Rick Snyder

Law
2:55 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Online lottery put on hold in Michigan

Credit flickr.com

Michigan residents will have to wait to gamble in the lottery online. iLottery, proposed by the Michigan Lottery, would have allowed people to buy tickets and play games like Club Keno and scratch-offs right from their computer.

However, that plan is no more. Gov. Rick Snyder approved the state budget that did not include the new gambling tool.

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Law
4:06 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Gov. Snyder appoints an emergency manager in Hamtramck, Flint EM replacement also announced

Cathy Square
Department of Treasury

The city of Hamtramck will once again be under state control.

The Department of Treasury announced Governor Rick Snyder's appointment of an emergency manager for the city of Hamtramck.

Gov. Snyder selected Pontiac City Administrator Cathy Square. She will assume the position on July 1, 2013. 

According to a press release from the Treasury, Hamtramck City Council waived its right to appeal the finding of a financial emergency and unanimously supported the appointment of an EM by the Governor. 

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Education
3:18 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Buena Vista schools update: Layoffs and how the Voting Rights Act impacts dissolution

Sarah Alvarez Michigan Radio

Last night, Buena Vista School District held meetings to discuss two important issues.

Overall, while the board made decisions for the 2013-2014 school year assuming the school district would open this coming fall, the future of the district depends on whether or not higher ups decide to dissolve the struggling school system.

First, the board made decisions on the school district’s budget and layoffs.

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Politics & Government
8:57 am
Wed June 26, 2013

This week in Michigan politics: No Medicaid expansion, Voting Rights Act, same-sex marriage outlaw

Matthileo Flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 6/26/2013

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the state Senate's failure to expand Medicaid before summer recess, how states will be affected by the Voting Rights Act, and legislation in Lansing to re-consider the state's outlaw on same-sex marriage.

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Politics & Government
7:05 am
Tue June 25, 2013

In this morning's news: Gay marriage legislation, Snyder and Medicaid, Bay Mills casino case

Morning News Roundup, Tuesday, June 25, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Michigan Democrats propose legislation to legalize same-sex marriage

While they wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage this week, Michigan House Democrats are proposing legislation that would let voters reconsider the ban on same-sex marriage in the state.

“Legislation would let voters replace the gay marriage ban with an amendment that specifically allows same-sex marriages…The Republican state House speaker says any effort to reverse the same-sex marriage ban should start with a citizen-initiated petition drive,” Rick Pluta reports.

Governor Snyder still pushing Senate on Medicaid expansion

“Governor Rick Snyder says he’s considering vetoing every bill that hits his desk until state lawmakers vote to expand Medicaid in Michigan…Snyder blasted the state Senate last week for leaving on summer recess without voting on the bill. He says he’s looking at a variety of options to get lawmakers back in Lansing,” Jack Neher reports.

Bay Mills casino case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide if the state can challenge a tribe’s right to open a casino in the northern Michigan town of Vanderbilt.

“The case now goes on the docket for the Supreme Court’s upcoming term. The issue is whether state Attorney General Bill Schuette has the legal standing to challenge the casino. The Bay Mills Indian tribe says he does not – that the Vanderbilt property is part of the tribe’s independent territory," according to Rick Pluta.

Politics & Government
8:53 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Commentary: Our Next Governor?

Lessenberry commentary for 6/24/2013

Over the last half-century, whenever an incumbent Michigan governor has run for re-election, the opposing party has almost always chosen an opponent in a difficult and expensive primary.

Those battles have used up most of their cash, and given the opposition plenty of ammunition. Partly as a result, every incumbent governor running for a second term has been reelected.

New Democratic state chair Lon Johnson says it is time to learn from this. He's helped persuade his party to come together around statewide candidates more than a year before the election. Things can always change, but as of now Democrats have settled on former Battle Creek congressman Mark Schauer for governor. It would be difficult to exaggerate how much Democrats would like to beat Rick Snyder. They intensely dislike most of what he has done or tried to do, from taxing pensions to attacking unions.

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Politics & Government
9:43 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Gov. Snyder: Calls for special Medicaid session moot

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) MI (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says a Democrat's call for him to convene an emergency legislative session to pressure the Senate to pass Medicaid expansion is moot for now.

The Republican governor says the Legislature has a session day scheduled on July 3rd.

Spokesman Ken Silfven said Friday that the Senate should "take care of business" on July 3rd. While the Senate technically will be in session that day and others, attendance won't be taken and no business will be voted on until August 27th.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Commentary: The week that was

Lessenberry commentary for 6/22/2013

 When this week began, it looked as if the legislature and governor had finally found a compromise formula that would allow Medicaid to be expanded to nearly half a million poor Michiganders. It also looked as if the race for the next mayor of Detroit would come down to a contest between Mike Duggan, a man of many past political jobs, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

But the week ended with the Medicaid compromise falling apart; Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr taking steps that probably moved the city closer to a bankruptcy filing, and with  Duggan tossed off the ballot and out of the mayor’s race. On the plus side for Detroit, the Ilitch family announced that a long-rumored six hundred and fifty million dollar new hockey arena would be built on the edge of downtown.

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Business
8:36 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Michigan will help immigrant professionals

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has announced a partnership designed to help skilled immigrants and refugees living in Michigan integrate into the workforce.

Snyder's office says the program involves the nonprofit group Upwardly Global and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The governor says the department is issuing 10 online guides that explain Michigan's professional licensing requirements for individuals who were educated or have work experience overseas.

Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

The impasse on Medicaid expansion is complicating other political issues

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder has called on state Senate Republicans to return to Lansing to vote on the Medicaid expansion. If not, Snyder says he could see the pattern repeated on raising more money for roads, student performance standards, and other controversial issues. He’s already been rebuffed on creating a state-run insurance exchange. 

But the governor says he remains optimistic that there is a path to winning an expansion of Medicaid.

Gretchen Whitmer is the state Senate Democratic leader, and she supports the expansion. She says the vote never happened because too many Republicans fear a Tea Party backlash, and she expects it will happen again.

She said this signals future problems ahead with issue like infrastructure, and called the Tea Party pressure "the tail is wagging the dog."

The governor wants the Legislature to tackle road funding once a Medicaid deal is approved. He wants that done within 30 days, but the Senate is not expected to reconvene until late August. The governor says that would be too late.

Scott Hagerstrom is the Michigan director of Americans for Prosperity. He says his group won’t stop trying to block policies that could lead to a growth in the size of government.

“The governor pushes on – ‘relentless positive action’ – and it’s never really over. It’ll never be over until he’s out of office, so on that note, we’ll just have to continue to educate Michigan citizens.”

Hagerstrom says that will hold true in the future as the governor pushes for more revenue for roads or any other tax or fee hikes. He says there are some things the governor has done that conservatives like.

Hagerstrom says his group will push the Legislature to keep the governor in check.

It's Just Politics
2:21 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Medicaid impasse: Tea Party pushes around a Nerd

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week on It’s Just Politics, we break down the breakdown over the Medicaid expansion. We’re thinking a bit about Mick Jagger right now (something along the lines of, “You can’t always get what you want") and Jagger might just have been singing that tune for Governor Snyder, who, yesterday, was once again denied by the Michigan Legislature. This time, by the state Senate, they left town, out-of-dodge for the summer apparently, without voting on an expansion of Medicaid.

The Medicaid expansion is the governor’s top policy objective at the moment and, so, Mr. Relentless Positive Action ain’t too happy. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘angry,’ but, obviously this is not my normal demeanor. What word you’d like to put on it, I’ll leave it to you.”

Peeved? Vexed? Splenetic. We’ll step away from the thesaurus, now, and breakdown this breakdown. First of all, Rick Snyder played a big part in creating this problem for himself. He and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley were both missing during some critical days of these negotiations. This was the final week of session before the Legislature’s summer break and, yet, face-to-face Medicaid negotiations were delegated while the governor went on a trade trip to Israel and the lieutenant governor was on a tour of the U.P.

Both of those trips were cut short as things melted down in Lansing, but precious time was lost. There are things only a governor can promise and he has to be in the room to do it. But, the governor may have set the stage for this impasse two summers ago when he signed into law the new legislative district maps; a lot of very safe Republican seats. When you do that, you also give outsize influence to the more extreme elements of your party. No wonder you can’t get Republicans to support you, governor. That’s how you set it up.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Commentary: Relentless negative action

Lessenberry commentary for 6/21/2013

 I don’t think we’ve ever seen Governor Rick Snyder really angry before. But he was yesterday. He’d cut a trade mission in Israel short to rush back to Lansing to try and pass the Medicaid expansion.

But while the state house of representatives did so a few days ago, the Michigan Senate refused to even take a vote despite the governor’s pleas. This means hundreds of thousands of Michiganders will remain without health care coverage.

They could have been made eligible for Medicaid without a dollar in cost to the state for a couple years. After that, Michigan would never pay more than a small fraction of the cost, and save far more than that in a variety of ways, including the benefits of a healthier workforce.  So why did the Senate refuse?

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Politics & Government
8:19 am
Fri June 21, 2013

In this morning's news: Medicaid vote, school budgets, bridge safety

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

Medicaid vote delayed

Governor Rick Snyder called out Republican state Senators for taking their summer recess before voting on Medicaid expansion.  He is requesting that lawmakers return to vote on the legislation.  Michigan Radio’s Jake Neher quotes Governor Snyder as saying “Please come do your job.  Please come take a vote.  Please come vote ‘yes.’”

School budget bill in Governor's hands

Bills allowing the state to dissolve debt-ridden school districts heads to Governor Snyder’s desk today.  They were approved yesterday by the state House, with votes following party lines.  Rick Pluta reports that this may enable the state to quickly shut down the Buena Vista and Inkster school districts. 

Bridges in need of repair

1300 bridges in Michigan have been judged unsafe in a new study from Transportation for America.  Jeff Cranson with the Michigan Department of Transportation believes that Governor Snyder’s 1.2 billion-dollar road investment bill will help fix the problem.

Politics & Government
6:40 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Michigan governor slams Senate Republicans for taking summer break without Medicaid vote

The leader of the State Senate, Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), said he hopes to address Medicaid expansion when the Senate comes back.
courtesy of Richardville's office

Governor Rick Snyder is calling on state Senate Republicans to return to Lansing.

That’s after the Senate adjourned for its summer recess without voting on a Medicaid expansion under the new federal healthcare law.

The episode left hard feelings, and dimming prospects for extending health coverage to many thousands of low-income working households.

One Tough Nerd angered by lack of action

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Politics & Government
8:53 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In this morning's news: Governor pushes Medicaid, teachers rally in capitol, GM receives top score

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

Governor cuts trip short

Governor Rick Snyder will return early from his trip to Israel today in order to lobby for Medicaid expansion. Snyder will encourage fellow Republicans to pass the legislation. “Today is the last day for lawmakers to pass Medicaid expansion before their two-month summer break,” reports Jake Neher.

Teachers protest education legislation

Michigan teachers rallied in Lansing yesterday to protest legislation that would allow state officials to close struggling school districts.  According to the Associated Press, “the legislation lets the state superintendent and treasurer dissolve a district with 300 to 2,400 students if certain criteria are met.”

General Motors receives high ratings

For the first time ever, General Motors topped the Initial Quality Survey released by automotive tracking firm J.D. Power.  Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports that GM received a better score than any other corporation in the study.  She says "people are reporting very few mechanical problems.  Most automakers have drummed out serious engine and transmission defects from their cars."

Politics & Government
8:37 am
Wed June 19, 2013

This week in Michigan politics: Medicaid in the Senate, Snyder in Israel, Mike Duggan off the ballot

Matthileo Flickr

Week in Michigan politics interview for 6/19/2013

This week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the state of Medicaid expansion in the Michigan Senate, Governor Snyder's trade mission to Israel, and the political future of Mike Duggan in Detroit.

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Politics & Government
7:55 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

President signs disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods

Sandbags are being deployed in downtown Grand Rapids to combat rising water from the Grand River.
Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

President Obama has approved a disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hard hit by spring floods.   

Heavy rains in April and May inundated communities across the state. 

The president’s disaster declaration will help communities repair and rebuild roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding. The disaster declaration does not include assistance for individuals or businesses.

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Politics & Government
10:58 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Tea Party: GOP lawmakers who vote for Medicaid bill should expect primary battles

Tea Party members attend a pre-election rally in Jackson, Michigan
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Tea Party activists are threatening to put up primary challengers against Republican lawmakers who vote to expand Medicaid in Michigan.

The bill would add hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to the Medicaid rolls under the federal healthcare law.

The legislation cleared the state House last week. The state Senate is likely to take up the legislation this week.

Tea Party groups claim it would be the biggest expansion of state government in more than four decades.  They say Republican votes in favor of the bill warrant a primary challenge next year.

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Politics & Government
10:56 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Governor Snyder meets with Israeli PM on trade mission

Gov. Snyder meets Israeli PM Netanyahu
Rick Snyder @Onetoughnerd Instagram

Governor Rick Snyder sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

Snyder believes the talks could lead to new partnerships between companies in Michigan and Israel.

The governor is on a nine-day investment mission to Israel. He says the two states already have strong economic and cultural ties. But he says there’s lots of room for new partnerships and investment.

Snyder Spokesperson Ken Silfven says Prime Minister Netanyahu was “very receptive” to the governor’s ideas.

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Politics & Government
9:22 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Commentary: Remember Virg Bernero?

Lessenberry commentary for 6/18/2013

Everyone knows, of course, that Rick Snyder was elected governor three years ago. And by now it is safe to say that everyone has an opinion about him. Some think he is saving the state.

Others are vowing to do everything they can to prevent him from winning a second term. But stop for a minute.

Do you remember who Snyder defeated to be elected governor in the first place? Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the Democratic nominee in what was an impossible year for his party.

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