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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As it stands now, the likely nominee for United States Senate is three-time Senator Debbie Stabenow. Gretchen Whitmer is getting endorsements from leading Democrats in her pursuit of the nomination for governor. Jocelyn Benson is running unopposed for her party’s nomination for secretary of state. There’s also a woman running for attorney general, as well as two African-American men.

Dana Nessel is a former prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. She’s probably most famous for her efforts to get gay marriage legalized in the U.S.

Dilapidated homes in Delray near Detroit.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

At least four Detroit families are set to be relocated to new homes in the city as part of the first round of the city’s home swap program.

The program was established for some homeowners in southwest Detroit’s Delray neighborhood, which will be home to the new Gordie Howe International Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

Pixabay

Michigan wants to know which of the state's fire departments have used or are holding fire suppression foam that was made with a family of chemicals known as PFAS.

State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer is surveying more than 1,000 fire departments across the state. That's because some PFAS foams used for fighting fuel fires could be the source of contamination found in groundwater in some Michigan communities.

Stateside 3.29.2018

Mar 29, 2018

Today on Stateside, we discuss the latest on mediation between Michigan State and Larry Nassar's victims. And, a tax expert says to pay attention now, because there'll be big changes next time you file.

MSU Archives and Historical Collections

The Larry Nassar scandal is not the first time Michigan State University has been embroiled in a national controversy.

More than 50 years ago, the school became linked with America's war in Vietnam.

Seattle-based writer Eric Scigliano is well -acquainted with that scandal. His father, Robert Scigliano, was a MSU political science professor who took part in a Michigan State operation in Vietnam.

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Larry Nassar's former boss Dr. William Strampel has been charged with a felony and three misdemeanors. Strampel denies the charges. Michigan Radio's Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss new developments in the Michigan State University sex abuse case.

Medical Marijuana
Dank Depot / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan's marijuana industry likely won't face any federal changes, though the state's Treasury Department has altered a tax on medical marijuana card holders.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the federal budget passed last week indicates the government will continue to not enforce federal drug laws in states with legalized medical marijuana.

Democrats are practically giddy about their prospects for taking control of Congress. They see a blue wave on the horizon, and the next 225 days until November 6th cannot come soon enough for them.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Marches for stricter gun laws happened all across Michigan and the U.S. Saturday.

About 2,000 people walked from the Hall of Justice to the State Capitol, carrying signs and chanting.

Their message was simple “Our kids aren’t safe, and that needs to change.”  

Road in need of repair.
Peter Ito / Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder says it's time to raise the federal gas tax to fix Michigan's disintegrating roads. Snyder says the state has done its part by increasing fees and fuel taxes, and local governments have come up with their own ways to increase revenue. Now, he says its the federal government's turn to step up.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether that's a realistic expectation.


Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This week in Michigan politics, some Republican legislators led by Senator Mike Shirkey pushed to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Republicans also campaigned hard against a ballot initiative that would fight political gerrymandering and seeks to establish an independent commission to draw district lines.

marijuana
flickr user Dank Depot / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state medical marijuana board has deadlocked on the first two applications for licenses.

The issue was how to deal with old criminal convictions. 

One applicant thought his marijuana conviction had been expunged from the record. In another case, the applicant had a 20-year-old misdemeanor. 

Michael Densmore says it’s all a misunderstanding. 

User: Michigan Works! Association / Flickr / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

As expected, Gov. Snyder is endorsing Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley to take over his job next year.

Snyder made that official with a public endorsement in Southfield today.

Snyder says he’s been waiting to endorse Calley for governor ever since he picked him to be his lieutenant eight years ago, calling the 40-year-old Calley the right person to continue what he calls Michigan’s recent “comeback.”

A SMART bus.
SMART

At one point, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel was a big proponent of the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority, and its potential to coordinate and boost the region’s lackluster, fragmented transit systems.

But Hackel now seems to have soured on the prospect of more and better transit, and on the RTA itself, just as Wayne County is making a push to put a transit millage before voters in November.

Stateside 3.20.2018

Mar 20, 2018

Today on Stateside, the first known pedestrian death from a self-driving vehicle: what does this mean to the autonomous vehicle testing and technology? Plus, May Erlewine talks about her latest album, Mother Lion.

pixabay

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a budget bill that accelerates spending on road repairs in time to help with the spring and summer construction season.

The bill shifts $175 million from next year’s construction season to use this coming spring and summer to fix roads.

“You’re going to see a lot of (orange) barrels in every corner of Michigan,” he said.

But this spending on repairs is still not expected to keep pace with the rate at which roads are crumbling following a freeze-and-thaw winter’s that’s been brutal on pavement.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Open-records disclosures can no longer include information on cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities in Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is putting the sale of city hall “on hold”.

Last year, former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero picked Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services over three other developers, to turn Lansing city hall into a new hotel. 

Lansing officials settled on the idea of selling city hall, since the estimated $55 million cost of renovating the aging building would be cost prohibitive.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Lansing needs to step up and provide adequate roads funding or else tell local governments they’re on their own, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said Monday.

Hackel blasted the Michigan Legislature’s 2015 “fix” that raised fuel taxes and driver registration fees, but generates far too little revenue for the state’s actual infrastructure needs. He made those remarks as Macomb unveiled a new online resource about county road conditions, and what it will cost to fix them.

Courtesy of Shenandoah Chefalo

There are nearly 13,000 children in foster care in Michigan, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Across the country, there are around 400,000 kids in foster care on any given day.

But what we don’t know for sure is how many children have been “lost” in foster care.

People who remember, remember Republican John Engler as a blunt, pugnacious governor. And, before that, the same as state Senate majority leader.

Former Governor John Engler
WikiCommons

Michigan State University interim president John Engler accused state lawmakers of interfering with negotiations to settle out of court with victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar. Engler's comments came in response to a set of bills adopted by the senate this week that give victims more time to file lawsuits. The former governor also said the bills could subject universities to more lawsuits and drive up tuition.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about Engler's reaction to the legislation.


Stateside 3.16.2018

Mar 16, 2018

"Children should not have a price tag on them," a survivor of the Larry Nassar scandal says to opponents of the sexual assault bills passed by the Michigan Senate this week. Also today, we say, "Cheers, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day" to you with a cocktail recipe.

Larissa Boyce testifies in Ingham County courtroom at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing.
Emma Winowiecki

This week the Michigan Senate passed a package of bills that would, among other things, limit claims of immunity from civil suits for government entities, including public universities; extend the statute of limitations for when a victim can file a sexual assault complaint; and strengthen mandatory reporting laws.

Daniel X. O'Neil / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

It seems more and more that the phrase “fake news” is being used against any reputable news report that doesn’t conform with someone’s distorted notion of what is true.

But, that does not mean “fake news” is not a real and threatening problem. These past few months, we’ve learned of Russian outlets that used social media to spread memes that United States citizens at opposite ends of the political spectrum gleefully reposted because it fit the narrative of their echo-chamber beliefs.

Michael Patterson / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The Michigan legislature is considering retroactively extending the statute of limitations of sexual assault of minors. It's part of a package of bills designed to make it easier for sexual assault victims to bring complaints forward.

This comes as a response to the Larry Nassar case. He's the former doctor who sexually assaulted young athletes at Michigan State University and other places.

A map of new transit services proposed in the "Connect Southeast Michigan" plan.
Wayne County

Wayne and Washtenaw County leaders are making a last-ditch effort to get a millage for improved mass transit across southeast Michigan on the November ballot.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Democrats running for state Attorney General represent two wings of the party.

Dana Nessel is a self-described progressive. Pat Miles is more centrist, but he’s shifted some of his positions on issues as he’s talked to Democrats across the state.

We asked each of the candidates about asset forfeiture.

Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement to seize property when police think it was bought with illegally gotten money such as drug money.

But, even if those people are not convicted or even charged with a crime, they have to fight in court to get their assets back.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is trying something new to reduce water shut-offs, while at the same time increasing revenues from water and sewer services.

The city is launching a 60-day trial of lower fees for residents trying to get their water service turned back on.

UAW sign.
UAW

Union leaders announced today that they're teaming up to support graduate student workers at universities across the country.

Graduate Assistants at some universities complain they have voted to unionize, but the results of those elections are being ignored by school administrations.

Randi Weingarten is president of the American Federation of Teachers - which is part of the organizing effort.

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