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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Stateside 9.25.2017

13 hours ago

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon explains how President Trump divided football fans this weekend, and how the Lions "got screwed yet again." And, back from the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team details how support for the president was widespread, yet divided in tone.

marada / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Republicans met on Mackinac Island this weekend for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference

Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team, were there and they joined Stateside today to dig into what happened on the island.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders may be at risk as a federal funding deadline looms.

More than 40 community health centers provide care for 680,000 Michiganders. But federal funding for them expires this week. 

By one estimate, 100,000 Michiganders could lose their health care access almost immediately.

Michigan Republicans have packed their bags - and their hangovers - and returned home after a weekend of politics and partying on Mackinac Island.

There was a lot of celebrating over the GOP sweep in 2016, including President Trump winning Michigan, the first Republican to do so in 28 years.

Sue Snyder
Sue Snyder

A day-long summit taking place today at Eastern Michigan University will focus on ending campus sexual assault statewide.

The third-annual "Inform, Empower, Prevent: Let's End Campus Sexual Assault" summit will be hosted by Michigan's First Lady Sue Snyder.

Attendees will take part in a series of panels and networking sessions. They'll hear from experts on topics ranging from supporting sexual assault survivors to how institutions develop investigative processes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Senate takes up a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act this week.    

Under the bill, states would assume greater control over health care, and Obamacare coverage mandates could be waived for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, still thinks there's a path forward for a last-ditch effort to end Obamacare, even after his friend, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he opposes the bill.

A "silent protest" against the Bridge Company's proposal outside St. Anne's Catholic Church.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A historic Catholic church in southwest Detroit has become the latest focal point in neighborhood battles between the company that owns the Ambassador Bridge, and the community that sits in the bridge’s shadow.

The Detroit International Bridge Company wants to take over portions of more city streets as part of its expanding footprint.

hundred dollar bills
Pictures of Money / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on legislation that expands campaign donation limits for certain types of donors. Moreover, the "Citizens United" bills let politicians solicit money on behalf of political action committees. This Week in Review, Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry try and read between the lines.

KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested ten workers at a farm labor camp near Hart, Michigan. The undocumented immigrants were harvesting crops at a farm.

“The nine men have been taken to a detention facility in Youngstown, OH, which is about 480 miles from where they were picked up,” said Susan Reed, managing attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. “The one woman we believe was taken to the Calhoun County jail.”

state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week the Michigan Civil Service Commission unilaterally restricted state labor union workers' rights.

Emily Lawler for MLive reports:

“The rule changes prohibit some issues as subjects of collective bargaining and take away specific provisions unions have negotiated for around bumping, overtime scheduling, and transfers. They also restrict the paid union leave time state employees are able to use to work on union issues.”

sign that says flint vehicle city
Michigan Municipal League / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There’s long been the sense that someone should pay for the Flint water debacle — that someone should be held responsible for the decisions that lead to tap water being contaminated by lead and people dying because of a spike in Legionnaires’ disease thought to be connected to the water. 

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has responded by filing criminal charges against several members of Governor Rick Snyder’s administration.

Yesterday, the court proceedings began with an “involuntary manslaughter” charge against Nick Lyon,  Director of the Department of Health and Human Services.

gary peters
Senate Democrats / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Yesterday, a North Korean official indicated his country might soon test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific, while the nation’s leader Kim Jong-un has called President Donald Trump “deranged.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council voted tonight to extend the city’s tap water contract for another month. 

The council continues to balk at agreeing to a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Council President Kerry Nelson says council members remain concerned about future rate hikes.

“Our one goal is to make sure we’re getting the best, affordable, drinkable water there is,” says Nelson.

In June, the state filed a complaint with a federal judge claiming the city is endangering Flint residents by not having a long-term water contract in place.

Stateside 9.20.2017

Sep 20, 2017

Governor Snyder signed legislation into law today that could greatly increase corporate and special interest spending on political campaigns. Today on Stateside, a watchdog says the new law will make it harder to trace political donations. And, now that China plans to ban cars powered by fossil fuels, where does that leave American manufacturers?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan hospitals are coming out against the Republicans’ latest plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The new bill, sponsored by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, would replace Obamacare with a system that gives states more control.

PICTURES OF MONEY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Republicans in Lansing hit the gas pedal to pass legislation that could greatly increase corporate and special interest spending on political campaigns. The legislation sailed through the Senate last week and cleared the House Tuesday.

Today, Governor Snyder signed that legislation into law.

Money
Andy / Flickr

Republicans in Lansing worked at a breakneck speed Tuesday to pass legislation that would allow politicians in Michigan to solicit campaign contributions on behalf of political action committees.

 

The bills had their first House committee hearing Tuesday morning and were headed to the governor’s desk by the end of the day. They’d passed in the Senate late last week.

 

Stateside 9.19.2017

Sep 19, 2017

Today, we hear what went down at Monday's meeting of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, including a plan for a risk assessment of Enbridge's aging Line 5. And, we take a listen to the political music of Eminem, Kid Rock, and Insane Clown Posse.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still 14 months away, but the field of candidates is growing quickly.

A whopping 20 people have filed with the Secretary of State so far: six Republicans, seven Democrats and seven third-party candidates. And that number is expected to grow before the April 2018 filing deadline.

money
Pictures of Money / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Republicans have failed, so far, to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), much to the visible frustration of President Trump.

There’s now a third attempt, the Graham-Cassidy bill, gathering steam in the Senate for a possible vote next week.

At the same time, the White House is being accused of trying to strangle the ACA by slashing funding for navigators, the groups who help people get health insurance.

lena epstein
Courtesy of Lena Epstein

Lena Epstein is ending her bid for a Michigan U.S. Senate seat.

The Republican candidate has decided to switch races and instead will run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 11th District seat is currently held by Republican Congressman Dave Trott, who announced he would not seek re-election in 2018.

A birds-eye view of the Water Street property owned by the city of Ypsilanti
City of Ypsilanti

The Ypsilanti city council will meet on Tuesday to consider whether to green-light a major residential and retail development adjacent to the city’s downtown area on property currently owned by the city.

In May, the development company, Troy based International Village LLC, headed up by Amy Xue Foster, presented the city council with rough plans to build housing and storefronts aimed at attracting international students and inspired by “eastern” design.

S(c)huette and Trump

Sep 18, 2017

Apparently, President Donald Trump and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agree: Spelling counts in their “winning” strategy.

Schuette announced this past week that he’s running for Governor in 2018 and Trump tweeted, and then had to retweet, a message of support.

Michigan civil rights commission
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A large crowd is expected Monday when the Michigan Civil Rights Commission is asked to revise how the word “sex” is interpreted under the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette picked up a big endorsement for his campaign for governor.

A presidential tweet:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump

"Attorney General Bill Shuette will be a fantastic Governor for the great State of Michigan. I am bringing back your jobs and Bill will help!"

The president did misspell Schuette’s name.

Stateside 9.15.17

Sep 15, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Republican Congressman who voted against cutting the EPA budget by 25 percent. Plus, we get some commentary on the Michigan Legislature's move to allow unlimited amounts of dark money for election campaigns.

dr abdule el sayed behind a desk
Abdul for Michigan

Michigan’s gubernatorial election is still over a year away, and 10 candidates are already in the running, including Attorney General Bill Schuette, who announced his bid yesterday.

That brings the total number of Republican candidates to six — a number that is expected to grow. Four Democrats have announced bids, including former Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer, who many view as the Democratic front-runner.

picture of Michigan legislative chambers
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 


The Michigan Senate yesterday passed legislation that could vastly increase corporate and special interest spending on campaigns.

Vicki Barnett, a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, and Joe Haveman, a former chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee and a current candidate for state Senate joined Stateside on Friday to discuss.

wrecked car
Robbie Howell / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Lansing say they have a plan to make auto insurance more affordable – without cutting benefits.

Representative Ben Frederick is a Republican. He says auto insurance cost is a topic that is constantly brought up. But he says nothing ever gets done about it.

“So this year we’re taking what has many might think is a forgotten approach in Lansing, and certainly long gone in DC – a bipartisan approach.”

hand with money
Pictures of Money / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s been seven years since the U.S. Supreme Court said corporations and labor unions can spend as much money as they want on political campaigns.

The court left it up to states to decide whether it institute their own limits. And today the Michigan Senate officially said, “No thanks.”

It passed legislation that would basically codify what the court said in its controversial Citizens United opinion.

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