Politics & Government
8:34 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Same-sex marriage, war against blight in Flint and Obama's budget proposal make political headlines

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockely discuss the trial challenging Michigan's same-sex marriage ban, the mayor of Flint's proposal to fight blight in the city, and what President Obama's budget proposal could mean for Michigan.

Trial against same-sex marriage ban

We're in the second week of the trial challenging Michigan’s ban on gay marriage as well as the state’s adoption code.

Lessenberry says this case has been a battle of opinions.

“The prosecution was highly embarrassed the other day when the judge threw their first expert witness out saying he didn’t have any standing, he didn’t have any expertise, he didn’t have any degrees and all he had was his opinions.”

But Lessenberry says once the case wraps up next week, it likely won’t be the last time we hear of it.

“No matter what the judge does, this will probably be bundled with other cases and sent to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Lessenberry says.

Flint mayor declares ‘war on blight’

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is calling for a $70 million "war on blight" to help tear down around 6,000 buildings in the city.

Lessenberry says while this sounds like a good idea, the city doesn’t have the money to fund this project.

What President Obama’s budget proposal means for Michigan

President Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal yesterday. 

Lessenberry says this is not a great budget proposal for Michigan.

It does not include the $250 million cost to build a customs plaza for the new international trade crossing between Detroit and Canada.

The budget also cuts $25 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program helps fund cleanup efforts, battle invasive species and restore wildlife habitats.

But Lessenberry says this budget isn’t the final plan.

“No budget proposed by any president gets passed intact. This will undoubtedly be changed by Congress, especially since Republicans hold one house of Congress.”

*Clarification- When discussing the same sex marriage trial, Jack Lessenberry mentioned an expert witness by the "prosecution," the witness Lessenberry was talking about was representing the defendant, which is the state of Michigan.