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Rick Snyder

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a top state official criminally charged in the Flint water crisis investigation to head a new council tasked with improving Michigan’s response to emerging public health threats.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michgan’s chief medical executive.   

Wells will be in court tomorrow for a hearing on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to an officer in connection to the Flint water crisis. Prosecutors say an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter will also likely be added.

It’s always hard to save money. We know that’s true for many people, and it’s true for Lansing, as well.

And, politics makes it even harder.

A recent report by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council says Michigan is not ready for another recession. The report says lawmakers are short-changing the state’s savings-account, officially known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, but commonly referred to as the “rainy day” fund.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive directive yesterday to deal with PFAS and PFC contamination around the state.

Snyder has established a task force called the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, which will coordinate efforts by local, state and federal agencies to keep residents safe from these chemicals.

Gov. Snyder attended a ribbon cutting Monday to celebrate the opening of the Flex Routes along the US-23 corridor
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The dreaded commute on US-23 between Ann Arbor and Brighton is about to get a little easier.

 Overflow lanes, known as Flex Routes, will open for traffic Wednesday. They run along the left shoulder in both directions of U-S 23, between M-14 and M-36. Governor Snyder attended a press conference today to discuss the completion of the roughly $90 million project. "This has been a major bottleneck in our state for some time, in terms of the congestion," he said. The Flex Routes will be open for traffic daily from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. They will also be used as auxiliary lanes during off hours in the event of accidents or heavier-than-normal traffic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered Flags in Michigan to fly at half-staff in memory of the 26 people murdered in a Texas church on Sunday.

It’s the 19th time Snyder has signed such a proclamation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats tried and failed today to get a congressional committee to subpoena documents from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder related to the Flint water crisis.

Questions have been raised about when Snyder learned of a deadly Legionnaires; disease outbreak.

Gov. Snyder, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and other leaders kicking off the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers summit in Windsor, Ont.
Conference of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers

Leaders from six Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces met in Detroit over the weekend to discuss trade, environmental protection, infrastructure and other shared regional issues.

Governor Rick Snyder’s election seven years ago was supposed to represent the political triumph of “economic gardening,” the idea that government doesn’t offer big incentives to land big companies and, thus, pick winners and losers.

Instead, the idea goes, economic gardening works to create an overall environment that allows businesses and startups to grow organically. The benefits are supposed to be fairness to both small and large businesses and that tax breaks and incentives are more across the board.

Photo of Gov. Rick Snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s concerned that President Trump’s decision to end subsidies that help low-income families pay for health insurance could make rates unaffordable.

Snyder says more study is needed to determine the state’s next move, but he hopes Congress will act quickly to settle things.

“I think there are reforms needed to the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Some parts have worked well, others need more work, and the part that needs more work has been in the insurance markets. This makes it more challenging, but hopefully it gets to the point where Congress could hopefully do some bipartisan actions to improve things.”

About 156,300 Michigan consumers have subsidized health plans. It’s estimated the loss of the subsidies would cause their rates to spike by 28 percent.

The subsidies are already the subject of lawsuits. And there could be more legal action to challenge the presidential order to immediately end the subsidies.

Here’s a scoop: We already know who’s on the ballot next year. Even though you won’t see their names in the voting booth.

Election 2018 is a little more than a year away but we are looking forward to the past.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is sidestepping questions concerning whether Governor Rick Snyder may have misled congress about when he learned of a deadly Legionnaires Disease outbreak.

Between 2014 and 2015, at least 12 people died after contracting Legionnaires in Genesee County. Dozens more fell ill with the bacteria pneumonia. Prosecutors have charged or announced their intent to charge six government officials with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the outbreak, which they say is connected to Flint's drinking water crisis.  

Appearing before a congressional committee investigating the Flint water crisis, Gov. Snyder testified under oath last year that he didn’t learn of the outbreak in Genesee County until January, 2016.  But as part of the criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, a top aide to the governor testified they talked about the outbreak a month earlier.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck sitting at a table
Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

A Republican candidate for governor was booted off his Senate committees this week. Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R- Canton) says Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-Grand Haven) ousted him because he attended an event in Meekhoff's district without telling him. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether this is a case of a rogue politician or just politics as usual.

governor rick snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A congressional committee has asked Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to address when he learned about a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires' disease during the Flint water crisis after an aide contradicted the governor's timeline.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A court hearing concerning the state health director’s handling of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak abruptly ended today amid questions about when the governor knew about the outbreak.

Governor Rick Snyder testified last year before Congress that he learned of the Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County in January 2016. 

Governor Rick Snyder has done two remarkably positive things for Michigan in his nearly seven years in office, both in his first term. First, he found a way to get around a legislature corrupted by campaign donations and make a deal for a new Detroit River bridge.

Granted, the Gordie Howe International Bridge has yet to be built, but it now seems all but certain it will be. That’s something crucially important for the long-term economy of this state and region. But the immediately worthwhile thing Snyder did was narrowly succeed in pushing the legislature to accept Medicaid expansion four years ago.

S(c)huette and Trump

Sep 18, 2017

Apparently, President Donald Trump and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette agree: Spelling counts in their “winning” strategy.

Schuette announced this past week that he’s running for Governor in 2018 and Trump tweeted, and then had to retweet, a message of support.

The 15 people charged in the Flint water crisis so far.
Booking photos from the Michigan AGs office and others.

Taxpayers from the state of Michigan are funding both the defense and the prosecution in the Flint water crisis investigation.

The tab so far? $15.5 million.

It’s been 15 years since Michigan lawmakers reversed a Governor’s veto but it could happen again this week when the Legislature returns to Lansing from its summer recess.

Some members of the GOP are getting a little fed up with their fellow Republican Governor Rick Snyder and they want to try and muster the two-thirds majority needed to override his veto of a bill they passed earlier this year. It was a pretty innocuous piece of legislation that accelerated tax breaks for car buyers who trade in their vehicles.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent.
Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

The state is ordering Enbridge Energy to take swift action to fix portions of the Line 5 energy pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge reported to the state that small portions of enamel coating were accidentally removed in two places. The coating protects the oil and gas line that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac from corrosion.

Melody Kindraka of the state Department of Environmental Quality says there’s no immediate threat to the Great Lakes, but it’s concerning that the problem was the result of human error.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

I've been observing this game of Michigan politics long enough now that I can definitely detect patterns. 

Shri Thanedar says Michigan should spend more resources investing in programs to benefit its residents. He's a candidate for the Democratic nomination to be Michigan's next governor.
Lester Graham

Next year, Michigan will choose a new governor. Several people have announced their candidacies, including Ann Arbor resident and entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.

Thanedar is running as a Democrat. He’s wealthy and has never held political office. He has criticized Governor Rick Snyder, by saying government shouldn’t be run with a spreadsheet mentality. If elected, Thanedar says he would improve the quality of life for average people in Michigan.

Rick Snyder and Terry Gou shaking hands
Michigan Governor's Office

A Chinese newspaper is reporting that Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant, plans to build a multi-billion dollar facility in Michigan.

The South China Morning Post reports the company's founder, Terry Gou, says he plans to build an autonomous vehicles research and development center in Michigan.

Neither Foxconn nor Gov. Rick Snyder, who met with Gou yesterday, have confirmed the report.   Snyder is on a trade mission in China.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint could soon get some relief from loans it took out years ago to fix its broken water system.  

Over the years, Flint borrowed more than $20 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. But the cash-strapped city has been struggling to pay interest on the loans.    

With its water system still broken, and the recovery from the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis ongoing, the federal Environmental Protection Agency says it’s ready to forgive the debt.

money
khrawlings / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on a set of bills he hopes will help lure some big employers to Michigan. The new law lets employers that meet certain criteria keep some or all of their employees' state income tax.

Michigan Agribusiness Association

Local communities in four Michigan counties hard hit by flooding last month are getting some help from the state.

In late June, more than seven inches of rain fell on parts of Bay, Gladwin, Midland and Isabella Counties last month, causing widespread floods. In many cases, damage to roads and other infrastructure has overwhelmed local resources.

Now local governments can apply for up to $100,000 from the state Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund.

inside the chambers of the Michigan lesilature
Michigan Municipal League

Governor Rick Snyder signed a large bill package last week that makes female genital mutilation a felony in Michigan, but he could see more bills on this issue headed to his desk. The additional bills deal with police training and parental rights.

Joan Larsen faces a tangled path to a plum spot on a federal appeals court. The only thing standing in her way is Michigan’s two U.S. Senators.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

This week, attorneys representing four Michigan school districts will argue that the state overstepped its bounds when it threatened to close three dozen low-performing schools earlier this year.

Teacher and students at Flint's Southwestern Academy.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

George Orwell’s classic Cold War novel 1984 depicted a world where everything was controlled by a nightmarish dictatorship where history was constantly being rewritten to suit the needs of the moment, and where the meaning of words was turned into their opposite: War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, et cetera. I was reminded of that yesterday, when I got an Orwellian press release from the governor’s office.

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the only day this month that Michigan's lawmakers are in session, and the House used it to vote on a major new tax incentive for businesses.

Months of lively debate ended when the tax incentive package passed with bipartisan support. It was a vote that defied House Republican leaders and Speaker Tom Leonard, and served up a big win for Governor Rick Snyder.

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