Politics & Government

Stories about politics and government actions

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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. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Michigan, says it's not his party's fault if the Department of Homeland Security runs out of money.

It has to get new funding before the end of this week to stay open.

House Republicans passed a bill to fund DHS, but it had a poison pill: reversing President Obama's plans to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

WKAR-TV

The state’s top budget official says he would support limiting the amount of money a business could claim in tax credits each year.

Michigan faces a significant budget hole this year and next. That’s because an unexpected number of businesses are cashing in tax credits that were created during the recession to help spur economic growth.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan businesses that hire unemployed veterans would be eligible for up to $4,000 in tax credits under recently proposed legislation.

The Hire MI Heroes Act is expected to be introduced as legislation in Michigan's House and Senate soon with bipartisan support.

migop.org

Romney McDaniel is the new Michigan Republican chairwoman. The niece of Mitt Romney was elected today at a GOP convention in Lansing.

McDaniel says one of her goals is to unite her party’s factions.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's elections director has released proposed wording of a road funding ballot proposal asking voters if they want to increase the state sales tax.

Chris Thomas published his proposed language Friday. The Board of State Canvassers will meet next week to determine the constitutional amendment's wording in the May 5 special election.

A drawing of where the New International Trade Crossing will be located.
MI DOT

Sometimes bigger is better. Sometimes it’s not. This week, Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clark discuss what an earlier presidential primary might mean for Michigan, the state’s ever-expanding tax credit bill and a big step toward a new international bridge.


wikimedia commons

Some southeast Michigan cities are preparing to take on the state’s largest utility.

At issue is DTE Energy’s plan to raise rates on municipal LED streetlight installations.

An "I Voted" sticker.
user Vox Efx / Flickr

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that moves Michigan's 2016 Republican presidential primary to March 8.

The bills were signed as Republicans prepare to gather in Lansing this weekend for their winter state party convention.

Tim (Timothy) Pearce / Flickr

From attacks on Jews in Paris and Denmark, to controversy over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the U.S. Congress, Israel is in the news.

Roey Gilad is the consul general of Israel to the Midwest. He represents the interests of the state of Israel in the Midwest.

City of Detroit

In what officials call an effort towards greater transparency, the city of Detroit launched a website that offers access to many government documents that were once difficult to find. 

"People have questions on how the government works, and it's frustrating when it's difficult to get answers to those questions," said Garlin Gilchrist II. 

Paige Pfleger

Seventeen people died in arson fires in Detroit last year.

That's according to an in-depth analysis by the Detroit News today.

If you missed it, here’s the upshot: arson isn’t a new issue for Detroit, obviously, but it’s proving to be a massive resource-suck as the city moves out of bankruptcy.

There were some 9,000 suspicious fires between 2010 and mid-2013.

The silver lining here is that the city making blight a major issue, which could help with arson since those buildings are often targets – and they can be tricky for firefighters to assess when they show up on the scene.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s water is safe. That’s the opinion of a consultant hired by city officials.

But a preliminary report released yesterday says steps must be taken in the short and long-term to avoid problems with Flint’s water system.

Flint residents have been complaining about the taste and smell of the city’s water for nearly a year. Many are concerned the water’s not safe.

Jake Neher / MPRN

There are more than $9 billion in un-cashed Michigan business tax credits outstanding and waiting to play havoc with future state budgets. That’s $3 billion  larger than originally expected, and it was already a big problem.

State Representative Al Psholka, R-Stevensville, chairs the House Appropriations Committee. He says that leaves a lot of uncertainty hanging over future state budgets.

Paul Sullivan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) of the Michigan State Police has launched a new state initiative to involve the trucking industry in its fight against human trafficking.

Captain Michael Krumm, commander of the CVED, said a lot of human trafficking activity takes place in truck stops and rest areas. So "as the eyes and ears of the nation's highways," the trucking industry is in a good position to help.

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

The state House is supposed to vote before the end of the week on legislation to hold Michigan’s Republican presidential primary in March of next year. That’s after the House Elections Committee adopted the bills that many Republicans hope and expect will make Michigan a player in next year’s GOP presidential sweepstakes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. - A new report says lobbyists spent a near record total of about $37 million in 2014 trying to influence legislation in Michigan.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network said Tuesday that lobbyists' spending in 2014 totaled $37,038,329. That's just short of the record spending reported for 2012, a total of $37,152,883.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An outside expert is making some surprising recommendations to fix Flint’s water woes.

The report issued Tuesday recommends Flint discontinue the process of fluoridation, among other things.

Wikipedia Commons/Creative Commons

The White House begins its Summit on Countering Violent Extremism today.

The conference comes in the wake of deadly attacks carried out across the globe.

The shock waves over the murder of Lt. Muath al-Kasaesbeh were especially deep in southeast Michigan, where some of the pilot’s relatives live.

user FatMandy / flickr

A judge says Wayne County must take steps to improve the condition of its current jail.

An opinion from Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny says problems with the old jail have gotten worse while the county focused its efforts on building a new jail. Kenny says the completion of the new jail is not "imminent."

 

Today on Stateside:

  • Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Lon Johnson discusses the party’s plans in the run-up to the 2016 election.  
  • BBC News Health Editor James Gallagher joins us from London to talk about lessons we can learn from the U.K.’s history with measles.

  • Writer Craig Bernier reads from and talks about his collection of short stories, Your Life Idyllic, based largely in the Detroit metropolitan area.

www.michigandems.com/lon

Michigan Democrats held their party convention in Detroit over the weekend.

Their mission was to choose their top leader and to figure out how to win come Election Day 2016.

The first order of business was easy: Chairman Lon Johnson had no competition for the top leadership spot.

The second order of business, however, was a bit more involved.

Senator Debbie Stabenow
USDAgov / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is worried about a potential shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.

“I am very concerned and actually quite shocked that it’s gotten to this point,” Stabenow said during a visit to St. Joseph Monday morning.

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

Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee says a majority of "reasonable Republicans" would be willing to avoid a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security next week.

But on Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner says that's exactly what will happen, if the Senate does not pass a DHS funding bill that can also pass in the House.

Homeland Security will shut down by Friday, February 27th, if a funding bill is not approved.

A number of House Republicans say the funding bill must include provisions to roll back recent presidential orders on immigration, which allow certain people brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the U.S., and defer deportation of their parents.

Democratic state Representative Gretchen Driskell’s nascent campaign for Congress relies in part on the assumption that Hillary Clinton will be at the top of the Democratic ticket next year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Democrats are gathering to conduct party business and to re-elect their leader for another two-year term.

Lon Johnson is expected to be chosen as chairman again at the party's convention Saturday afternoon in Detroit. He took charge in 2013.

  He says the party's infrastructure has improved under his watch, but Democrats have to start winning races.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan felt a bit like a Monty-Python sketch this week as the Snyder administration looked on the bright side of a gaping budget hole and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City oozed optimism. Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clarke discuss whether things really are as bright as they say or if dark clouds are looming.


quicksandala / morgueFile

The state Auditor General says the Michigan Department of Transportation spent millions of dollars on commuter rail cars that aren’t being used.

The audit found the department missed out on applying for federal mass transit funds that could have defrayed the state’s costs, and failed to ensure all railway crossings are safe.

The report also found the state spent almost $10 million refurbishing rail cars that were never put to use.

“The projects got delayed, and then the issue became, OK, you put the money into the overhaul,” said Tim Hoeffner of MDOT. “You need to keep them available. And the question is, how long should we keep them available.” 

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