This week in Michigan politics, Kyle Norris and Jack Lessenberry talk about Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion, former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate, and the financial emergency in the city of Hamtramck.
Legislature fails to pass Medicaid expansion
Governor Snyder is in favor of a federally-funded Medicaid expansion that would extend insurance to 320,000 low-income Michiganders.
However, the proposal faces significant opposition from the Republican majority, and the legislature failed to include it in the state budget passed yesterday.
Lessenberry says the Republicans object to the expansion on ideological grounds. They have said they’re unwilling to pass it unless certain conditions, like a 48 month cut off, are attached.
“It’s clear that a lot of people in Michigan will lose out if the legislature doesn’t go along with this,” Lessenberry says.
Terri Lynn Land announces bid for U.S. Senate
Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is so far the only Republican to put in a bid for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left vacant by Carl Levin in 2014.
The election is an important one, as there will be far more Democrat incumbents than Republicans up for reelection.
Lessenberry says that the Grand Rapids native is a strong candidate who is moderate, down to earth, and a proven vote getter.
"She would certainly be a more conservative voice in the Senate than Carl Levin has been all these years," Lessenberry says.
Hamtramck faces financial emergency
Governor Rick Snyder has officially declared a financial emergency in the city of Hamtramck.
The city was already under state receivership from 2000-2007. Pontiac's current emergency manager, Louis "Bud" Schimmel, served as Hamtramck’s emergency manager during those years.
While it remains to be seen what will happen, Lessenberry says the next steps will include a review team and almost certainly another emergency manager.