Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy

In this Week in Michigan Politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss a proposal to block abortions from being covered in basic health plans, how Warren Buffett is backing millions of dollars in an initiative to help small businesses in Detroit, and look to next week when Judge Steven Rhodes will decide if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.

A ban on abortion coverage in health plans moves forward

A pro-life group has collected enough signatures to put a proposal before lawmakers to ban abortion coverage from health plans unless a separate policy is purchased.

If the signatures are validated, the legislature could vote on and approve the measure without needing Governor Snyder's signature.

If lawmakers don't vote on it, or it's not approved, it will go to voters in November 2014.

Lessenberry thinks the legislature will pass it because both houses of the legislature have Right to Life and strong republican majorities.

Warren Buffett backs initiative to bring millions of dollars to small businesses in Detroit

Billionaire Warren Buffett is backing a campaign that will invest millions of dollars in Detroit-based businesses. Buffett is an advisor to Goldman Sachs’ Ten-Thousand Small Businesses initiative.

Lessenberry notes Buffett says he will invest more money in Detroit if he sees something that looks like it would be a good deal.

“The irony is that Warren Buffett almost became a major player in Detroit 35 years ago when he nearly bought the Ambassador Bridge. He was outbid by Matty Moroun,” Lessenberry says. “So it might be a different world if Buffett bought the Ambassador Bridge.”

Detroit bankruptcy decision to be announced next week

Federal judge Steven Rhodes will announce next week Tuesday whether Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Lessenberry says he is likely to rule that Detroit is eligible.

“If he doesn’t, then the city will probably be torn apart by creditors,” Lessenberry says. “The people in charge of pension funds and unions are, I think, the main opponent of this. They think they might get more of a deal for their members without bankruptcy than if they get bankruptcy.”