Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council will take up a proposed 20% pay increase for top city officials later this month.

The proposal by an independent panel was introduced at last night’s meeting. The proposal is now scheduled to be discussed at the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on March 23rd. The pay hike will take effect in July, unless the city council votes it down.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans issued an executive order Monday imposing a spending and hiring freeze.

The county will not fill vacant positions, with some exceptions for health and public safety jobs.

No one will get a raise unless mandated by collective bargaining agreement. 

Today on Stateside:

Gov. Rick Snyder.
gophouse.com

Gov. Rick Snyder says there’s no backup plan to boost road funding if voters reject a sales tax increase in May.

Snyder urged listeners to vote “yes” on the measure during an appearance on Michigan Public Radio’s statewide call-in program “Michigan Calling.”

Gov. Rick Snyder.
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder was at the Michigan Radio studios earlier today for a special call-in program, taking your questions. The show was hosted by Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is also the co-host along with Zoe Clark of It's Just Politics.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing city council members will consider a pay increase tonight for themselves. 

Lansing’s mayor and city clerk would also get a pay hike too.

Last week, an independent panel proposed the 20 percent pay hike. 

Gov. Rick Snyder takes questions from listeners on Michigan Calling.
Roger Hart / Michigan Photography

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder took questions from a statewide public radio audience at 9 a.m. this morning.

The program originated from Michigan Radio’s studios in Ann Arbor. It was part of the Michigan Public Radio Network’s Michigan Calling series and was hosted by MPRN managing editor Rick Pluta.

Governor Rick Snyder will announce his new energy strategy for the state very soon and, anticipating that, Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature have rolled out their own plans to ensure affordable, reliable electricity.

Now, if you don’t think politics plays a role in energy policy, then you explain why utilities and energy companies have political action committees to make campaign donations. And the answer is energy plans are rife with politics because, first, it’s a very regulated industry, and, second, there’s a lot of money in those volts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Flint’s emergency manager should receive the final report from a consultant hired to look at the city’s troubled water system.

Drafts of the final report were circulated last week. 

Flint Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose says the report will make specific recommendations on what chemicals to use, and how much of each, to treat Flint River water. The report will also touch on other operational issues facing the system.

gop.gov / gop.gov

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clark discuss legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse service to LGBT couples, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan’s call for a moratorium on charter school expansion, and Candice Miller’s announcement that she won’t seek reelection.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would change how Michigan allocates its electoral college votes is back in the mix in Lansing.

Republican state representatives Cindy Gamrat, Todd Courser, Thomas Hooker, and Gary Glenn introduced the bill this week.

It proposes that each of the state’s 14 Congressional districts gets one electoral vote — with the two remaining votes going to the statewide winner.

Currently, nine of those 14 districts lean Republican.

Loveland Technologies / via Why Don't We Own This?

A “hurricane without water” and a “looming disaster” — those are just two of the phrases that have been used to describe the unprecedented foreclosure crisis facing Detroit this year.

But this time, it’s not about banks and mortgages. It’s about unpaid property taxes, and efforts to patch up a system everyone admits had been broken for years.


Bruce Bortin / Flickr

There’s bipartisan interest in the state Legislature in protecting Michiganders from having property unfairly seized by police.

State House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, wrote in the Detroit News this week that Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws need to be revisited. He says too many people never convicted of a crime are having their assets taken so that police departments can profit.

Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will take questions from a statewide public radio audience at 9 a.m. this morning as part of the Michigan Public Radio Network’s “Michigan Calling” series.

The hour-long program will be hosted by Rick Pluta, MPRN’s managing editor and state Capitol bureau chief, and will originate from Michigan Radio’s studios in Ann Arbor.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Once again, tempers flared during a public meeting on Flint’s water problems.

The city’s water system has been plagued with problems for the past year.  

Thursday, Flint officials held another meeting on the city’s troubled tap water.

And once again, a shouting match erupted.  

Gary Peters / Facebook

When he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Gary Peters promised to approach his job in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation. He says that's exactly what's behind the first two bills he has introduced in the Senate.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

The Supreme Court has announced they plan to hear arguments on two issues around same-sex marriage on April 28. Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, and are states required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states?

Photo courtesy of Miller's office

Michigan Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller  announced this afternoon she will not seek reelection in 2016. U.S. Rep. Miller has held the 10th District seat since 2003.

"It has been the greatest privilege and sincere personal honor to serve the people of Michigan's 10th Congressional District as their voice in the US House of Representatives.  People of faith, people of family, people of community.  Hard working people, decent people, patriots who are constantly engaged in building our community, our state, a stronger nation," Rep. Miller said in a emailed statement.

The congresswoman also released a video statement on her Facebook page.

Before being elected to Congress in 2002, Rep. Miller served as Michigan's Secretary of State for eight years.

wikipedia

A Michigan Congressman is cautioning a federal agency to be careful how it goes about creating rules to protect a certain type of bat.

Congressman Dan Benishek (R), who represents Northern Michigan’s first district, is concerned the US Fish and Wildlife Service could name the northern long-eared bat a threatened species—and that could place an “undue economic burden” on affected areas.

  Today on Stateside:

  • More on a bill that would require cell phone carriers in Michigan to release location information to police in the event of an emergency.
  • The Fisher Building in Detroit is on the auction block.
  • The ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Lake Superior.
  • A new book from Andrew Hoffman, How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate
  • Why a teen crisis hotline is communicating by text only.
Provided by Duane Kelley

We want to fill you in on what’s going on with Detroit’s retired firefighters.

These are the men and women who ran into burning buildings, day after day, some of them for decades.

And while they made it through the city’s bankruptcy with their pensions pretty much intact, they lost their health care.

Smart phone.
Johan Larsson / Flickr

The bill, if passed, would require cell phone carriers in Michigan to release location information to police in the event of an emergency.

In short, according to this House Fiscal Agency analysis, the bill does this:

Film rolls.
Luca Nonato / Flickr

The Michigan film incentives have been a point of debate for years.

The incentives give film companies cash rebates based on the amount of money they spent in the state to make their movies.

At their peak, film incentives in Michigan would pay production companies 42% of their costs. That's when movie stars like Drew Barrymore, Clint Eastwood, and David Schwimmer started showing up regularly in the state.

WISD hiring drivers after Ann Arbor school bus service cancellation

Mar 4, 2015
School bus traversing the snow.
User Kristin Andrus / flickr.com

Washtenaw Intermediate School District is trying to hire more bus drivers and monitors. That's to avoid a repeat of Monday morning's cancellation of school bus service for Ann Arbor Public Schools. The buses resumed running Monday afternoon.

WISD has also "offered staff compensation incentives to attend work and to stay through the duration of our contracts," said Emma Jackson, WISD's spokesperson.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress.
PBS NewsHour / screenshot from YouTube

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, a new push toward financial stability for Detroit’s schools and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s decision to sit out Proposal 1.


Adoptions by LGBT parents are at the center of this controversy.
user stevendamrun / Flickr

A state House committee approved the legislation this morning.

The bills would allow agencies that take money from the state for placing children with families to turn away same-sex couples. There would have to be a sincere religious objection and a good-faith effort to refer the couples to another adoption service.

Detroit to get "pay by plate" parking

Mar 4, 2015
wikihow

DETROIT (AP) – Detroit plans to roll out a parking system that uses technology tied to license plates in an effort to improve enforcement efficiency and increase options for payment.

Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown told The Detroit News that a $3 million contract will transform its metering system to “pay-by-plate,” rather than by space.

Today on Stateside:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his much anticipated speech to Congress today.
  • LaughFest 2015 begins Thursday in Grand Rapids. Teresa Thome talks about her upcoming performance.
  • A Michigan State University professor is using “ambigram” designs to explore creative ways of thinking.
  • There are hundreds of kids aged 13 to 17 in Michigan's adult prisons. What's happening inside those prison walls?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress.
PBS NewsHour / screenshot from YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his much anticipated speech to Congress today. He made his case against a potential nuclear deal being negotiated with Iran by major powers, including the United States.

Watch the speech here.

Today on Stateside:

  • As the debate over gun rights and regulations continues across the country, Michigan is seeing a surge in women with concealed pistol licenses.
  • The city of Battle Creek was in the CBS spotlight last night. Battle Creek police chief Jim Blocker joined us to talk about the new TV show Battle Creek.
  • Writer & publisher Bill Haney has crossed paths with some fascinating Michiganders. He writes about them in his new book, What They Were Thinking: Reflections of Michigan Difference-Makers.
  • Can Detroit be a "Design Mecca?" Michigan has a higher concentration of industrial designers than any other state.
  • Men are vanishing from the workplaces of America and certainly here in Michigan. That group of men aged 25-to-54 who are not working has more than tripled since the last 1960s.

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