employee benefits http://michiganradio.org en In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-common-core-hearings-limits-public-employee-benefits-heritage-tower <p><strong>Common Core hearings</strong></p><p>A state House panel began a<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/common-core-standards-debate"> series of hearings about the Common Core State Standards </a>yesterday. Republican Representative Tom McMillin says the standards take away local control and were developed and adopted without public input. Committee Chair Tim Kelly says the panel should make its recommendation on Common Core in September, Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Legislation to limit public employee benefits</strong></p><p>There’s legislation in Lansing that would allow local ballot drives to cap public employee benefits. Leon Drolet, head of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, says the ballot campaigns would act as a safeguard against cozy relationships between public employee unions and local elected officials who bargain with them. Unions say the bill is not necessary because local officials are already accountable to voters, Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p><strong>Reviving Battle Creek's Heritage Tower</strong></p><p>Battle Creek city commissioners voted last night to create a special tax district in hopes of <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark">reviving an iconic downtown building</a>. The Heritage Tower is an 82-year-old art deco building and the upper floors of the former bank building have been condemned. Ken Tsuchiyama, Battle Creek’s city manager, fears the building may have to be demolished unless the new owner can revitalize it.</p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:45:20 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13570 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Common Core hearings, limits on public employee benefits, the Heritage Tower Blocking cities from adopting paid sick leave ordinances http://michiganradio.org/post/blocking-cities-adopting-paid-sick-leave-ordinances <p></p><p>Lawmakers in Lansing are moving to block local cities and towns from passing any laws requiring businesses to offer sick leave to their workers.<br><br>Such laws have been passed in Seattle, San Francisco and several other major cities. The entire state of Connecticut, and New York City are expected to soon pass a sick leave ordinance.</p><p>Backers of these "paid sick leave" ordinances say they're designed to protect people in lower-paying jobs - the workers who stand to lose their jobs if they try to call in sick.<br><br>Republican Representative Earl Poleski of Jackson is sponsoring one of the bills that would block local governments from putting paid sick leave ordinances into place.</p><p>He joined us to talk about his bill.</p><p>Listen to the full interview above. Tue, 16 Apr 2013 21:12:36 +0000 Stateside Staff 12165 at http://michiganradio.org Blocking cities from adopting paid sick leave ordinances