Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

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In the future, Michiganders behind in their rent payments may get an email eviction notice.

Currently, initial eviction notices are sent by first class mail. But a bill before the state House Judiciary committee would allow landlords use electronic mail instead.

This week, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker is likely to become the third Midwest governor in as many years to sign legislation making his state right to work, the 25th in the country.

It was not that long ago that the right to work movement was essentially stalled. In 2011, no state had gone right to work in a decade.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Pension cuts are kicking in for roughly 12,000 city of Detroit retirees.

The 4.5 percent reduction is a result of Detroit's bankruptcy. Pension fund spokeswoman Tina Bassett tells the Detroit Free Press that about 1,450 retirees with very low incomes have qualified for financial help from a separate fund. Some people will get as much as $180.

Michigan works to thwart barrage of cyberattacks

Feb 28, 2015
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan is aiming to invest in cyber security and position itself as a national leader in the field as attacks on governments increase.  

The state receives more than 730,000 attempted attacks daily. That number is rising as hackers aim to collect valuable information from Michigan's networks.

Wikimedia Commons

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clark talk about headlines that marked the end of the beginning for some major Michigan issues. Ballot language for the roads funding bill, school money to fill the budget gap, and GOP officials with criminal records are all stories that look like they’re just getting started. 


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint officials say levels of a potentially harmful chemical in the city's drinking water are now within acceptable limits. 

Flint residents got a shock earlier this year when they learned their tap water had unacceptably high levels of total trihalomethane, a byproduct of chlorine. The city used a large amount to chlorine last summer to treat the city’s water.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Flickr

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-MI, have introduced legislation that addresses the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes.

Former Congressman Kerry Bentivolio.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

He was called the "accidental congressman" because he was the only Republican on the 2012 primary ballot after incumbent Republican Thad McCotter's campaign imploded from a petition scandal.

Bentivolio went on to win and served two years in Congress until he lost his reelection bid in 2014.

Michigan Legislature
Matthileo / Flickr

Each Thursday we talk Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.

This week we discuss the state's revenue shortfall and what it means for the budget this year and down the road.

Michigan's Capitol.
Graham Davis / flickr

State lawmakers have approved diverting surplus school aid revenues to help close a $500 million budget hole.

The legislation would shift $250 million in money originally earmarked for the state’s School Aid Fund.  Another bill in the package would make cuts to several state departments.

GOP House Leader / Flickr

The showdown between President Obama and House Republicans continues as the Department of Homeland Security budget is still not securely funded.

The budget has been attached to Republican's efforts to undo President Obama's executive actions on immigration reform. If Congress can't find a way to divide the two, the funding for Homeland Security will expire tomorrow night at midnight.

There was a big stop on the Detroit post-bankruptcy "tour" this week.

Former Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, now-retired federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes, and Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rhodes all sat together at Crain's Newsmakers of the Year lunch to share their insights and hopes for the future.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

At a meeting of business and civic leaders, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan outlined a number of concerns and looming issues facing the city.

Following a speech at the Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference, Duggan was interviewed by Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson about challenges ahead.

Today on Stateside:   

Andrew McFarlane / creative commons

There’s a new fight underway at the state Capitol over Michigan’s tax credit for film, TV, and digital video projects. And some advocates for the subsidy say the debate itself is harming efforts to create a thriving Michigan movie and video entertainment business.  

Gov. Rick Snyder has never been a fan of the subsidies and his administration capped them $50 million in the current budget and in his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. 

FLICKR USER COOPERWEB / FLICKR

The 2014 election cycle saw unprecedented fundraising by political action committees in Michigan.

Big With that came a major increase in money raised by so-called Super PACs – the independent-expenditure committees free to accept corporate and union contributions.

This major increase raises fresh alarm over the way big donors and special interests can spend money to influence your vote.

Handguns.
user Ben Re / Flickr

The State House has approved legislation that would overhaul the way Michigan approves concealed pistol licenses.

The legislation would abolish county gun boards which approve the licenses. Those duties would go to county clerks with the State Police conducting background checks.

State Representative Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, says the gun boards sometimes discriminate against applicants.

Flickr user Dennis Skley / Flickr

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote tomorrow on a proposal that could impact the way you use and pay for your Internet.

The debate is around "net neutrality."

earl53 / Morguefile

This week, Jack and Emily talk about another state considering a right-to-work law, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s budget proposal and a new grant to boost skills training in Michigan.


Courtesy of City of Detroit, Mayor's Office

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan briefed the city council on the city’s first post-bankruptcy budget Tuesday.

This $1.1 billion budget is almost entirely former emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s doing, laid out in the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, but Duggan said he’s committed to sticking to it as closely as possible.

Duggan noted the city is actually bringing in higher revenues than that budget anticipated, but he said city officials can’t assume that trend will continue.

Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr

State lawmakers say Michigan set the stage for states like Wisconsin to consider right-to-work laws.

Thousands of protesters gathered at the Wisconsin state Capitol on Tuesday as lawmakers there held a hearing on the measure. It would ban requirements that workers pay union dues as a condition of employment.

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

The clock is ticking. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security will run out Friday if Congress can't figure out how to separate the DHS budget from the politics of immigration reform.

House Republicans are using the DHS funding bill to try to repeal President Obama's executive actions on immigration. But there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass that bill.

Not surprisingly, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., disagrees with House Speaker John Boehner's assertions that President Obama's executive action on immigration was an overreach of his powers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s second largest city will welcome backyard chickens beginning this spring.

In the summer of 2010, Grand Rapids city commissioners narrowly rejected urban chickens. But the issue never died and really picked up steam last fall.

Three commissioners who voted against chickens five years ago changed their minds this time around.

This hasn’t been a good week for Matty Moroun, when it comes to his battle to hang on to his monopoly over transporting heavy freight across the Detroit River.

Moroun, who will be 88 in June, owns the Ambassador Bridge, which itself is 85-years-old. Twenty-five percent of all trade between Canada and the United States comes across this bridge.

Have you forgotten about the snow already?
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Bitter cold weather and snow continues to cause Michigan schools to cancel days.

Many Michigan school districts have already called off classes for six or more days. That’s the limit on how many days schools can close without tacking on extra time at the end of the school year.

dugganfordetroit.com

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will deliver his annual budget address to the Detroit City Council Tuesday.

It’s a different process this year. That’s because most of the budget is already laid out in the city’s court-approved bankruptcy exit plan, formally known as a “plan of adjustment.”

Today on Stateside: 

  • MLive’s Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting speaks with us about the Republican Winter Convention, that was held this weekend, and about Ronna Romney McDaniel, the newly elected GOP chair.
  •   Michigan Radio’s West Michigan reporter, Lindsey Smith, joins us to talk about Kalamazoo residents’ first chance to voice their thoughts on a compromise plan for a PCB laden dump site, one with a million and a half cubic yards of toxic waste.
  • Chef James Rigato, executive chef at The Root restaurant in White Lake Township and four-episode contestant on Top Chef, talks Michigan’s food scene.
  • Writer Bill Loomis discusses the stove, 19th Century Detroit’s “first mass-marketed, had-to-have durable good.”
  • Tom Deits, Project Director of Innovation 5, a new project at Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, talks about his Next Idea: making Michigan’s museums more active and hands-on.
  • Bill Terrell, a Michigan State University criminologist and co-author of a new study on police attitudes, speaks about his research and whether or not officers need a college degree.
www.migop.org

Michigan's Republicans held their winter convention this weekend. Ronna Romney McDaniel was elected as the new Michigan GOP chair after former chair Bobby Schostak decided not to run for another term.

Ronna Romney McDaniel’s famous name is “a big selling point for her,” MLive’s Capitol reporter Jonathan Oosting said after speaking with McDaniel.

McDaniel’s uncle is Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate and Michigan native. Her mother, also named Ronna Romney, was a Republican National Committee woman in Michigan, and her grandfather is former governor George Romney.

You’d have a hard time finding anyone with deeper Detroit roots than Milton Mack, Wayne County’s Chief Probate Judge. Two of his ancestors were in the canoes with Cadillac when he landed and founded the city on July 24, 1701.

Michigan Republicans held their winter convention this weekend in Lansing and elected Ronna Romney McDaniel as their new chair.

McDaniel has quite the Republican pedigree.  She is the niece of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, granddaughter of Michigan Governor George Romney. 

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