Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

A fall leaf on Election Day.
Mike Perini / Michigan Radio

We've told you how Proposal 1 went down in spectacular defeat. You can see vote tallies on that statewide ballot measure here.

Elsewhere in Michigan, voters faced all manner of local elections for things like schools, roads, and marijuana decriminalization.   

User _chrisUK / flickr.com

We in Michigan have been talking about fixing our roads for years.

"Just fix the damn roads," was the mantra Michigan lawmakers heard over and over from their constituents.

Now the refrain sounds more like "just don't fix the damn roads this way."

Today on Stateside:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are taking aim at elk and moose poachers in Michigan.

Lawmakers are considering tripling the fine poachers pay if they are caught illegally killing elk or moose in Michigan. Fines will also rise for bear and eagles.  

Empty desks in a classroom.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr

Buena Vista voters today will decide whether to renew a millage that would cover debt still owed by the township's now-defunct school district.  

Last November, voters rejected a similar proposal to cover the former district's $725,000 debt.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday, Flint voters will pick members of a special city charter review commission. There are 13 names on the ballot.  

Mayor Dayne Walling says the nine-member board will have a lot to consider to update Flint’s more than 40-year-old city charter.

user: Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

Tomorrow voters go to the polls to decide the fate of Proposal 1 - the road-funding proposal that would raise the state's sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.

What would that one penny increase really mean?

For the answer, we turned to Charles Ballard. He's an economist at Michigan State University.

American flag.
Corey Seeman / Flickr

A number of Republican presidential hopefuls are descending on Michigan. Three confirmed and likely candidates made stops across the state on Monday.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – who has not yet confirmed his candidacy- spoke at a GOP gathering in Ingham County. He focused on foreign policy, criticizing the records of President Obama and Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton.

Ben Carson Twitter / https://twitter.com/realbencarson

Republican Ben Carson formally kicked off his presidential campaign in his hometown of Detroit today, with an event that included a gospel choir, five opera singers from Nashville, and a video ad featuring Mount Rushmore, a soaring bald eagle, and amber waves of grain.  

The retired neurosurgeon and former Fox News contributor is a long-shot candidate in what’s already a crowded primary field.

But he’s hoping he can build on his outsider status, his powerful biography and his tea party popularity.

Today on Stateside:

Candidates and possible candidates are crisscrossing Michigan today. Detroit Free Press reporter Kathleen Gray tracks the comings and goings of presidential contenders.

How one Michigan restaurant chain is "going green" with its trash: phasing out petroleum-based plastics. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

U.S. Senator Rand Paul says Republicans need to be as passionate about the entire bill of rights as they are about people’s right to own a gun.

Sarah Perks, of Caledonia, was among a couple hundred people who stood to listen to Paul’s 20-minute speech. The Republican presidential hopeful talked about people’s right to a fair trial and privacy at an event in Grand Rapids Monday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint mayor’s race is even murkier today.

It appears the one candidate that did file his petitions before a state deadline may not have enough valid signatures.

Other Flint mayoral candidates missed the filing deadline because the city clerk gave them the wrong date.

Speculation continues that Governor Rick Snyder is eyeing a run for the White House.

Just last week, former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman fanned the flames by telling reporters that he met with Snyder in California and that, “he’s running.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. - Flint's mayor and others seeking the job could be left off an August primary ballot due to what one official calls a "clerical error."

Mayor Dayne Walling, Councilman Wantwaz Davis and businesswoman Karen Weaver turned in their nominating petitions after an April 21st deadline. State elections officials say Flint Clerk Inez Brown mistakenly told candidates the deadline was Tuesday.

Rebecca Kruth

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to more than 2,000 Detroit students as part of the city's first College Signing Day.

Students from more than 40 Detroit high schools came to hear Obama speak about the importance of committing to higher education.

"In fact, we should all be as excited about college signing day as we are about the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Playoffs," she said.

user jdurham / morguefile

State representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) has sponsored a bill to reverse a law in effect since 2006 requiring all public schools in Michigan to start after Labor Day. That law was passed to support the tourism industry by extending the vacation season, but Heise says it has made little difference to tourism revenues while burdening schools with a very inconvenient schedule.

The law would provide an option for schools to start before Labor Day as long as the preceding Friday was still a vacation day. "That way, everybody's guaranteed a four day weekend," Heise says.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters of a proposed state sales tax hike are taking their campaign to Michigan’s farmers.

Tuesday, Michigan voters will decide on a ballot proposal that will increase the state sales tax from 6% to 7%. Most of the money raised through the ballot question will go to fix Michigan’s roads. 

Governor Snyder met yesterday with agri-business leaders in Genesee County to make his pitch for the May 5th vote. 

Kymberly Janisch / Flickr Creative Commons

Homelessness continues to be a big problem in Michigan. But the state is making progress, according to a report recently released by the Michigan Interagency Council on Homelessness.

The report says more than 97,000 Michigan residents experienced homelessness in 2014.

Wayne County may put its home up for sale

Apr 30, 2015
Guardian Building Detroit
Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Creative Commons

The historic Guardian Building, which houses several Wayne County offices in downtown Detroit, may soon have a "for sale" sign in its window.

The county said it plans to gauge buyer interest in the iconic Art Deco building over the next two months.

Garretttaggs55 / wikipedia commons

Bills to expand access to medical marijuana in Michigan may be benefiting from efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016.

 At least three Michigan groups are already pursuing petition drives to legalize marijuana in 2016. 

Today on Stateside:

Mark Grebner, President of Practical Political Consulting, talks about the expected voter turnout for Proposal 1 next week and what that could mean for proponents.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts joins us to discuss the city’s plans to swap out all of its streetlights for LEDs, with hopes of reaping economic, safety, and environmental benefits.

Trumbull Ave. is a new collection of poetry set in Detroit. We talk with poet Michael Lauchlan about his new book.

The rumor that Governor Snyder will run for president is out there and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry tries to reveal the rumor’s origins and any possibility of truth.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra talks about her special State of Opportunity documentary, Mr. Knight’s Neighborhood, which describes Coach Jimmy Knight’s role as “King of Second Chances” for kids at Cody High School in Detroit.

Jake Neher / MPRN

Governor Rick Snyder today renewed his opposition to allowing people to openly carry firearms in schools. He made the remarks while pro-gun activists rallied down the street outside the state Capitol.

 “What we’d like to see as a compromise is to allow concealed carry in schools. That will help alleviate the problem of any disruptions caused from carry,” said rally organizer Brady Schickinger, who directs the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s financial emergency is over, and the city is regaining a degree of local control.

Gov. Snyder issued the order today lifting the city’s “financial emergency” designation.  

FLICKR USER SECRETLONDON123 / FLICKR

A week from today we’ll know the results of Proposal 1, the ballot measure that changes how fuel is taxed in Michigan to fund road repairs. It also increases the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Some of the extra revenue would go to schools.

It’s a controversial measure. There are vocal supporters and vocal opponents, but what will that actually mean in terms of voter turnout?

Gov. Rick Snyder.
gophouse.com

There is continuing speculation about whether Gov. Rick Snyder will run for president. Recent trips around the country to sell Michigan’s story have only fanned the rumor flames that Snyder is, indeed, considering a run.

The facts as they stand now are as follows: the governor is making trips across the country, talking up Michigan. He’s been in places like California and Washington D.C, neither of which are typical early indicators of a run, as Ohio or New Hampshire might be.

Kate Wells

Detroit has struck a deal with the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, the Moroun family, which gives the company a strip of city-owned land they need in order to build a second bridge span.

The bargain: a land swap between Detroit and Moroun

The three acres surrounding the Ambassador Bridge are currently part of Riverside Park on the city’s southwest side.

user Marlith / flickr.com

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry breaks down what happened during the U.S. Supreme Court's hearing over gay marriage bans in Michigan and other states, why the state Senate also held a hearing on a religious freedom bill that same day, and why Michigan has the highest insurance rate in the country and possible changes to fix that. 


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jerry Ambrose had the shortest tenure of any of the city of Flint’s emergency managers.

It started in January 2015 and ended today.

But he has been there almost since Gov. Snyder put the city under state receivership after a ‘financial emergency’ was declared in 2011.

american flag and lgbt flag
Flickr user Praveen / Flickr

On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over same-sex marriage, state lawmakers took testimony on a bill that could shape how some businesses react to the court’s ruling.

State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, introduced the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). He says Senate Bill 4 would simply protect religious practices against government interference.

user H.L.I.T. / Flickr

Last year, 876 people died in Michigan car crashes, according to the state police.

Another 71,000 were injured.  

Some of those injuries were catastrophic, leaving people with lifelong brain damage, in wheelchairs, or hooked up to ventilators.

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