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Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

kate wells / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Critics and supporters of Planned Parenthood have squared off outside a Detroit clinic during a protest over federal funding for the group.

It was one of many rallies around Michigan on Saturday.

The Detroit event attracted more than 300 people. The crowds on both sides of Cass Avenue were dominated by Planned Parenthood supporters who chanted and held signs in favor of abortion rights and access to health care. President Donald Trump was also a target.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A former chairman of the Michigan Republican party is leading the GOP again.

Ron Weiser was unanimously elected Saturday as chairman. Ronna Romney McDaniel stepped down to become head of the national party.

Meanwhile, Brandon Dillon was given another term as chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party. Both parties are holding conventions this weekend.

Weiser told 3,000 party members in Lansing that "united we win; divided we lose." McDaniel gave a farewell speech, saying President Donald Trump's victory gives Michigan "the respect it deserves."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A record amount of money was spent in 2016 on Michigan state House races.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network combed through spending reports and other sources to determine $27 million was spent on House campaigns last year.   The previous record was $25.4 million in 2014. 

Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Rick Snyder rolled out his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year this week. Not everyone is happy, including some members of Snyder's own party. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lesseberry take a closer look at the governor's proposed budget. 

They also talk about the Detroit school board's threat to sue the state over possible school closures, Michigan's latest gubernatorial candidate, and the results of the state's election audit.

Stateside 2.10.2017

Feb 10, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about Trump's less-talked-about executive order on immigration and how it's affected people in Michigan. And, in response to a listener's question, we learn what Michigan would lose if the EPA is eliminated.

Andrey Belenko / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal appeals panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit has upheld a lower court’s ruling against an executive order by President Donald Trump. That order temporarily banned people of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The three-judge panel suggested the executive order did nothing to make the nation safer, and that the Trump administration didn’t present any evidence that people from the seven countries were a threat to the U.S.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about the ruling it's effect on the Muslim community.

Two of the biggest topics of the week when it comes to Michigan politics involved the proposal to mandate employers to let workers earn paid sick time and the effort to put gerrymandering on the ballot in 2018.
Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder released his budget proposal this week, and there's a lot of discussion about how the state's money will be spent, or not spent, in the upcoming year. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are worried the burden of fixing their broken water system is once again falling on them.

Chanting “We don’t pay for poison water,” dozens of Flint residents filled the lobby at city hall to protest looming water shutoffs of people who haven’t been paying their water and sewer bills.   

PROFESSOR KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

There is another executive order on immigration issued by President Donald Trump, beyond the travel ban of seven majority-Muslim countries.

This executive order gave U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) broader discretion to arrest undocumented immigrants. The result has been a quick uptick in arrests, more people in detention centers, and an immigrant community that is more fearful of being deported.

Gary Johnson
Gage Skidmore / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state primary is still 18 months away, but Michigan Libertarians are taking steps to get ready now.

In November, presidential candidate Gary Johnson received more than 170,000 votes in Michigan. That was plenty to qualify Libertarians as a major party in the state's 2018 primary.

But there's a lot of work left to do for the party to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Members recently held a special convention to vote on new bylaws to bring the party in line with state election laws.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

More than 600 people showed up to a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Justin Amash Thursday night. It was his second Grand Rapids town hall in less than a month and it was the second time so many people showed up they had to close the doors and turn people away.

Some Michigan members of Congress have been criticized lately for avoiding constituents.

But town halls are not new for Amash. The Republican says he’s always felt taking unscripted questions from his constituents, in person, is part of the job. But under the new administration, the crowds have been major.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s elections chief says it appears there were 31 instances of people casting two ballots in the 2016 election, but it doesn’t seem to have changed any results. That was the finding of audits of the election results, as well as a separate inquiry into ballot irregularities in Detroit.

Harrietta Hills Trout Farms co-owner Dan Vogler wants to produce up to 300,000 pounds of trout at the historic Grayling Fish Hatchery.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint, is proposing a ban on certain types of fish farming in the Great Lakes region.  

In Fenton today, Kildee said federal laws are needed to replace a patchwork of state laws in the region that are insufficient to regulate the aquaculture industry.    

“These fish farms create all sorts of pollution…and increase the likelihood of significant impact on habitat,” says Kildee.  

Here are Kildee’s two bills:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is stopping a pair of financial lifelines that helped Flint residents through the city’s water crisis.

A year ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation reimbursing Flint residents who were charged for water they could not safely drink. The money has been critical to city efforts to encourage Flint residents to run water through their taps in hopes of facilitating efforts to heal the damage done by improperly treated Flint River water.

Tamekia Ashford / Detroit Health Department

Detroit's Public Health Director is running for Governor in 2018.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed made his announcement after resigning from his health position on Monday. The 32 year-old former Rhodes scholar hopes to center his campaign around inclusion and equality in Michigan communities. 

aol.com

The Secretary of the Marquette County Republican Party has stepped down after he tweeted the suggestion that violent protestors at the University of California - Berkeley should be shot.

Dan Adamini says he resigned so he isn't a distraction to the work of the Republican Party.

"Whenever you join an organization, you want to do it because you can be helpful," said Adamini. "And with all the hateful messages and death threats that have been coming not just to me but to other people in the party, I thought it would be best if I stepped aside." 

The Michigan State Capitol
user aunt owwee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Snyder's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 came out this week.

One thing it did not contain is a tax cut. That's something many Republican lawmakers want to push through.

One such lawmaker is Laura Cox, chair of the House Appropriations Committee and Republican Representative for the 19th District, representing Livonia. Cox joined Stateside to talk about what she would like to see changed with Michigan's tax policy. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest skilled trades union has agreed to train more Detroit residents in construction work.

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights says three of its local units will commit to new targets.

Those include making sure that Detroiters make up at least 25% of new apprentices, and tripling their Detroit membership in the next 10 years.

Stateside 2.8.2017

Feb 8, 2017

On Stateside today, we break down Gov. Snyder's just-released new budget for Fiscal Year 2018. And, as scientists say reducing emissions is no longer enough to combat climate change, we learn of new ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Gov. Rick Snyder formed a workgroup that made 69 recommendations on how the state of Michigan should manage and improve its mental health care system. The question is, how many of those recommendations will be turned into actual policies?
gophouse.com

Budget season in Lansing is officially underway: Governor Rick Snyder released his new budget for Fiscal Year 2018 today.

To break down the $56.3 billion package, Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s Lansing Bureau Chief, and Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined Stateside today.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder included tens of millions of dollars to help fix the Flint water crisis in his proposed budget.

Nearly $49 million of the governor’s $56 billion dollar budget blueprint would go toward funding programs aiding in Flint’s recovery. Money is earmarked for early childhood and other health related programs.

The governor says the funding will help continue many programs already in place. 

user Marlith / Flickr

The Jackson City Council has voted 5-2 to expand its non-discrimination ordinance to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

The new ordinance bars discrimination against LGBT people in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

"There was consensus and agreement that no one should have to live in fear of losing their jobs,  being evicted from their house, or refused service at a restaurant or a store because they happen to be a member of the LBGT community," said Derek Dobies, Jackson's vice-mayor and a city council member. Dobies supports the new ordinance.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Despite efforts to reduce lead levels in Flint’s tap water, some homes continue to test with levels far above the federal action level.  

But a consultant may soon recommend a simple response.

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Oakland County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Is there a link between crime rates and refugee resettlement in the U.S.?

One group’s research suggests there is--a beneficial one, and that one Michigan city has benefited the most.

The research is from a group called Partnership for a New American Economy. It’s a nationwide group of mayors and businesspeople who tout the benefits of immigration.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

After Senate hearings, debates, protests, a Saturday Night Live parody, and an unprecedented tie-breaking vote by the vice president, Betsy DeVos is now the U.S. Secretary of Education. This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what her confirmation process reveals about the state of affairs in Washington.

Lansing Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There could soon be tighter restrictions on the public’s access to information in bids for state business. A state Senate committee has adopted a bill that would shield information on bidders’ trade secrets and finances.

State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) says the Freedom of Information Act discourages businesses from bidding on government work. Jones says his bill matches a standard used in 42 other states and by the federal government to protect confidential information.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Education, public safety, and paying down the long term debt will be Governor Rick Snyder’s top priorities when he unveils his 2018 budget Wednesday.

Some Republicans in Lansing are really hoping to make some aggressive tax cuts this year. Especially since Michigan has a $330 million surplus in the budget.

But as Governor Rick Snyder gets ready to roll out his budget plan, he’s shying away from major tax cuts.

State Budget Office spokesperson Kurt Weiss said tax cuts need to be balanced with replacement revenue, even though there is a hefty surplus.

Nearly 500,000 people were estimated to have attended the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21.
Courtesy of Tashmica Torok

The organizers of last month's Women’s March on Washington are out to prove that it wasn't just a one-off event.

A second "action" is in the works, followed by eight more during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

Steve Shotwell / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

During the presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump blasted Ford Motor Company for building cars in Mexico. But despite the rocky start, a recent Bloomberg piece explains how Bill Ford, Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, is trying to maintain a relationship with the president.

The Flint Water Treatment Plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. - A consultant says the cost of upgrading Flint's water treatment plant is estimated at $108 million, up slightly from an earlier estimate.

The Flint Journal says the recent report by engineering and construction company, CDM Smith, includes $37 million for the construction of two, 21-million gallon water storage tanks and more than $34 million for pump and transfer station upgrades.

A December draft report put the cost at $105 million.

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