At the beginning of the year Governor Snyder appointed an emergency manager, Jack Martin, for Highland Park public schools. Shortly after that Martin was “de-activated” from the position. And now it’s unclear when he might be reinstated.
Democratic Senator Bert Johnson represents Michigan’s 2nd District, which includes Highland Park.
Michigan is just a week away from its Presidential Primary. The GOP candidates are campaigning across the state in preparation for the February 28 event.
Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White spoke with the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Robert Schostak.
Mitt Romney is from Michigan, so a lot people believe he will win in his home state, but Rick Santorum was leading in the polls over Romney. Schostak is not surprised Santorum is doing well in the state.
Michigan’s Presidential Primary is only two weeks away.
On February 28, Republicans and Democrats can go out and vote for their nominee for President. That’s because Michigan is what you’d call an “open state.” Once you get to the polls all you have to do is request either a Republican or Democrat ballot.
So called right-to-work laws prohibit workers from being required to join a union or pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. But with Indiana’s recent passage of right-to work laws, some Republican lawmakers say there is additional pressure on the state to pass its own legislation.
Democrat and House Minority Leader, Representative Rick Hammel is against right-to-work legislation. He spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White.
Governor Rick Snyder presents his second state of the state speech Wednesday night.
While the governor has expressed reluctance to pursue a right to work agenda, which would get rid of compulsory union dues, others in Republican leadership still express a desire to pursue that agenda.
Michigan AFL-CIO president, Karla Swift spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White in advance of Gov. Snyder's State of the State address.
Swift said the AFL-CIO should be in Lansing "at the table with all of the stake holders in planning the future for Michigan."
Freshman Republican Congressman Justin Amash opposes a bill that would give the federal government the power to detain American citizens indefinitely, if suspected of terrorist activities.
"The federal government could come to someone’s house, pull the person out of the house and the family could ask, 'why are you taking my husband away?' and the federal government can simply say, 'we don’t have to tell you, he’s suspected of terrorism,'" he said in an interview with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White.
Gov. Rick Snyder's administration has placed the city of Flint under an Emergency Manager. Meanwhile, financial reviews are underway for the cities of Inkster and Detroit.
On December 1, Democratic Congressman John Conyers sent a letter to the Justice Department, requesting an immediate review of Michigan’s emergency manager law, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.
Congressman Conyers spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White.
The Michigan Senate today passed the House version of an anti-bullying bill.
It’s headed to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.
The bill as passed did not include the controversial exception in an earlier Senate bill that protected statements that came from moral or religious convictions.
The Michigan Senate received national attention for that bill - some calling it a template for how to get away with bullying.
Senator Whitmer spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White earlier today about her opposition for the bill approved by the Senate, and about the reaction to the YouTube video of her reacting to the bill.
Here she is telling her colleagues in the Michigan Senate "you may be able to pat yourself on the backs today and say that you did something today, but in actuality you're explicitly outlining how to get away with bullying... This is worse that doing nothing. It's a Republican license to bully."
Dayne Walling was elected to a second term as Flint’s mayor last week, and since then was told his city is facing a financial emergency.
Michigan Radio's Jennifer White spoke with Walling about the situation.
Walling said he has a lot of questions about how things will unfold, and added, "the Governor and Treasurer have pledged for this to be a collaborative process, but I know that can mean a lot of different things to different individuals."
“I’m prepared to play any positive role that I can in this position," said Walling.
Mayor Walling also gave suggestions on how to work with city leaders and residents.
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits programs are set to expire at the end of the year. The programs provide up to 73 weeks of additional unemployment benefits. If the programs are not extended more than 2 million Americans will be cut off from benefits by February with another 6 million losing benefits by the end of 2012.
Democratic Congressman, Sander Levin, is a ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee. He’s calling for a swift extension of the programs.
A week from today, Michigan voters head to the polls for a number of millage and mayoral elections. In Genesee County, there will also be a recall for Republican State Representative, Paul Scott. He serves as chairman of the House Education Committee.
In this interview, Michigan Radio's Jennifer White asks Rep. Scott why he thinks he has been targeted for recall and what he plans to do over the next week to try and keep his seat.
We are now just a few days into the state’s new fiscal year. State Budget Director, John Nixon gives us an update on the state of Michigan’s finances.
Nixon says many states relied on federal stimulus money, and now it's time to look at other options.
“We had a huge infusion of stimulus money and then there was a big cliff because once that stimulus money went away all the states are scrambling saying, “oh my gosh how do we keep our programs whole?” Well that’s what we’ve done. We cut a billion and a half dollars of spending out the budget and we balanced the budget.”
In 2010, Grand Rapids was named the most sustainable mid-sized city in the U. S., by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic leadership Center and Siemens Corp. When he took office in 2004, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell implemented what he calls a “triple bottom-line sustainability planning process. ” He talks with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White about what it takes to create a long term sustainable future for the city.
Michigan Democratic Senator, Carl Levin, has proposed a 7-point plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least one trillion dollars over 10 years. His proposal comes amidst discussions within the special bi-partisan subcommittee charged with balancing the federal budget. Several of the points in the plan deal with closing tax loopholes that benefit corporations and wealthy Americans. Is it possible to move those points of the plan forward in the current political climate?
The city of Detroit is in the news very often and rarely with good news. Declines in population, and a troubled school district are just two of the stories that are plastered across newspapers and reported on in the national media. At the same time, stories about young people and artists moving into the city have also gained national attention.
Michigan Radio's Jennifer White spoke with Mayor Bing about what he's doing to help brighten the city's future.
"The recurring story about the plight of Detroit is something that we are not going to fix overnight.”
Mayor Bing says, "Detroit is coming back." He adds new companies are moving into the downtown and midtown areas, and he says the Riverfront is a great asset. Bing also says there is too much focus on the negative. He hopes people will look at the positive things happening in the city, and he invites people to come see for themselves.
The Michigan Legislature is back in session this week, so we took some time to speak with state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-23rd) about what she would like to see happen in the state legislature this fall.
The administration and faculty of Central Michigan University have been unable to negotiate a contract. Tenure and tenure track faculty called for a stoppage and didn’t attend the first day of classes. But then a judge yesterday ordered tenured and tenure track faculty back to the classroom after ruling their strike illegal.
In today's Newsmaker interview we talk with Laura Frey, Faculty Association President.
The Michigan legislature returns from break next week. While they will be faced with a new set of issues when they return, at least one legislator is critical of the work that’s been done so far.
Every week we interview lawmakers about what's happening in our state and the nation. Michigan Radio's Jennifer White today talks with Freshman Democratic State Representative Jeff Irwin about the state budget, working with the legislature and what we can expect in the coming months.
President Obama and Congress have yet to find a solution to the nation’s debt crisis. Last night, President Obama and Speaker Boehner separately addressed the nation. They gave their explanations of why a deal hasn’t yet been reached.
Republican Congressman of Michigan, Bill Huizenga talks with us about debt ceiling debates in Washington and what his concerns are moving forward.
The divide over budget and debt ceiling talks continues between Congressional Republicans and Democrats. Within the Republican Party, the Tea Party Caucus is a prominent voice against any deal that contains tax increases.
Republican Congressman Tim Walberg represents Michigan’s 7th district and is a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He spoke with Michigan Radio's Jennifer White about what he thinks it might take for both Republicans and Democrats to agree on a budget.
The debate over the federal budget and the debt ceiling is heated, and there are very dire predictions from both Republican and Democratic leaders about what will happen if these issues aren’t resolved soon. But for Americans who are dealing with every day, immediate issues, this debate can seem distant.
Republican Congressman Mike Rogers represents Michigan's 8th Congressional District. He spoke with Michigan Radio's Jenn White about why people should care about this debate.
Congressman Rogers says these issues "impact the ability for our economy to grow and for people to get back to work."
Michigan Democratic Congressman Gary Peters is partnering with the non-partisan Concord Coalition to present a town hall forum tonight.
Peters and the Coalition will lay out some facts and details of the federal government’s revenue and expenses, and then people will break into groups to talk about how to balance the budget. Michigan Radio's Jennifer White sat down with Peters to get more on the forum.
Democratic and Republican leaders are locked in an ongoing struggle over the federal budget.
Congressman Peters says:
"We’ve got a standoff in Washington. People aren’t working together. There are a lot of special interests involved pulling and tugging there."
The goal of the forum is to introduce some non-partisan, common-sense problem solving in to the mix, according to Peters.