In this morning's news...

Feb 3, 2012

Bing, Unions Reach Tentative Deal

The city of Detroit and most of its unions have reached a tentative deal over worker concessions. But, as Sarah Cwiek reports, it’s unclear whether the deal can achieve its main goal: keeping an emergency manager out of the city. Cwiek explains:

The agreement covers most of the city’s 48 unions. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing calls it ‘the first meaningful step in achieving the necessary concessions and structural changes’ to right the city’s finances—and stop the ongoing state review process that could lead to an emergency manager. It’s unclear at this point how much the deal would save the city...  Another concern for city officials is the fact that it doesn’t include the city’s police and fire unions. Public safety makes up the biggest chunk of Detroit’s budget.

MI Dems Want Ethics Reform

State House Democrats say it’s time to beef up Michigan’s campaign finance and political ethics laws. “House Democrats unveiled a set of proposals that include a constitutional amendment that would require corporations to disclose political and lobbying activity, and a measure that would prevent state lawmakers from being lobbyists in the state for two years after a political term. Democratic House Minority Leader Richard Hammel said their measure addresses one of Governor Rick Snyder’s key concerns for 2012,” Laura Weber reports.

(Another) Kalamazoo River Spill

A suspected diesel fuel spill has been found in the Kalamazoo River at Battle Creek, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the spill was found Wednesday in a drainage ditch that's fed by storm sewers. Officials in the southern Michigan city searched Thursday for the source. Brian Kelly, an on-scene coordinator for the Environmental Protection Agency, estimated that several hundred gallons of suspected diesel fuel was in the system that empties into the river. Crews responding to the spill placed absorbent material across a stream between the storm sewer and the river.