The week in Michigan politics: Senate candidates, wolf hunt and wraparound school grants
This week in Michigan politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss the race for the Senate seat left vacant by Carl Levin, legislation that would allow a wolf hunt despite a petition against it, and Governor Snyder's call for businesses to become more directly involved in schools.
Gary Peters and the Senate race
U.S. Representative Gary Peters is expected to announce this week his run for the Senate seat that will be left vacant by Senator Carl Levin when he retires at the end of this term.
Peters is considered a likely candidate for the seat.
He's a third term Congressman and a former state Senator.
Lessenberry says that Peters, a long-time fixture in Michigan Democratic politics, is the "annointed Democratic candidate" and is likely to move through the primaries with little to no opposition. Debbie Dingell, the wife of Congressman John Dingell, had considered a run, but she was unable to garner enough support and has officially endorsed Peters.
Potential Republican candidates include Mike Rogers from the Brighton/Lansing area and Justin Amash from Grand Rapids, among others.
Wolf hunt bill moves forward
A Michigan House panel has approved legislation that could block a group's effort to ban wolf hunting in Michigan.
The bill, which would legalize a controlled wolf hunt, was sent to the full House yesterday and is likely to pass. A similar bill has already been passed by the Senate.
Lessenberry notes that the bill would do more than just allow a wolf hunt. It would also take the power to designate which species can be hunted away from the Legislature and give it to the Natural Resources Commission. If the bill is signed by Governor Rick Snyder, the commission could approve wolf hunting even if voters strike it down in 2014.
Opponents of the bill, including the Michigan Humane Society, strongly oppose this measure.
Supporters of the bill, including state Senator Tom Casperson (R) of Escanaba, say the bill is necessary because wolves pose a threat to livestock and pets.
Governor Snyder wants businesses to get involved in education
Governor Snyder called for businesses to become more directly involved with schools in their communities at an event announcing a grant to three Detroit schools this week.
The $1.5 million grant from JP Morgan Chase will fund three "wraparound" schools in Detroit.
The idea behind these schools, Lessenberry explains, is "that it's not sufficient just to educate kids in the classroom." When students are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, they often need additional services to succeed.
The money will go to help the schools address students' quality of life both in and outside of school. It would include parenting classes, among other services.