final votes on expanding Medicaid.</p><p></p><p>Legislative leaders hope to wrap up the controversial question of expanding Medicaid to thousands of working poor people. The Senate has to vote on whether the coverage will begin January first, and a House vote is needed to send the bill to Governor Rick Snyder.</p><p></p> Mon, 02 Sep 2013 14:31:20 +0000 Rick Pluta 14230 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers return to work in Lansing this week Lon Johnson: the man in the hot seat http://michiganradio.org/post/lon-johnson-man-hot-seat <p>For some time, there has been growing discontent among Michigan Democrats. The state has become reliably Democratic in presidential elections.</p><p>Republicans have won only one statewide race for the U.S. Senate in the last forty years. But below that level, Democrats have a stunning record of failure. Republicans hold the governor’s office, as they have for more than two-thirds of the last half-century.</p><p>Republicans control the Supreme Court and both houses of the state legislature. Democrats haven’t controlled the state senate for thirty years, and today don’t even have a third of the seats.</p><p>Those numbers -- and even stronger unhappiness among organized labor -- helped foster a revolt in the party that led to the ouster of longtime party chair Mark Brewer last February, and the election of Lon Johnson, a 42-year-old whirlwind, as his successor. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:47:02 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13976 at http://michiganradio.org Lon Johnson: the man in the hot seat Commentary: Remember Virg Bernero? http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-remember-virg-bernero <p>Everyone knows, of course, that Rick Snyder was elected governor three years ago. And by now it is safe to say that everyone has an opinion about him. Some think he is saving the state.</p><p>Others are vowing to do everything they can to prevent him from winning a second term. But stop for a minute.</p><p>Do you remember who Snyder defeated to be elected governor in the first place? Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the&nbsp;Democratic nominee in what was an impossible year for his party.</p><p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:22:54 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 13102 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Remember Virg Bernero? Debbie Dingell decides against 2014 US Senate run http://michiganradio.org/post/debbie-dingell-decides-against-2014-us-senate-run <p>Democratic national committeewoman Debbie Dingell says she has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate seat that opened up with Carl Levin's impending retirement.</p> Sat, 20 Apr 2013 19:54:33 +0000 Associated Press 12225 at http://michiganradio.org Debbie Dingell decides against 2014 US Senate run Democrats call for repealing some state taxes http://michiganradio.org/post/democrats-call-repealing-some-state-taxes <p>State House Democrats spent “tax day” pushing a plan to repeal several state tax policies.<br>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:26:42 +0000 Jake Neher 12149 at http://michiganradio.org Democrats call for repealing some state taxes In this morning's news: Democrats' budget, Detroit restructuring, Royal Oak explosion http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-democrats-budget-detroit-restructuring-royal-oak-explosion <p><strong>Democrats announce budget priorities</strong></p><p>State House Democrats<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-democrats-want-cut-state-pension-tax-boost-k-12-funding"> announced </a>a new set of priorities for the state budget yesterday.</p><p>“The Democrats’ plan calls for $1.5 billion in new spending on education, tax cuts for middle-class residents and seniors, and small business investments. They say they would pay for that partly by eliminating government waste and cutting corporate tax breaks,” Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Consultants recommend changes to Detroit city departments </strong></p><p>A restructuring firm hired by the city of Detroit has presented two proposals to re-shape city departments to a city-state advisory board.</p><p>“One proposal would downsize the City Council, and make its members part-time. The other suggests ways to consolidate the Police Department,” Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/restructuring-plan-targets-detroit-city-council">reports.</a></p><p><strong>Safety violations at fault for natural gas explosion in Royal Oak </strong></p><p>In a letter to state regulators, Consumers Energy said utility workers failed to follow company protocols in the lead-up to a deadly natural gas explosion in Royal Oak earlier this year.</p><p>“The utility says workers didn't follow procedures as they replaced a gas main near the house, and then left the area after smelling gas,” reports Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton.</p><p> Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:10:55 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12058 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Democrats' budget, Detroit restructuring, Royal Oak explosion Lon Johnson talks about what's in store for Michigan Democrats http://michiganradio.org/post/lon-johnson-talks-about-whats-store-michigan-democrats <p></p><p>One month ago, Mark Brewer lost his job.</p><p>In February, the longtime leader of the Michigan Democratic Party withdrew from the race for party chair at the Democratic Party's convention in Detroit.</p><p>Lon Johnson replaced Brewer as the elected chairman.</p><p>Johnson is from southeast Michigan and recently lost a race for a state House seat in 2012.</p><p>He's worked on Congressman Dingell's campaign. He currently lives in Kalkaska.</p><p>For Johnson supporters, he represents a new era of ideas and a fresh energy that the state's Democratic party needed.</p><p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:44:56 +0000 Stateside Staff 11850 at http://michiganradio.org Lon Johnson talks about what's in store for Michigan Democrats Finding Carl Levin's replacement http://michiganradio.org/post/finding-carl-levins-replacement <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The new leader of the Michigan Democratic Party says it has time to agree on top-flight candidates to replace Sen. Carl Levin and take on Gov. Rick Snyder.<br><br>Lon Johnson told The Associated Press that he takes exception to the notion that Snyder is safe because no Democrats have stepped forward to run for governor and the party has to focus on holding Levin's seat.<br> Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:12:00 +0000 The Associated Press 11721 at http://michiganradio.org Finding Carl Levin's replacement Tuesday primary begins the process of filling an empty state senate seat http://michiganradio.org/post/tuesday-primary-begins-process-filling-empty-state-senate-seat <p>Tomorrow, primary voters in Genesee County will narrow down the field of candidates to fill an open state senate seat.</p><p></p><p>There are seven candidates on the 27th state senate district primary ballot, though one has dropped out of the race.</p><p></p><p>On the Democratic side, State representatives Woodrow Stanley and Jim Ananich are facing off against Genesee County Commissioner Ted Henry and GM auto worker Chris Del Morone.</p><p></p><p>At a recent public forum, Stanley echoed the comments of his fellow Democratic candidates in hoping for a change at the state capitol.</p><p></p> Mon, 11 Mar 2013 04:01:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 11613 at http://michiganradio.org Tuesday primary begins the process of filling an empty state senate seat Weekly Political Roundup: Michigan Supreme Court, Democratic party http://michiganradio.org/post/weekly-political-roundup-michigan-supreme-court-democratic-party <p></p><p>Each week we speak with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>Governor Snyder has chosen his replacement for the Michigan Supreme Court. Judge David Viviano fills the seat left open after the resignation of Diane Hathaway after a bank fraud scandal involving the short sale of property in Grosse Pointe.</p><p>And, the Michigan Republican and Democratic parties elected their leadership. The Democratic party saw its longtime chair, Mark Brewer, concede victory to Lon Johnson. What could Johnson's leadership mean for the Democratic party in Michigan?</p><p> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 21:53:24 +0000 Jennifer White 11477 at http://michiganradio.org Weekly Political Roundup: Michigan Supreme Court, Democratic party Stateside: What happened during Michigan's political conventions? http://michiganradio.org/post/stateside-what-happened-during-michigans-political-conventions <p>Over the weekend, both the Democratic and Republican parties held their conventions.</p><p>The 18-year run for Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer has come to an end. Brewer will be replaced by Lon Johnson, of Kalkaska.</p><p>On the other side of the aisle Republican Chairman Bobby Schostak was reelected.</p><p>Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Rick Pluta, the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.</p><p><em>You can listen to the full Stateside interview above</em>.</p><p> Mon, 25 Feb 2013 22:07:51 +0000 Stateside Staff 11411 at http://michiganradio.org Stateside: What happened during Michigan's political conventions? Michigan Democrats dump longtime chair, elect new leader http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-democrats-dump-longtime-chair-elect-new-leader <p>DETROIT (AP) - The longtime leader of the Michigan Democrats is losing his job.<br><br>Mark Brewer on Saturday withdrew from the race for party chairman at the state Democratic Party convention in Detroit. He said he wishes challenger Lon Johnson all the best.<br><br>Brewer announced his decision to thousands of delegates rather than continue an uphill climb to retain his seat after unions and Michigan's Democratic congressional delegation got behind Johnson. Brewer said he wishes Johnson all the best.<br> Sat, 23 Feb 2013 21:32:54 +0000 The Associated Press 11390 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Democrats dump longtime chair, elect new leader Governor faces lower approval numbers and a billboard http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-faces-lower-approval-numbers-and-billboard <p>Yesterday afternoon, Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer announced a new billboard which they're hoping may capitalize on lower approval numbers for Governor Rick Snyder.</p><p>The strategically placed billboard is on I-96 – between Lansing and Brighton. Brewer estimates 160,000 commuters every week will see the billboard including (if he’s looking) the governor himself. Fri, 22 Feb 2013 20:07:05 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11378 at http://michiganradio.org Governor faces lower approval numbers and a billboard Michigan Democrats give “Real State of the State” speech http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-democrats-give-real-state-state-speech <p>A day before Governor Rick Snyder gives his third State of the State address, state Democrats voiced a laundry list of criticisms of Snyder and Republican lawmakers.</p><p>State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel talked on Tuesday about what he calls the “Real State of the State”.</p><p>He said Michigan Republicans have given corporations too many breaks at the expense of middle-class families.</p> Tue, 15 Jan 2013 20:45:59 +0000 Jake Neher 10786 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Democrats give “Real State of the State” speech The final push to election day in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/final-push-election-day-michigan <p>DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Democrats and Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure as many of their fellow state residents as possible show up at the polls.<br><br>GOP spokeswoman Kelsey Knight says campaign staffers and volunteers are knocking on 200,000 doors and making 500,000 calls in this final week alone to encourage voters to show up. And to vote Republican, of course.<br><br>Democrats are doing the same, but they didn't provide specific numbers.<br><br>It's not clear what voter turnout will be like in the state, though.<br> Sun, 04 Nov 2012 16:59:00 +0000 The Associated Press 9762 at http://michiganradio.org The final push to election day in Michigan Michigan House Democrats call for action on health care exchange http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-house-democrats-call-action-health-care-exchange <p>Since most of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Michigan has been facing the ongoing of issue of implementing a Michigan health care exchange.</p><p>While Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has long called for the state to move ahead with the exchanges, many Republicans in the legislature are pushing back.</p><p>There is also a call from Republican members of the legislature and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, to wait until after the election in November to move forward.</p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:58:48 +0000 Jennifer White, Mercedes Mejia & Zoe Clark 8417 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan House Democrats call for action on health care exchange Grand Rapids Democrats rally around new face to take on party-switcher Roy Schmidt http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-democrats-rally-around-new-face-take-party-switcher-roy-schmidt <p>A Michigan house representative, <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/machination-michigan-rep-roy-schmidt-and-offer-he-couldnt-refuse">who made a controversial switch </a>from the Democratic to the Republican Party last month, will face a political novice in the fall.</p><p>Winnie Brinks filed paperwork today to run as a Democrat. She&rsquo;s a case worker at a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.grsource.org/about.php">non-profit organization, </a>and she&rsquo;s never run for political office before.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s time for some new eyes. It seems that the direction we&rsquo;re heading in Lansing is not what our middle class needs; it&rsquo;s not what our schools need. And not being part of that negative history, sure, I think that&rsquo;s a good thing,&rdquo; Brinks said.</p><p>Brinks has lived in Grand Rapids for 22 years. The 44-year-old has three daughters, aged 11, 14, and 16. She&rsquo;s active in her public schools&rsquo; legislative committee and once worked for Godfrey Lee Public Schools. She says restoring education funding would be one of her top priorities.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got a lot of work to do in a short period of time, but I am confident we can do it. We&rsquo;ve got a lot of good energy. We&rsquo;ve got a lot of support behind me,&rdquo; Brinks said.</p><p>Several hundred people will need to write in Brinks name on the August primary ballot in order for her name to appear&nbsp;on the ballot&nbsp;in the general election in November.</p><p> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:38:39 +0000 Lindsey Smith 7985 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids Democrats rally around new face to take on party-switcher Roy Schmidt