WUOMFM

Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

The Michigan Senate.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Some lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill in this lame-duck session of the Legislature that would force new teachers into a 401(k)-style retirement system, and move the state away from supporting a traditional pension system.

Supporters say it would save the state money in the long term. Critics say it will blow a major hole in the state budget in the near term.

A sign posted in a Troy polling place in 2014.
ACLU of Michigan

In the lame duck session of the Michigan Legislature, a package of bills is being debated.

It would require already-registered Michigan voters to present a photo ID card. If you did not have an ID at the polling place you could vote, but you’d have to present an ID to election officials within 10 days or your vote would not count.

The vice chair of the House Elections Committee, Democrat Representative Gretchen Driskell joined Stateside to talk about why she voted "no" on the voter ID proposals in committee.

Today we sort through the flurry of controversial lame duck bills and hear from an Arab-American comedian who believes "comedy is most needed in times of despair." We also cheers to Repeal Day with FDR's martini.

A person marking a ballot.
flickr user Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today, the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on President-elect Donald Trump’s request to stop a recount of votes in this state.

Two Republicans on the board voted today to prevent the recount, while two Democrats said it should proceed.

The state chair of the Republican Party, Ronna Romney McDaniel said the party expected this result.

A state spokesman announced the recount will begin Tuesday or Wednesday, barring a court order.

The number of hate incidents logged during the 10 days after the general election.
Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a new report showing that it received 40 hate incident complaints in the 10 days following the U.S. general election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Hate incidents are defined as acts of hostility directed at a person based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The center recorded 22 incidents in Ohio, 16 in Indiana, 25 in Illinois, and 13 in Wisconsin. There were 867 incidents nationwide.

Many hate incidents have been reported by the media in Michigan.

Ken Sikkema expects the Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing to be even more conservative in 2017.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

It’s the Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session, and a lot is going on.

Susan Demas and Ken Sikkema joined us today to take a look at what our legislators have on their plate.

Ballots
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Plans to move ahead with a ballot recount in Michigan are on hold. The state Republican Party and President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign have filed an objection to the recount request by Green Party nominee Jill Stein. A state elections board meets tomorrow morning to consider the objection.

Michigan’s ballot recount is delayed until at least next week. We check in with Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum. Plus, the iconic and once-shuttered Belle Isle Aquarium is approaching its old glory. We find out just what it's taken to bring it back.    

To find individual interviews, click here or see below: 

A Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. They would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.
Matthileo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The lame-duck session in Lansing has been quacking along at a fast pace.

Yesterday, a Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. The pensions would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.

Senator Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, who represents the 34th District, which includes Muskegon, joined Stateside to talk about it. Hansen was one of the two Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee, along with Mike Nofs, who voted against the effort.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

For county clerks all over Michigan, the presidential vote recount has them scrambling to hand-count some 4.8 million ballots in less than two weeks.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum took a few minutes away from the scramble to discuss the process on Stateside.

Screen shot of Breitbart.com on November 29, 2016.
screen grab

Update: December 1, 2016:

LOS ANGELES - Breitbart is encouraging a boycott of Kellogg's products after the cereal maker said it would no longer advertise on the news and opinion website, formerly run by President-elect Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon.

The Kellogg Company cited company "values" in explaining its decision; a spokeswoman said Thursday it has "nothing to do with politics."

Breitbart has been condemned for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Changes to Michigan’s voter identification laws might go through in the legislature’s lame duck session. A House committee heard testimony on the bills Wednesday.

The bills would require voters to prove their identity within 10 days of voting if they do not have a photo ID on them at the polls.

The legislation comes in the wake of a state-wide recount and an election filled with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

Jill Stein requested a recount of the presidential election in Michigan today. We discuss what that means and what comes next. And, we hear why an MS patient believes responsible adults should have the right to choose marijuana.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein today made an official request for a recount of votes in Michigan.

Michigan Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta was at today's announcement. He joined Stateside from Lansing to explain the news.

Pluta said at the announcement, the Stein campaign again echoed what they’ve been saying all along.

(courtesy of KQED)

Public school teachers could see changes to their retirement plans. That’s under changes getting pushed through in the state legislature’s lame duck session.

The bills were passed through the Senate Appropriations committee Wednesday by a narrow nine votes to eight. The committee met for several hours taking testimony and engaging in sometimes heated debate.

The current system is a combination pension and 401(k), but the legislation would put all new teachers under just a 401(k) plan.

A person marking a ballot.
flickr user Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There’s so much at stake in a recount. So much that must be done correctly, and with the Electoral College vote looming, the clock is ticking.

Melvin “Butch” Hollowell knows what that’s like. Currently the corporation counsel for the city of Detroit, he’s worked on many crucial recounts: the Bush-Gore recount in Florida in 2000, the 2005 recount of the Detroit mayoral election between Kwame Kilpatrick and Freman Hendrix, the 2013 recount involving Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and more.

"354,000 people signed their name on a petition to vote on this issue. They were ignored. I think that's unconscionable," Jamison said.
flickr user Dank Depot / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


From an early-morning fixture on Detroit television to an advocate for legalized marijuana in Michigan, Anqunette Jamison has made quite a transition.

The former Fox 2 Detroit anchorwoman walked away from her TV job to become a volunteer for MI Legalize, one of the groups that’s been fighting to put the question of legalization before Michigan voters.

She’s got a very personal stake in the fight for legalization: Jamison uses marijuana to help with her multiple sclerosis.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has requested a full hand recount of Michigan's presidential vote.

Stein requested the recount on Wednesday. She had already requested recounts in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Republican Donald Trump won all three states. He defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by 10,704 votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast. Stein alleges that irregularities and the potential for hacking into scanning devices call into question the results.

The Michigan recount could start as early as Friday.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

The Green Party is expected to file paperwork to formally request a recount of the presidential election votes in Michigan. This Week in Michigan Politics, senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talks with Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about why he's already confident the results are correct.

They also discuss President-elect Donald Trump's choice of Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education, Congressman Sander Levin's decision not to seek re-election as leader of the Ways and Means Committee, and the transition of the Detroit Promise scholarship from a two year to a four year program.


Dr. Larry Nassar.
Michigan Attorney General's office

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Lawyers for 13 women and girls have told Michigan State University that they plan to sue the school over alleged sexual assaults by a doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics.

A notice was filed Tuesday in the Court of Claims. It's a procedural step under state law.

The letter accuses Dr. Larry Nassar of "digital penetration" without proper notice "under the guise of providing care" at his office at Michigan State, from 1996 to 2015. Attorney Stephen Drew says most were gymnasts from across Michigan.

user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawmakers could be making changes to Governor Rick Snyder’s mission to scale back the use of tax incentives to attract jobs and investment. Two packages of bills offering incentives to businesses passed in the Senate Tuesday.

Proponents of the packages say they will spur economic growth by providing incentives like tax abatements and redirecting tax revenues toward economic development projects.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

The estimated cost of recounting all the votes in Michigan’s presidential election continues to rise. State officials plan to charge Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein almost $1 million to conduct the recount. But Secretary of State Ruth Johnson guessed as much as $2 million.  Republican Party attorney Eric Doster thinks it will be closer to the $10 million cost of running a statewide election.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the official start of the lame-duck period for Michigan’s 98th Legislature.

Some of us remember the frenetic pace of the lame-duck in 2012, when state lawmakers passed something like 300 bills. That included "right to work" and a new emergency manager law to replace the one voters had just repealed.

Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined Stateside to discuss what’s on the to-do list this year during lame duck.

39 arrested at Detroit minimum wage protest

Nov 29, 2016
Demonstrators block traffic in Detroit early Tuesday morning.
D15 / McConnell Communications Inc

Detroit police arrested 39 people this morning during a protest outside a McDonald's on Grand River Avenue. 

The protest was part of a national campaign of planned strikes and civil disobedience to fight for a $15 hourly wage and the right to unionize.

According to Commander Elvin Barren of the Detroit Police Department, the protest was peaceful, and about 350 people participated. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Donald Trump has selected five people for his cabinet. His most recent choice is Republican Rep. Tom Price, R-GA, as Secretary of Health and Human Services. 

Though Price has served as Georgia's 6th District congressman since 2004, most of his childhood and young adulthood was spent in Michigan. 

Price was born in Lansing, Michigan and graduated from Dearborn High School, according to Congress' Biographical Directory. He also pursued post-secondary education in Michigan.

Recall organizer Alex Harris (right at podium) could not convince a panel of Genesee County officials to approve his petition language against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (left)
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An effort to recall Flint’s mayor has been derailed.

It didn’t take long for the Genesee County Board of Electors to dispatch the petition, maybe two minutes.

The extremely short meeting ended after recall organizer Alex Harris admitted he didn’t have evidence of his first claim against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver that she didn’t pay her water bill.

user Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican Donald Trump is officially the winner of the presidential race in Michigan. A state elections board certified the results today, but now a recount looms.

This afternoon, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers will, in all likelihood, certify the results of the November 8th election - bringing Campaign 2016 to an official close and opening the door to Recount 2016.

Unprecedented

Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are about to become the center of the U.S. political universe as the Green Party and its presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, try to upset the order of things and make elections officials in those three states go back and check their work.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the Genesee County Election Board  will decide whether to approve language for a recall petition against Flint mayor Karen Weaver.

Organizer Alex Harris has run recall efforts against two previous Flint mayors, Woodrow Stanley and Don Williamson. Stanley was recalled.  Williamson stepped down before a recall vote.

Harris himself has run unsuccessfully for seats on the Flint city council and school board.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan regulators have directed their staff to develop rules designed to toughen utilities' defenses against cyberattacks.

  Michigan Public Service Commission Chairwoman Sally Talberg says natural gas and electric providers face attempted intrusions into their computer system on an almost daily basis. She says federal and state governments need to work with utilities to create programs to deal with security issues.

Pages