In this morning's news...

Dec 21, 2010

Michigan’s Congressional Delegation to Shrink?

The U.S. Census Bureau releases new population data from its 2010 census today. The numbers will determine how many U.S. House seats Michigan is apportioned in the next decade. Brookings Institution demographer William Frey told the Associated Press that Michigan will likely lose at least one seat, reducing its delegation from 15 Representatives to 14. As the Associated Press reports, “The 2000 census put Michigan's population at nearly 9.94 million. It was estimated last year at nearly 9.97 million, an increase of less than 1 percent. Frey says that if the trend holds up, Michigan would have the lowest growth rate of any state since the previous census.”

Report: Smoking Ban Has Little Financial Impact

A new report says Michigan’s workplace smoking ban that was enacted this year has had little financial impact on bars and restaurants. Laura Weber reports:

Bars that sell liquor do seem to have been more negatively affected by the smoking ban than taverns that sell only beer and wine. But, the report from the state Department of Treasury, says tax collections from bars were neither bleak nor significant since the ban took effect… and that any financial hardships on taverns or restaurants could be just as much a result of a down economy. 

Lansing's Budget Troubles

Lansing is facing a possible $15 million budget deficit. City Finance Director Jerry Ambrose says the city is expected to spend $118 million next year on city services but Lansing’s revenue is only expected to reach $103 million. The new fiscal year begins June 30th, 2011. The news comes as other cities across the state face budget deficits. The Huffington Post reports that Michigan currently has, “68 cities on its ‘fiscal watch’ or ‘fiscal stress’ lists, meaning these communities are at risk of running through their money.”

Did You See It?

While many of us were sound-asleep in bed, Michigan Radio’s Mark Brush was up… AND, outside.  He was awaiting last night’s (well, really, it was early this morning) lunar eclipse. He filed this report at 2 a.m.: "Well, I woke up... the Earth's shadow is passing over the moon right now. NASA says it'll be in full eclipse starting at 2:41 a.m. and then the shadow will start slipping off the moon at 3:53 a.m.” If you missed the eclipse, you can check out some pictures here.