Rick Snyder

Politics & Government
8:22 am
Thu June 13, 2013

In this morning’s news: Medicaid expansion, emergency managers, and heroin incidents

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Medicaid goes to House floor

Yesterday, the Michigan House Competitiveness Committee voted to send the Medicaid expansion bill to the floor. Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports that while Republicans were split on the issue, “Democrats on the panel all voted in favor of the bill. That’s after lawmakers dropped a controversial plan to limit able-bodied adults to four years on Medicaid. But they say they’re still concerned about language that would raise premiums and co-pays for some patients after four years.”

Questions for Governor about Detroit's emergency manager

Concerns have been raised about Governor Rick Snyder’s process in selecting Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s emergency manager. Rick Pluta reports that “a judge says Governor Rick Snyder’s office must turn over e-mails and other records related to the candidate search for a Detroit emergency manager. The judge’s order is related to a lawsuit that alleges Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr was hired illegally. The lawsuit claims the process was rigged and carried out in violation of Michigan’s open meetings law.”

Heroin incidents on the rise in Michigan

A rash of heroin overdoses occurred in Washtenaw County last week, and incidents are on the rise across parts of the state. “Authorities say a particularly toxic heroin mix known by some on the street as ‘black shadow’ appears to be circulating in southeast Michigan communities, causing a rise in overdoses and at least one death this month,” report Robin Erb and Tammy Stables Battaglia of the Detroit Free Press.

Politics & Government
9:03 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Commentary: Tea Party Follies

Lessenberry commentary for 6/12/2013

Half a century ago, there was a movement very much like today's Tea Party. They believed our nation was being destroyed by a conspiracy to make this a socialist country.

They didn't like taxes and hated Medicare as much as today's Tea Party hates what they call "Obamacare."

That movement captured the Republican Party in 1964, and nominated their hero, Senator Barry Goldwater, for president.

He accepted the nomination in a speech which would make today's Tea Party activists swoon. "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," he proclaimed, as his supporters jeered and hooted at the mainstream Republicans they despised.

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Politics & Government
8:28 am
Wed June 12, 2013

In this morning's news: Farm bill progress, Tea Party disapproves of Snyder, Duggan out of the race

Morning News Roundup, Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Farm Bill moves to U.S. House

The Michigan Farm Bureau is glad to see Congress is making progress on passing Senator Debbie Stabenow's farm bill. The U.S. Senate approved nearly a trillion dollars in support for food assistance, crop insurance and other programs this week.  Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports, "the U.S. House is still wrestling with its version of the bill."

Tea Party activists will sit out of governor's race

An open letter to Governor Rick Snyder released by a group of prominent Tea Party activists calls on their party to sit out next year's race for governor. They call for Snyder to change his position on Medicaid expansion. Tea Party group "Grassroots in Michigan" says Snyder is bucking the Republican platform by cooperating with the new federal healthcare law.

Duggan is out of the Detroit Mayoral race

A Wayne County judge has kicked Mike Duggan off of the ballot for Detroit Mayor. When Duggan filed for a mayoral run a month before the deadline, he didn't meet a city rule that requires candidates to be registered voters in Detroit a full year before filing.  But he did meet the rule by the filing deadline date.  Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports, "Duggan says he's reviewing his legal options."

Politics & Government
11:08 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Tea Party activists opposing Gov. Rick Snyder's re-election

Tea Party activists in Kalamazoo.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - More than 30 conservative and tea party activists say they won't support Gov. Rick Snyder's re-election because of his support for expanding Medicaid eligibility to more Michigan adults under the federal health care law.

In an open letter to the Republican governor Tuesday, the advocates faulted him for consulting with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Medicaid expansion.

They accuse Snyder of purposefully sticking a "finger in the eye of his own conservative base." The activists - including some of Michigan's better-known tea party advocates - say a "line must be drawn."

Snyder and Republican legislative leaders sent a letter to Sebelius May 29 asking her to meet with them in Michigan. The House is considering legislation that would expand Medicaid but require a federal waiver.

Politics & Government
3:55 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Michigan's governor asks for presidential disaster declaration for counties affected by spring flood

Flood waters in Ada, Michigan (file photo)
Dustin Dwyer/Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder seeks a presidential disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hit hard by floods this spring. Heavy rains in April and early May led to flooding in many parts of Michigan. 

Governor Snyder declared a state of disaster on May 7. That set the stage for state and federal teams to review damage and property losses in 19 counties. The assessment has led the governor now to seek a presidential disaster declaration in 16 counties. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will review the governor’s request.

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Health
1:18 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Michigan residents could lose insurance

Up to half a million Michigan residents could lose their insurance if Medicaid is not expanded.

Up to half a million Michigan residents could lose their health insurance if the legislature fails to expand Medicaid.

Low-income Michiganders covered by local health plans could lose their coverage in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act. The law was written with the assumption states would accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.

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Politics & Government
12:49 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

No more welfare for dead people: Snyder cracks down on fraud

Michigan's Bridge Card, which provides food and cash assistance benefits.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a new law (House Bill 4042) to ensure that dead people and incarcerated citizens are not eligible for Michigan’s Bridge Card food assistance program.

The Department of Human Services already has policies to ensure that those who are not eligible (example: dead people and those incarcerated) do not receive aid. But House Bill 4042 makes the policy a law.

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Politics & Government
7:53 am
Wed June 5, 2013

In this morning's news: Budget passed in Legislature, bill to protect DIA, gas prices in Michigan

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Budget awaits Governor Snyder's signature

State lawmakers passed a budget that would increase funding to local governments and schools.

"Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville calls it the best budget he’s ever helped pass.  But the budget does not include Snyder’s request to expand Medicaid or increase road funding by more than a billion dollars," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Senate voting to protect DIA

The Michigan Senate is expected to vote today on a measure to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr has warned the Institute's assets could be at risk if the city goes bankrupt. If this bill passes, the same protections would apply to collections in other museums across Michigan.

Michigan gas prices amongst highest in nation

Gasoline prices in Michigan are the second highest in the United States right now. It could be several weeks before there's any relief at the pump.

"Analyst Patrick deHaan of GasBuddy dot com says there are fewer gasoline refineries in the Midwest than other parts of the country, and gasoline commodity traders are also driving up the prices," Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

Politics & Government
10:09 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Commentary: Remembering Helen

Lessenberry commentary for 6/4/2013

Thirty-four years ago, when Debbie Stabenow was a newly elected state representative in a very male-dominated legislature, she got the first of a number of encouraging notes from an older woman who had spent a lot of years in the fishbowl of politics.

Those notes meant a lot to Stabenow, as she went on to become a force to be reckoned with in first the state house and then the senate; in Congress and  finally in the U.S. Senate.

What made that support all the more remarkable is that Stabenow is a Democrat. And the woman who reached out to her was the wife of the Republican governor, Helen Milliken, perhaps the least likely and most effective feminist in Michigan history.

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Stateside
4:53 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Next year, the state budget can be defined by what it doesn't include

Governor Snyder didn't get all the funding he requested in the budget for next year

An interview with Chad Livengood, a Lansing reporter for the Detroit News, and Chris Gautz, a Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business.

Michigan almost has a final budget for the next fiscal year, at almost $50 billion dollars.

Lawmakers and Governor Snyder's tentative deadline for completion was June 1, which they didn't quite make, but the budget should be finished this week.

Chad Livengood, a Lansing reporter for the Detroit News, and Chris Gautz, a Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about what we can look for in the budget.

"There's not a lot of big, huge things in it. The governor didn't get everything he wanted -- he didn't get the $1.2 billion more for roads and didn't get authorization to add more to a Medicare expansion," Livengood said.

Gautz and Livengood identified specific funding changes in the budget, including a huge boost in early childhood education funding.

To hear the full audio, click the link above. 

9:58 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Trying to learn more about Snyder's private NERD fund

Lead in text: 
The nonprofit, New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund (NERD), was started by Governor Rick Snyder shortly after he took office. The public has access to few details on the fund; mystery surrounds who donates to it and how the funds are used. Several of Snyder's key advisors are payrolled by funds from NERD rather than the state. This may have consequences as Kaffer explains...
Gov. Rick Snyder started the nonprofit New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund shortly after taking office, ostensibly to raise private funds for government innovation. Two years after its creation, few details about the fund's finances have emerged. But the recent revelation that two of Snyder's advisers in the Capitol have spent time on NERD's payroll underscores the need for more information.
Politics & Government
9:47 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Commentary: Struggle for a Party’s Soul

Lessenberry commentary for 6/3/2013

There were, in a way, two conferences taking place among the state’s business and political elite on Mackinac Island last week. One was a celebration of Michigan’s comeback from the darkest days of the great recession, and of the new business-friendly climate flourishing under Governor Rick Snyder.

Make no mistake about it: Richard Dale Snyder is the most business-oriented governor this state has had since World War II. That’s in large part because he is a businessman.

He speaks their language. During his closing remarks, the governor sounded like a motivational speaker sent out to fire up a sluggish sales force.  “What’s the role of government?” he asked, answering, “Government exists to give you great customer service!”

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It's Just Politics
4:14 pm
Sat June 1, 2013

Governor Snyder encounters choppy (political) waters on Mackinac Island

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week we are taping It's Just Politics at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. This is an annual statewide event where business people and politicians come to plot the future of Michigan. Big shots. Serious stuff. Except, of course, for the iced-vodka luge.

Really this is Rick Snyder’s party. Most of the people that attend the conference are his people: Moderate, but right-of-center business folks, impressed by cutting taxes and balanced budgets.

Two years ago at this conference, the Governor had only been in office for six months and, in his words, “working in dog years."  One Tough Nerd came to the conference with a state budget done in record time; nothing like the budget gridlock we saw in a couple showdowns in the Granholm years (2007 and 2009 were doozies). Also, in that six months, Snyder had gotten a couple big wins on tax policy and it sure seemed like he was simpatico with the Legislature’s Republican majority.

Basically, the 2011 Mackinac Policy Conference was Rick Snyder’s jam.

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Stateside
4:39 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

What's in store for the Michigan Republican Party in Election 2014

Bobby Schostak
migop.org

An interview with Chairman Bobby Schostak.

Focus is starting to turn to Election 2014 in Michigan.

Former Democratic Congressman Mark Schauer filed paperwork this morning to run against Governor Rick Snyder in 2014, assuming that the Governor does, in fact, decide to run for a second term.

And Democratic Congressman Gary Peters announced earlier this month that he’ll run for the U.S. Senate seat open in 2014 because of Carl Levin’s retirement. 

So, it appears that the Democrats are beginning to get their ducks in a row, but what about Republicans?

Bobby Schostak, Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
9:57 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Michigan leaders decide where to spend budget windfall

Talking money at the State Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

There’s a tentative budget deal between Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature’s Republican leaders.

It puts more money into savings, schools, and roads. But, it also delays decisions on some of the governor’s priorities.

A budget windfall will allow the state to sock away more in savings, provide a boost to schools, and come up with enough money to qualify for federal matching funds to pay for some road repairs.

But House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) says it doesn’t solve the problem of how to come up with an additional $1.2 billion for roads.

“This provides a solid down payment on our transportation needs. However, that’s all it is. It’s not a full solution. This is a down payment,” said Bolger.

Road funding is especially difficult with a Legislature that’s been opposed to higher gas taxes and registration fees.

There’s also no arrangement to take federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Bolger says those discussions are ongoing.

“We’re going to continue our conservative budget based on existing sources,” he said. “We’re not going to plan for dollars or answers that aren’t there yet. So, Medicaid has not been answered.” 

The governor says Medicaid expansion under the federal healthcare law will save Michigan taxpayers money, but Republicans in the Legislature are not on board.  

Bolger says the governor and the Legislature are on track to get the new budget wrapped up by their deadline of June 1.

Politics & Government
7:15 am
Wed May 22, 2013

In this morning's news: Lansing debating surplus, hospital merger sacked, carmakers won't shutdown

Morning News Roundup, Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Policymakers debate how to spend surplus

The debate continues in Lansing over how the state should spend almost half a billion dollars in unexpected revenue this year. The Michigan League for Public Policy believes that because the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is less than a third of what it was a couple years ago, legislators should restore the credit for the working poor.

"A spokesperson for state House Democrats says they support the idea of using some of the money to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, Governor Rick Snyder says a similar tax credit from the federal government does enough to help working poor families in Michigan. He wants to use the extra cash to fix roads," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford sacked

The planned merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems, two of southeast Michigan’s largest health care providers, has been scrapped. The leaders of each hospital signed a letter of intent to merge last fall, but negotiations didn’t work out so well. On Tuesday, Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting sent a letter to employees, indicating they’ll end talks and let the agreement expire.

“It became apparent that two very different perspectives have emerged for the new organization between Henry Ford and Beaumont,” Schlichting wrote. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has more.

Rising car sales cut plant shutdowns

Summer vacation will be cut short for auto factory workers in Michigan this year, as carmakers try to keep up with heightened demand. Detroit automakers plan to reduce their annual shutdowns at dozens of North American plants that produce popular Ford and Chrysler models.

“This sends a strong signal that the industry is in a healthy place,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at market researcher LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News.

Politics & Government
2:57 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Snyder officials to meet with Michigan residents

Credit michigan.gov

Officials from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration are planning to travel across the state this week to take suggestions and answer questions from Michigan residents.

Representatives from the Office of Constituent Services will visit locations in Washtenaw, Livingston, Ingham, Shiawassee, Clinton and Ionia counties on May 23 and 24.

Snyder's office says topics that are open for discussion include the state budget and opportunities for getting involved in state government.

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Politics & Government
7:26 am
Wed May 15, 2013

In this morning's news: Medicaid reform, unexpected revenue for the state, and changes in Detroit

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Controversy of Medicaid reform is being debated

A bill is being debated in the Michigan house to reform Medicaid in the state.

"The federal government is offering to pay for an expansion of Medicaid that would add hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to the program. But Republican leaders in the state Legislature say they're not willing to expand the system without major changes." Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.

Michigan projected to get $542 million more than expected

The state of Michigan is projected to get nearly half a billion dollars more than expected in revenue.

"The state’s economic measurements remain mixed. Michigan still has one of the nation’s highest jobless rates. But Governor Snyder says improving revenue is evidence of confidence in the state’s economy," Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta reports.

The governor has suggested using the surplus to draw down federal transportation dollars, or cover a Medicaid shortfall.

Changes are imminent in Detroit

As of yesterday, Mayor Dave Bing will not be running for re-election, James Craig has been appointed Detroit Chief of Police, and more than half the incumbents on the Detroit City Council will not be seeking another term. The general elections will be held on November 5th. The Detroit News has more.

Economy
11:06 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Michigan projected to get $542M more than expected

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan could take in $542 million more in revenue than projected 4 months ago.

That's according to a report Monday from the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency. It's good news for lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder as they work to finalize a state budget for the fiscal year starting in October.

Senate experts say Michigan could have a $739 million surplus in the current budget year. The extra money could be used to boost spending, lower taxes or be socked away in savings.

The Snyder administration and economists are meeting Wednesday to agree on budget figures. The House Fiscal Agency and state treasurer also will put out revenue projections for the meeting.

Legislators aim to pass the next budget by June, though sticking points remain over Medicaid expansion and road funding.

Politics & Government
1:58 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

Michigan road funding talks still at standstill

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - High-level talks over fixing Michigan's deteriorating roads are at a standstill.

Republican and Democratic leaders can't agree much on how to even proceed.

Feeling burned by passage of a right-to-work law, Democrats won't consider tax increases without public assurances that Gov. Rick Snyder will veto other legislation. Democrats want a repeal of a law guaranteeing better wages on government construction projects taken off the table, along with talk of dividing the state's electoral votes proportionally.

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