Michigan government

Lindsay Fox / Flickr

You may have seen someone firing one up in a restaurant – where you thought smoking was banned. Maybe a friend or relative uses them. Or maybe you have tried to kick a cigarette habit by using one: an electronic cigarette.

These are the battery-powered inhalers that are loaded with a replaceable or refillable cartridge of liquid “juice” that can contain nicotine, solvents and flavors.  Puffing on an e-cig is called “vaping.” And there’s little doubt vaping is here to stay.

Sales of e-cigs have grown from around $500 million in 2012 to around $1.5 billion last year. 

Right now, there’s no regulation on e-cigs, beyond the FDA telling e-cig makers they may not market their products as a way to quit smoking.  And there’s nothing to keep the e-cigs from being sold to minors.

That has ignited debate in Lansing.

Associated Press reporter Emma Fidel has been looking into the state’s efforts to keep e-cigs out of the hands of kids under age 18.

Listen to the full interview above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

How transparent should the process of our government be?

That’s the question behind the use of “work groups” or “task forces” — unofficial, closed-door committees being created in Lansing to help design and craft policy.  Following the revelation of the so-called “skunk works” education work group that was made public by the Detroit News two weeks ago, we wanted to look at how these groups operate in Lansing. Have work groups increased under Governor Rick Snyder? What’s the possible impact on our democratic system of government?

Chad Livengood from the Detroit News and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the growing awareness of Lansing’s work groups, and how voters can know who or what is influencing these committees.

Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan State University

The city of Detroit continues to try to find a way out of its fiscal crisis.

A new report led by Michigan State University economist, Eric Scorsone, examines the impact of a bankruptcy on the city – something Governor Snyder, the legislature and the city leaders want to avoid.

michigan.gov

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has made improving the state's bottom line his top priority.
    

During his first year in office, the GOP governor has shaved billions of dollars off future health care and retirement commitments, scaled back tax breaks for retirees and low-income workers, ended welfare benefits for 11,000 families and reduced both the state budget and business taxes.
    

Governor-elect Rick Snyder at the Michigan Farm Bureau in Grand Rapids
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Governor-elect Rick Snyder spoke to members of Michigan’s Farm Bureau Tuesday evening.

Snyder told the crowd he’s preparing to start Michigan’s era of innovation next month. “You’re on the forefront of that. People don’t understand how innovative you are and all the efforts you do. Whether it’s increasing yields or being more environmentally sound or all the great practices. ”