This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss a Senate panel’s vote on a plan for Medicaid expansion, licensing delays for wolf hunting, and what to expect from Detroit’s mayoral election.
Senate expected to vote on Medicaid expansion
After months of debate, a state Senate panel is expected today to vote on a plan to expand Medicaid in Michigan, along with two alternative proposals that would not expand it under the new federal health care law.
Lessenberry says that the committee will approve something, though there will be attempts to amend it. Some senators are still opposed to the plan. They see it as an expansion of the Affordable Care Act and an overreach of government authority. The full Senate won’t vote on the plan until late August.
The real question people should be asking though, he says, is whether or not the Obama administration will grant Michigan waivers for the changes to the rules for Medicaid expansion that the Michigan legislature proposes.
Wolf hunt licensing delayed
This Saturday was supposed to mark the first day wolf hunting licenses could go on sale in Michigan, but that date has been pushed back to late September. Earlier this month the group Keep Michigan Wolves protected launched their second campaign drive to challenge the wolf hunt on the November ballot.
The licenses are being delayed because so many people want them. The state wants to set up an online procedure to make sure the distribution of licenses is a fair process. There are expected to be over 1,000 applicants, but the state is only allowing 43 wolves to be killed.
Lessenberry says the delays are likely to bring more attention to the issue, and the controversy won’t be going away anytime soon.
Detroit mayoral election
The Detroit mayoral election is less than a week away, and Lessenberry predicts it will be a messy one.
Mike Duggan, the longtime candidate, and Mike Dugeon, a barber who pronounces his name the same way are both running as write in candidates. This means that if someone misspells either of their names, the ballot will either be void or subject to litigation.
Most people agree that Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon will make the run-off, but the question is who else will join him. After the election, it remains to be seen what being a mayor of Detroit will mean in the city’s current condition, Lessenberry says.
-April Van Buren, Michigan Radio Newsroom