The week in Michigan politics

Apr 2, 2014

Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss the impact of a fourth member of the state's congressional delegation who won't seek re-election, Medicaid expansion, President Obama's trip to Michigan to talk about the minimum wage, and Detroit's latest plan for bankruptcy.

Michigan’s power in congress might dwindle

U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican, announced this week he will not seek re-election this year.

U.S. Sen.Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. John Dingell, both Democrats, and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers made similar announcements in recent weeks.

Lessenberry says Michigan already has fewer congressmen in Washington than in the past and the retirement further weakens the state's clout. He adds that combined, the four men have 133 years of service in D.C.

Medicaid expansion

The Medicaid expansion launched this week. It extends Medicaid eligibility to people making up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

Lessenberry says the change will impact hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who didn’t have medical care before the change.  

President Obama in Ann Arbor to push hike in minimum wage

President Obama will be in Ann Arbor today to discuss raising the minimum wage.

Obama has endorsed legislation that would gradually raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 by 2016.

Detroit bankruptcy update

The city of Detroit filed a new plan of adjustment for the city’s bankruptcy this week.

Lessenberry says the new plan lowers the amount of money even more for creditors.

“This is a complex plan, but it means a little less for creditors and a little less for the retirees who are already having their pensions cut even further and they won't get cost of living,” Lessenberry says. “Emergency manager Kevyn Orr wants to also restructure the pension fund boards, which some are calling a takeover.”

Lessenberry says not many people are happy with the plan, but says there are other things that could affect the final plan for Detroit’s bankruptcy.

“This is all hinging on two things: what bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes approves or doesn’t approve and if the legislature comes up with the $350 million needed to shore up the pension funds and protect the paintings at the DIA. So there is a lot yet to play out in all of this,” Lessenberry says.