state en State lawmakers return to Lansing <p>Michigan lawmakers will be back at the state Capitol today after a two-week Spring break and it appears that their attention will turn to the state budget.</p><p>Budget-related subcommittees in both the House and Senate are <a href="">scheduled to meet today</a>.</p><p>The state faces a projected budget deficit of around $1.5 billion for the fiscal year that begins October 1<sup>st</sup>. Governor Rick Snyder says he wants lawmakers to finish the budget by May 31<sup>st</sup>.</p><p>Many lawmakers, however, say they <a href="">don&rsquo;t think the budget process will be finished before this summer</a>. Tue, 12 Apr 2011 10:49:31 +0000 Zoe Clark 2034 at State lawmakers return to Lansing Senate ready to vote on Emergency Financial Manager bills <p>The state Senate is expected to vote this week on a proposal to give emergency financial managers more control when they take over the budgets of cities, townships or school districts.</p><p>State Senator <a href="">Phil Pavlov</a> says the purpose of the proposal is to help communities that are in financial trouble fix their problems before they have to be taken over by an emergency financial manager.</p><p>He says it sets warning signs so problems can be dealt with earlier. But he says if emergency managers do step in, they need to have total control of the situation.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The emergency manager would be able to make some very difficult decisions, and we know that we have to have somebody with the power to do that under extreme situations.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Unions oppose the proposal because it would allow managers to throw out contracts.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder asked the Legislature to approve the increased power for emergency financial managers during his <a href="">State of the State</a> speech. Mon, 07 Mar 2011 11:45:04 +0000 Laura Weber 1520 at Senate ready to vote on Emergency Financial Manager bills Lt. Gov: Sndyer administration does not expect Wisconsin-like budget protests <p>Senior aides to Governor <a href="">Rick Snyder</a> say they don&rsquo;t expect the <a href="">massive budget protests in Wisconsin</a> will spread to Michigan. Lieutenant Governor <a href="">Brian Calley</a> says Governor Snyder&rsquo;s style is less combative than that of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Calley also says he expects most critics of the Snyder budget will be persuaded to change their minds. He says that&rsquo;s because tough choices this year will avert the need for more cuts in the future.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Number one, we&rsquo;re not going to kick the can down the road. Number two, we&rsquo;re not going to employ one-time gimmicks and quick fixes and those sorts of things. We&rsquo;re actually going to fix it so that, take a look at Year Two &ndash; this actually does solve the problem so going forth, we can actually spend more time on, where do we go from here? How do we work and grow together?&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Nevertheless, some public employee and retiree groups are trying to organize a protest march on Lansing this week. They oppose a demand for public employees to pay more of their health care costs, and a proposed end to the tax exemption on pension income. Governor Snyder <a href="">presented his budget proposal</a> to state lawmakers last Thursday. Mon, 21 Feb 2011 11:39:16 +0000 Rick Pluta 1358 at Lt. Gov: Sndyer administration does not expect Wisconsin-like budget protests 3 Things: Martine MacDonald <p>All this year, Michigan Radio has been asking people from across the state for their 3 ideas for how we can improve things in Michigan. The series is called <a href="">3 Things</a> and today, we heard from <a href="">Martine MacDonald</a>, she's an award-winning artist based in Southeastern Michigan.</p> Mon, 06 Dec 2010 16:14:45 +0000 Zoe Clark 472 at 3 Things: Martine MacDonald