Ballot hearings today
The state Supreme Court will hold a hearing Thursday on whether four proposals should appear on the statewide November ballot. The Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on whether the proposals' wording met the requirements in the state constitution. "The proposals would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the state constitution, allow more casinos in Michigan, require super-majorities before the Legislature can increase taxes, and demand voter approval before the state could build a new international bridge to Canada. Some of the campaigns – the ones blocked from the ballot – want to see some changes in how elections decisions are made. They say a state elections board should not make determinations on whether proposals meet the requirements of the Michigan Constitution -- that’s up to the courts," Rick Pluta reports
Drought and heat makes Michigan a natural disaster area
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared the entire state of Michigan a natural disaster area because of the continuing drought and heat. Governor Rick Snyder says the declaration will help state farmers get more federal aid in dealing with crop or livestock losses.
Closure of pipeline would increase heating bills
Michigan residents might see an increase in their heating bills if a Texas company shuts down a natural gas pipeline. "Trunkline Gas Company is asking regulators for permission to abandon some 770 miles of natural gas pipeline. Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says the utility gets 60% of its natural gas supply from Trunkline. Governor Snyder, The Michigan Public Service Commission and a coalition of businesses are also asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny Trunkline's request," Rina Miller reports. The pipeline runs from the Gulf of Mexico to White Pigeon, just north of the Indiana line in southwestern Michigan.