News Roundup
8:44 am
Wed August 24, 2011

In this morning's news...

Changes Coming to State Employee Benefits

A state legislative committee has approved a measure that would require thousands of teachers and local government employees to pick up a bigger share of their health benefits. Rick Pluta reports:

The measure is expected to be voted on today by the state House and the Senate. It will require local governments to pay no more than 80 percent of their employee health care costs, or limit the payment to $15,000 a year per family. Supporters of the plan say it will save school districts and local governments millions of dollars. Democrats and many local officials oppose the play. They say it robs districts and local governments of flexibility. The plan will apply to legislators, but not to state civil service workers or to university employees, which would require amending the state constitution.

Update: Affirmative Action Ban

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is fighting state Attorney General Bill Schuette in court. That’s because, “Schuette wants to restore the voter-approved ban on affirmative action in university admissions… A panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ban on affirmative action in admissions policies last month. The Michigan attorney general is now asking the entire court to reconsider and reverse that decision. He says the court should give deference to the wishes of Michigan voters who approved the ban in 2006,” Laura Weber reports. There's no word on when the court may decide to reconsider the decision.

Romney Leading Among MI GOP Voters

The latest state poll of likely voters has mixed news for one Republican presidential contender with Michigan roots and downright bad news for another, Steve Carmody reports. From Carmody:

Epic-MRA polled likely Republican Michigan voters and found a third said they would vote for Mitt Romney in next year’s GOP presidential primary.  That’s more than any other Republican candidate, but pollster Bernie Porn says the bad news for Romney is that he should be getting more support and that could be a problem in the primary… Porn says Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has a much bigger problem. Only one percent of Michigan Republicans say they would vote for him in the presidential primary, even in his congressional district in southeast Michigan… Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann finished second and third in the poll.