house http://michiganradio.org en State House approves education budget http://michiganradio.org/post/state-house-approves-education-budget <p>The state House met late into the night last night to approve an education spending plan by a narrow margin. It took several hours for Republican leaders to wrangle enough votes to approve the budget proposal that cuts funding for universities and K-12 schools. Democrats argue the cuts would hurt graduation rates and opportunities for kids.</p><p>Republican House Appropriations Committee Chairman Chuck Moss says Democrats&rsquo; complaints don&rsquo;t tell the whole story on school funding. &nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Now I&rsquo;ve heard a lot of talk about how we&rsquo;re destroying our education system. I&rsquo;d just like to say something that this budget cuts K-12, cuts School Aid by 3-point-five percent. The School Aid Fund has gone up 14 percent over the last 10 years.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Democratic state Representative Tim Melton tried to persuade Republican lawmakers not to vote for the measure that would move money from K-12 schools to reduce cuts to colleges and universities. He says it violates what voters intended when they revamped school funding in the mid-1990s. &nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;This is a historic vote, and I don&rsquo;t think this vote should be taken lightly. We&rsquo;ve heard conversations about Proposal A, and I wish folks would go back and read Proposal A, especially the new members of this chamber, and tell me one time in that bill do you see the word &lsquo;community colleges&rsquo; or &lsquo;universities,&rsquo; and keep looking, because it&rsquo;s not in there.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The House budget proposal would also sanction universities that offer domestic partner benefits to their employees.</p><p>The House version of the budget must be reconciled with a Senate spending plan before it goes to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature. Fri, 06 May 2011 10:09:47 +0000 Laura Weber 2374 at http://michiganradio.org State House approves education budget Teachers could see freeze on pay & benefits during negotiations http://michiganradio.org/post/teachers-could-see-freeze-pay-benefits-during-negotiations <p>A <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28pjj1qa55dfw43o55ndwlnkqe%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&amp;objectname=2011-HB-4152">bill passed by the Michigan House</a> would freeze educators&rsquo; salaries during contract negotiations.&nbsp; It would require employees (and not their employer) to pay for increases in insurance fees during negotiations. The bill would also ban retroactive bargaining. So if an agreement was reached six months down the road, employees would not be reimbursed for the higher rates they paid.</p><p>Doug Pratt is with the <a href="http://www.mea.org/">Michigan Education Association</a>. &nbsp;He says the M-E-A wants the Senate to reject the bill.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d like to see a real conversation in this state about what&rsquo;s driving our financial crises. It&rsquo;s not the compensation we provide to dedicated educators. It&rsquo;s a broken tax structure; it&rsquo;s a failure on the part of our state leaders to make tough choices to invest in the kind of state we all want to live in.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Supporters of the bill say school districts cannot afford to pay the rising benefit costs, nor pay for the raises teachers get with time and experience.</p> Sun, 13 Mar 2011 20:29:35 +0000 Kyle Norris 1629 at http://michiganradio.org Teachers could see freeze on pay & benefits during negotiations Lawmakers begin new legislative session http://michiganradio.org/post/lawmakers-begin-new-legislative-session <p>Michigan lawmakers <a href="http://michiganradionews.org/post/state-lawmakers-new-and-old-return-capitol">return to the state Capitol today</a> for the first day of the <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%284oszalj1kmifaszge4q52y45%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=home">2011-2012 legislative session</a>. Lawmakers will be sworn-in and adopt rules, including a dress code.</p><p>As the Associated Press reports, the majority of lawmakers in both the Senate and the House will be new to their jobs:</p><blockquote><p>The turnover is caused partly by the state's term limits law and a strong showing by Republicans in last year's elections. Republicans built on their advantage in the Senate and grabbed control of House from Democrats.</p></blockquote><p>Lawmakers will begin the new session with a new Republican Governor and a projected $1.8 billion dollar budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins October 1st.</p><p>Both the Senate and House will also see new <a href="http://michiganradionews.org/post/new-leaders-capitol">legislative leaders</a>. Republican <a href="http://www.senate.michigan.gov/gop/senators/Richardville.asp?District=17">Randy Richardville</a> will be <a href="http://www.michiganradionews.org/post/richardville-likely-take-top-spot-among-state-senators">Senate Majority Leader</a> and Democrat <a href="http://www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer/">Gretchen Whitmer</a> will be the <a href="http://michiganradionews.org/post/whitmer-lead-state-senate-dems">Senate Minority Leader</a>.&nbsp; In the House, Republican <a href="http://www.gophouse.com/welcome.asp?District=063">Jase Bolger</a> will be Speaker and Democrat <a href="http://048.housedems.com/">Richard Hammel</a> will be the House Minority Leader. Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:37:39 +0000 Zoe Clark 842 at http://michiganradio.org Lawmakers begin new legislative session New leaders at the Capitol http://michiganradio.org/post/new-leaders-capitol <p><span class="article-content"><span>Lawmakers at the state Capitol <a href="http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/news.newsmain/article/0/1/1723804/Michigan.News/Leadership.elections.at.the.Captiol"> continued to choose</a> legislative leaders yesterday. In the Senate: Republican state Senator<a href="http://www.senate.michigan.gov/gop/senators/Richardville.asp?District=17"> Randy Richardville</a> of Monroe was <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20101110/NEWS15/11100456/1318/New-GOP-leaders-chosen-Snyder-seeks-bipartisanship"> elected</a> as the next Senate Majority Leader. Wed, 10 Nov 2010 13:35:02 +0000 Zoe Clark 299 at http://michiganradio.org New leaders at the Capitol