john nixon http://michiganradio.org en Lessenberry talks money, politics and potholes http://michiganradio.org/post/lessenberry-talks-money-politics-and-potholes <p>This <em>Week in Review, </em>Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Weekend Edition host Rina Miller talk about potholes in Michigan, the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-budget-chief-leaves-academia">departure of the state budget director</a>, and cuts to employees in Wayne County.</p><p>Click on the link below to listen to the interview</p><p></p><p> Sat, 15 Feb 2014 13:42:00 +0000 Jack Lessenberry & Rina Miller 16450 at http://michiganradio.org Lessenberry talks money, politics and potholes In this morning's headlines: Budget director's brother, Detroit bankruptcy, Heidelberg burns http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-budget-directors-brother-detroit-bankruptcy-heidelberg-burns <p><strong>Budget director's brother proposes $5 million state project</strong></p><p>"A company run by the brother of Michigan’s budget director proposed a $5 million project that is part of the state budget. The company is now bidding to win the contract," Rick Pluta <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/budget-director-s-brother-s-company-proposed-5-m-state-project">reports. </a></p><p><strong>Report blames Wall Street for Detroit bankruptcy filing</strong></p><p>"A new report says declining revenues and bad Wall Street deals contributed the most to Detroit’s bankruptcy. The report from the think tank <a href="http://www.demos.org/publication/detroit-bankruptcy">Demos</a> argues that Detroit IS bankrupt — but that’s because of the city’s cash flow problems, not its debt," Sarah Cwiek reports.</p><p><strong>Another Heidelberg house up in flames</strong></p><p>"Fire has destroyed another house that makes up the <a href="http://www.heidelberg.org/">Heidelberg Project</a> outdoor art installation in Detroit. The fire burned early this morning at the structure known as the Penny House on the city's east side. A building known as the "House of Soul" was destroyed by fire earlier this month," the Associated Press reports.</p><p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 12:59:48 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15368 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: Budget director's brother, Detroit bankruptcy, Heidelberg burns Budget director’s brother’s company proposed $5 million state project http://michiganradio.org/post/budget-director-s-brother-s-company-proposed-5-million-state-project <p>A company run by the brother of Michigan’s budget director proposed $5 million dollar project that is now part of the state budget. And his company is now bidding to win the contract.</p><p>The contract is to run pilot projects to test privately managing public schools technology. The idea came from iSchool Campus, which is run by Budget Director John Nixon’s brother.</p><p>John Nixon says he told the governor’s office, the Legislature, and his staff that he would not and could not play a role in deciding which company gets the contract. And he says he’s made sure there is no conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict.</p><p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 12:38:34 +0000 Rick Pluta 15366 at http://michiganradio.org Budget director’s brother’s company proposed $5 million state project Michigan's credit rating getting better http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-credit-rating-getting-better <p>National credit rating agencies are warming to the state of Michigan.</p><p></p><p>Today, Fitch and Standard &amp; Poor’s joined Moody’s in upgrading the state’s credit rating.</p><p></p><p>An improved credit rating may help the state get more favorable rates when it needs to borrow money.</p><p></p><p>John Nixon is the state budget director. He says the state has cut its long-term liabilities and taken other steps to get its ‘house in order.’</p><p></p> Tue, 02 Apr 2013 22:43:13 +0000 Steve Carmody 11981 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's credit rating getting better Budget director John Nixon on impact of sequester on Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/budget-director-john-nixon-impact-sequester-michigan <p></p><p>With President Obama and Congress failing to come to a budget deal, automatic spending cuts have gone into effect. There have been dire warnings about the impact of those cuts though the effects won’t be felt immediately. But Michigan gets over half its budget from the federal government which means the state will have to face the impact of the cuts if impasse isn't resolved soon. We speak with Budget Director John Nixon.</p><p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 18:26:21 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 11538 at http://michiganradio.org Budget director John Nixon on impact of sequester on Michigan State budget director says ballot proposals lead to uncertain credit rating http://michiganradio.org/post/state-budget-director-says-ballot-proposals-lead-uncertain-credit-rating <p>The state budget director says credit agencies won’t upgrade Michigan’s rating because of proposals on the November ballot.</p><p>John Nixon today spoke alongside opponents of Proposal Five. It would require a statewide vote or two-thirds majorities of the Legislature to approve a tax increase.</p><p>But Nixon said all the initiatives cast doubt about the state’s economic future.</p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 20:26:28 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9629 at http://michiganradio.org State budget director says ballot proposals lead to uncertain credit rating Snyder budget focuses on student performance http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-budget-focuses-student-performance <p>Governor Rick Snyder calls for a slight boost in spending in his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year &ndash; with more money for police, schools, and universities. The governor says this year&rsquo;s spending plan is built on tough decisions made last year.</p><p>Snyder was flanked by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Budget Director John Nixon as he took a seat in front of a packed house. He presented his budget plans to a joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees. The governor started out with a short history lesson, reminding lawmakers of how things have changed since his budget presentation from a year ago. &ldquo;It was a mess,&rdquo; Calley said.</p><p>In 2011, the governor called for taxing pensions; taking $400 million dollars from the School Aid Fund to help pay for universities &ndash;&nbsp; which still saw a cut in funding &ndash; and concessions from public employees. &ldquo;We had to address a billion and a half dollar deficit. We addressed that. We had to ask for shared sacrifice from many people, a lot of difficult decisions and I appreciate a lot of understanding by a lot of people,&rdquo; Snyder said.</p><p>This year, the economy has improved, and so has revenue. The governor called for modest increases to money for schools and universities &ndash; much of it linked to improving student performance. Local governments could also see more if they find ways to become more efficient. Fri, 10 Feb 2012 12:06:27 +0000 Rick Pluta 6173 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder budget focuses on student performance Michigan Budget Director, John Nixon on state finances http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-budget-director-john-nixon-state-finances <p>We are now just a few days into the state&rsquo;s new fiscal year. State Budget Director, John Nixon gives us an update on the state of Michigan&rsquo;s finances.</p><p>Nixon says many states relied on federal stimulus money, and now it&#39;s time to look at other options.</p><p>&ldquo;We had a huge infusion of stimulus money and then there was a big cliff because once that stimulus money went away all the states are scrambling saying, &ldquo;oh my gosh how do we keep our programs whole?&rdquo; Well that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;ve done. We cut a billion and a half dollars of spending out the budget and we balanced the budget.&rdquo; Tue, 04 Oct 2011 21:15:05 +0000 Jennifer White 4437 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Budget Director, John Nixon on state finances NMU will not face sanctions related to tuition increase http://michiganradio.org/post/nmu-will-not-face-sanctions-related-tuition-increase <p>Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s budget director has given his OK to Northern Michigan University&rsquo;s tuition increase for the fall term. The decision means the public university in Marquette will not face&nbsp;sanctions for exceeding the state&rsquo;s tuition increase cap of 7 percent. NMU said the university&rsquo;s rate increase should not be measured against the fall 2010 rate after students got a discount. The university reduced student costs last year based on a windfall of federal stimulus dollars.</p><p>A spokesman for Budget Director John Nixon says he does not put Northern&rsquo;s tuition hike in the same category as fall increases at Wayne State and Michigan State universities. He says MSU and Wayne State technically complied with the law, but violated the intent of efforts by Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature to hold down tuition increases despite budget cuts to higher education. Fri, 05 Aug 2011 10:22:17 +0000 Rick Pluta 3625 at http://michiganradio.org NMU will not face sanctions related to tuition increase State budget director questions school aid earmarks http://michiganradio.org/post/state-budget-director-questions-school-aid-earmarks <p>The amount of money Michigan has to spend in its general fund for everything from prisons to health care dropped by nearly 25 percent over the past four fiscal years amid the recession and shrinking tax revenues. Yet the state&#39;s school aid fund remained relatively healthy, protected by earmarks for public schools.<br /><br />State budget director John Nixon thinks those earmarks merit another look.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s not that I&#39;m saying we need to cut the school aid fund ... (but) a lot of this stuff was put in place 15, 20 years ago when Michigan looked totally different,&quot; he said during a recent interview with The Associated Press. &quot;We just need to strip things down and say, `This is the money we&#39;re bringing in, this is where it&#39;s going. Is it lining up appropriately?&quot;&#39;<br /><br />Nearly three-quarters of the sales tax collected annually goes to the $13.3 billion school aid fund, as well as nearly a fourth of the income tax revenue, 42 percent of cigarette tax revenue and a third of the money raised by the use tax and the Michigan Business Tax. The school aid fund also receives all of the money raised through a statewide 6-mill education property tax, the real estate transfer tax, the state casino wagering tax and the net proceeds from lottery sales. Mon, 01 Aug 2011 11:29:53 +0000 The Associated Press 3549 at http://michiganradio.org State budget director questions school aid earmarks State budget director cautious as debt deadline nears http://michiganradio.org/post/state-budget-director-cautious-debt-deadline-nears <p>State Budget Director John Nixon says he&rsquo;s unsure how Michigan will make payments to food stamp and welfare recipients and Medicaid providers if the federal government defaults, the Associated Press reports.</p><p>&ldquo;Michigan draws about $400 million a week from federal funds that could suddenly dry up next week if the nation hits its debt limit and cannot pay its bills&hellip; Forty-four percent of Michigan&#39;s $45 billion budget is supported by federal funds, as are 25 percent of state workers.&rdquo; the AP notes.</p><p>In an interview with the AP, Nixon says the state will do what it can to, &ldquo;keep things moving.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, Governor Snyder said yesterday that a possible default has him concerned:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;One of the challenges is (the federal government) haven&rsquo;t told us exactly what it&rsquo;ll mean. So we&rsquo;re prepared for a number of scenarios.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Lindsey Smith reports, &quot;Snyder says Michigan could move money around to cover things like Medicaid payments until the federal government reimburses the state.&quot; Snyder said:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;I think we&rsquo;re going to be in reasonably good shape, as long as it doesn&rsquo;t go for an extended period of time.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p> Fri, 29 Jul 2011 11:09:37 +0000 Zoe Clark 3521 at http://michiganradio.org State budget director cautious as debt deadline nears Snyder meets with Wall Street to reduce cost of borrowing http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-meets-wall-street-reduce-cost-borrowing <p>Governor Rick Snyder and members of his budget team visited New York to meet with the agencies that set the state&rsquo;s credit rating.</p><p>The state&rsquo;s rating suffered due to the effects of the decade-long recession.</p><p>It&#39;s bond ratings are not that bad, but they could be better.</p><p>Governor Snyder traveled to Wall Street with state Treasurer Andy Dillon and Budget Director John Nixon. They made the case that Michigan deserves an upgrade because it&rsquo;s overhauled its business tax and wrapped up its budget months ahead of schedule without resorting to accounting gimmicks and one-time fixes.</p><p>Sara Wurfel, the governor&rsquo;s press secretary, said &ldquo;one change in a state&rsquo;s bond rating can actually mean millions of dollars in lower payments.&rdquo;</p><p>The governor&rsquo;s itinerary included meetings with Moody&#39;s, Fitch Ratings and Standard &amp; Poor&#39;s. The meetings only opened the discussions with Wall Street, and Wurfel says there will be further negotiations as the governor tries to reduce the cost to taxpayers when Michigan borrows money. Mon, 13 Jun 2011 21:28:01 +0000 Rick Pluta 2864 at http://michiganradio.org State Budget Director says he hears complaints about pension tax plan http://michiganradio.org/post/state-budget-director-says-he-hears-complaints-about-pension-tax-plan <p>The state&rsquo;s budget director says Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s proposal to tax pensions is necessary to keep young people in the state.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Budget Director John Nixon&nbsp;says the proposed tax will move Michigan into a sustainable future economy.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:02:10 +0000 Laura Weber 1715 at http://michiganradio.org State Budget Director says he hears complaints about pension tax plan Fake Twitter account for Michigan budget director http://michiganradio.org/post/fake-twitter-account-michigan-budget-director <p>A fake Twitter account has been made for Michigan Budget Director John Nixon. The <a href="http://twitter.com/FakeJohnNixon">FakeJohnNixon</a> account started last week and has already posted almost 150 tweets. The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>The fake account notes that Nixon is Michigan&#39;s highest-paid state employee and is consuming Michigan&#39;s economy &quot;one big gargantuan bite at a time.&quot; It adds, &quot;Just call me Budget Crunch.&quot;</p><p>A spokesman for Nixon says the budget director &quot;has a great sense of humor&quot; and realizes the tweets aren&#39;t to be taken seriously.</p><p>There&#39;s also a <a href="http://twitter.com/FakeRickSnyder">FakeRickSnyder</a> Twitter account on Gov. Rick Snyder with fewer posts.</p></blockquote><p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 11:04:52 +0000 Zoe Clark 1633 at http://michiganradio.org This week in Michigan politics with Jack Lessenberry http://michiganradio.org/post/week-michigan-politics-jack-lessenberry <p>Each Wednesday, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley sits down with Michigan Radio&rsquo;s Senior Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry to get an update on state politics. This week, the focus is on Governor Snyder&rsquo;s budget proposal and what cuts he might suggest.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:00:19 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 1309 at http://michiganradio.org This week in Michigan politics with Jack Lessenberry Lessenberry: Snyder is willing to go outside of the box http://michiganradio.org/post/lessenberry-snyder-willing-go-outside-box <p>Governor-elect Rick Snyder <a href="http://michiganradionews.org/post/snyder-picks-budget-director">named</a> John Nixon as his new administration's budget director on Monday.&nbsp; Nixon currently holds that position in Utah.</p><p>In an <a href="http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/news.newsmain/article/0/1/1731895/Michigan.News/The.Week.in.State.Politics">interview</a> this morning on Michigan Radio, political analyst Jack Lessenberry said he thinks the pick shows that Snyder is willing to look outside of the box. Lessenberry said:</p><blockquote><p><span class="article-content"><span>It shows that [Snyder] is certainly willing to... go outside the box and outside the state to find someone with a fresh approach to look at the all-important state budget problem. This is something that people had urged Governor Granholm to do when she first came in and which didn't happen.</span></span></p></blockquote><p><span class="article-content"><span>Lessenberry went on to say that highly-regarded economist <a href="http://msupress.msu.edu/authorbio.php?authorID=2338">Charles Ballard</a> often references Utah when discussing how Michigan could turn around its budget problems. Now, with the former head of Utah's Office of Planning and Budget becoming Snyder's budget director, Lessenberry said he is curious to see what lessons Michigan can learn. "Utah managed to balance its budget with a higher income tax," said Lessenberry, "It'll be interesting to see if that's part of the mix."</span></span> Wed, 01 Dec 2010 18:37:07 +0000 Zoe Clark 416 at http://michiganradio.org Lessenberry: Snyder is willing to go outside of the box Snyder picks budget director http://michiganradio.org/post/snyder-picks-budget-director <p>Governor-elect Rick Snyder is going out of state for his choice of Michigan&rsquo;s next budget director.</p><p>Snyder is naming <a href="http://www.governor.utah.gov/gopb/">John Nixon</a>, Utah&rsquo;s top budget officer, to become his administration&rsquo;s budget director.</p><p>Nixon will take over the job from <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/budget">Robert Emerson</a>.</p><p>In a <a href="http://www.governorelectricksnyder.com/michigan-talks/campaign-news/11-29-2010-governor-elect-snyder-names-budget-director">release</a> yesterday, Snyder said:</p><blockquote><p>John is considered one of the best in the business and is widely respected inside and outside of state government. As I traveled the state during the campaign and met with the hardworking men and women of Michigan, I said it was time for the citizens to take back control of Michigan&rsquo;s broken budget process and to deliver real value for money.&nbsp; John will work with us to bring fiscal responsibility, stability, transparency and the citizens&rsquo; priorities to state government.</p></blockquote><p>Michigan faces a projected $1.7 billion shortfall in the budget that begins next October.</p><p>Snyder takes the oath of office on January 1<sup>st</sup>, 2011. Tue, 30 Nov 2010 11:53:28 +0000 Zoe Clark 398 at http://michiganradio.org Snyder picks budget director