Rick Snyder

Politics & Government
3:07 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Governor faces lower approval numbers and a billboard

Michigan Democrats new billboard.
Courtesy: Michigan Democrats

Yesterday afternoon, Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer announced a new billboard which they're hoping may capitalize on lower approval numbers for Governor Rick Snyder.

The strategically placed billboard is on I-96 – between Lansing and Brighton. Brewer estimates 160,000 commuters every week will see the billboard including (if he’s looking) the governor himself.

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Politics & Government
8:12 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Gov. Snyder: At least week from deciding Detroit's fate

DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he's at least a week away from deciding if Detroit needs an emergency manager to confront its $327 million budget deficit and $14 billion long-term debt.

Snyder told reporters Thursday that the city's drastic population loss over six decades is the main reason for its financial woes.

Detroit had 1.8 million people in the 1950 U.S. Census and about 700,000 in 2010. Snyder says new growth holds the key to Detroit's recovery.

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Politics & Government
4:41 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Stateside: Insight into Synder's emergency manager appointment

Governor Snyder spoke about Detroit's state of emergency on Thursday
Photo courtesy of the Snyder administration

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Governor Rick Snyder met with reporters in downtown Detroit on Thursday to discuss the report he received from a state financial review team earlier this week.

The report announced that Detroit is in a state of financial emergency and that the city's current leaders "lack a plan" to deal with it. Mayor Dave Bing's insisted that he did have a plan, but numerous obstacles made it difficult to put it in place.

Now, Detroit residents and those who have been following the crisis are merely waiting for Governor Snyder to appoint an emergency manager.

Karen Dumas, a native Detroiter, is the former Chief of Communications for Mayor Dave Bing and the City of Detroit. Dumas has worked at Detroit's City Hall over the past decade, and is closely following the process.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Dumas about Detroit's state of financial emergency and the upcoming process the city will undergo.

Arts & Culture
12:13 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Stateside: What film tax credit cuts mean for Michigan filmmakers

Michigan filmmakers wonder about the future of film tax credits
Lloydpictures.com

The following is asummary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Governor Snyder's proposal to cut the state's film tax credits from $50 million to $25 million has left the Michigan filmmaking community wondering if they can keep their heads above water.

The divisive proposal has some lawmakers pledging to fight to maintain the state's current tax credits while others stand by the Governor's and say the incentive takes money away from "must-have" programs such as public safety and education.

Michael Zervos of Northville, a Michigan filmmaker, is the head of Mother and Midwife Pictures,  and is currently in pre-production for his film "Papou," which employs Michigan actors and will be filmed in Michigan.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Zervos about his concerns with Governor Snyder's proposal.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

Health
11:51 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Snyder orders mental health services review

Snyder signed two executive orders to review the state's mental health services
Official portrait

Governor Rick Snyder has called for a review of how Michigan provides mental health services.

The governor has signed two executive orders to come up with recommendations.The executive orders create two separate commissions.

Both of them will be led by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.

One major goal is to identify gaps that send people to jails and prisons instead of to programs that could treat their illnesses.

The plans also include teaching police, teachers, and clergy to spot signs of mental illness, earlier intervention for children with mental health issues, and helping more people get into treatment instead of being sent to jail or prison.

Administration officials say this will be the first thorough review of mental health services in Michigan since the state shut down its psychiatric hospitals in favor of community-based programs in the early 1990’s

Politics & Government
7:21 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Gov. Snyder to discuss Detroit finances Thursday

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

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is planning to discuss Detroit's financial situation on Thursday.

The governor is expected to hold an afternoon round table with the media in Detroit. Snyder's office says he isn't planning to announce if he'll appoint an emergency manager, but instead to provide an update on where things stand.

The Republican governor has less than a month to decide whether the state will take over the city's broken finances and send in someone to oversee a recovery.

Health
7:17 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Michigan governor issues executive orders for mental health

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

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is taking steps aimed at improving mental health services in Michigan.

The Republican governor issued two executive orders Wednesday to bolster mental health initiatives in the state.

The first creates a Mental Health and Wellness Commission. The commission will be led by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and will advise the Michigan Department of Community Health on ways to strengthen mental health services.

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Politics & Government
8:27 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

State report on Detroit's finances expected to outline grim choices

We should know more about Detroit’s grim financial situation on Tuesday.

That’s when Governor Snyder is expected to receive a long-awaited report on the city’s finances.

A state-appointed review team began the process in December. Governor Snyder gave the group an extension because he wanted them to take a deep dive into Detroit’s long-term debt--estimated at more than $12 billion.

Snyder's office declined comment on Monday. But speaking to reporters a couple of weeks ago, the Governor said he’ll move quickly after he gets the report.

“It will probably take a week or two for me to make a full analysis of the report, and then decisions will be made,” Snyder said. “My reputation is not one to be sitting on things rather than making decisions.”

It’s widely expected that the report will depict a city on the brink of insolvency, a mayor and City Council unable to handle it—and suggest further state intervention.

Detroit has had a “financial stability agreement” with Lansing for nearly a year, but the city’s financial picture has only worsened since then.

Snyder has acknowledged interviewing candidates to potentially serve as the city’s emergency manager.

Politics & Government
7:23 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

State Senate leader looks to expand Michigan's film tax credits

The state Senate’s top Republican says he’ll once again try to ward off big cuts to Michigan’s film industry credits.

For the second year in a row, Governor Rick Snyder is proposing a budget that would cap the state’s film incentives at $25 million for the year.

And for the second year in a row, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says he’ll fight to give the industry at least twice that.

“To that particular industry and to the mostly blue collar workers that benefit from that in Michigan, it would be devastating to them,” says Richardville.

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Politics & Government
10:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Commentary: Higher education and the future

Lessenberry commentary for 2/18/13

Governor Snyder’s budget includes a two percent increase for higher ed. That’s close to the current inflation rate, which means, essentially, no extra money for state colleges and universities.

Now, you can argue that times are still tough and everyone has to watch spending. But in fact, higher education has been hit harder than any other major budget category since Rick Snyder became governor two years ago. Over that time, the state has cut support for higher ed by more than 11 percent.

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Business
11:20 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Michigan's film industry reels at Snyder's budget proposal

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan film producers and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville say they will lobby to maintain the state's $50 million film credits cap.

Gov. Snyder is calling for a $25 million dollar cap in film incentives in the budget he has proposed. The amount is the same he proposed last year, but lawmakers raised the cap to $50 million during budget negotiations.

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Politics & Government
1:04 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Gov. Snyder declares February 'Keep Michigan Warm Month'

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is joining with advocacy groups to raise awareness for Michigan families living without heat this winter.

Snyder proclaimed February "Keep Michigan Warm" month to highlight "the growing and critical need for home heating assistance in Michigan." It was requested by advocacy group Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm.

Snyder says "no one should ever have to choose between heating their home and feeding their family." He says many families are forced to spend more than half of their annual income on energy costs.

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Law
4:59 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

State elections panel clears way for new petition drives

New petition is underway for Fracking in Michigan.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A state elections panel today cleared the way for two new petition drives to get underway. The drives will try to put questions on the 2014 general election ballot.

Fred Woodhams is with the Michigan Secretary of State. He says this brings the number of petition drives that have been approved for circulation to three.  He says the first is “a legislative initiative regarding fracking. “  He continued, “There’s a referendum regarding the wolf hunt legislation that was passed last year, and then there’s the constitutional amendment that deals with appropriations bills.”

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Environment & Science
1:41 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Lawmakers seek to tap Michigan's 'Rainy Day Fund' for Great Lakes dredging

A dredge operating outside of the harbor in Leland, Michigan.
Andrew McFarlane Flickr

Some lawmakers in Lansing want to tap the state’s “rainy day” fund to pay for emergency harbor dredging in the Great Lakes.

A group of Republican state Senators today endorsed opening up $30 million from the fund for projects around the state.

They also offered a number of ways to fund future dredging projects.

State Senator Geoff Hansen (R-Hart) says a short-term solution isn’t enough to address record-low water levels in the Great Lakes.

“These are designed to be long-term solutions. We have the one-time, right now fix. And in the end of the day we need to have enough dollars to make that this year we’re keeping our ports open,” said Hansen.

Governor Snyder set aside over $20 million in his proposed budget for emergency dredging. That money would not come out of the state’s savings.

The lawmakers say their plan is meant to supplement Snyder’s proposal, not replace it.

Politics & Government
11:10 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

As Snyder ponders emergency manager, an ongoing struggle to keep Detroit afloat

Detroit can just barely avoid running out of cash this fiscal year--if it implements some key measures.

That’s what the city’s finance officials told its financial advisory board on Monday.

The premise to avoid insolvency involves some immediate cuts, some deferred payments—and a few big “ifs.”

Some of those measures are so-called “structural changes,” like mandatory furlough days, layoffs, and possible pension and health care changes. Others defer payments or take one-time opportunities to grab
cash.

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Politics & Government
2:45 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

A Detroit emergency financial manager could come soon

Kate Sumbler Flickr

In yesterday's Detroit News, columnist Nolan Finley said  an "emergency manager for Detroit [is] on its way."

Sources tell me that Snyder has selected an emergency manager, offered the person the job and expects to hear this week whether he or she will take it. While I don't have the name, the prospect is said to be from out of state, and it's not former Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams — the governor's first choice.

At a Detroit Regional Chamber luncheon today, Gov. Snyder didn't name a person he had in mind, but he did say there are talks going on. More from the Detroit Free Press

“We’re talking to people,” Snyder said. “But I won’t speculate about a particular candidate.”

Still, Snyder stressed he doesn’t want the state to run the city.

“The role of the state is not to run the city of Detroit. We’re here to be a partner,” he said.

He said it won't "take a significant amount of time" before he makes a decision on whether an emergency financial manager is needed for Detroit.

 A review team probing the city's finances will have a report to him in the coming weeks. The team began its review in December and is tasked with determining whether Detroit is in a financial emergency.

 The report officially is due February 19.

 The city has a budget deficit of more than $300 million and has struggled with sustaining cash flow in recent months.

It's Just Politics
10:59 am
Sat February 9, 2013

After delivering his budget proposal, Gov. Snyder now has to figure out how to sell it

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

This week’s It’s Just Politics is all about the dineros, somolians, greenbacks, dead presidents. In other words, it’s the budget-rollout edition… so, we’re talking moolah.

Governor Snyder delivered his budget proposal for the next fiscal year this week and the headline seems to be: Tough calls have been made; good times are head, but we’ve got to pay for it.

In his third budget proposal since taking office, Governor Snyder proposed more money for roads, harbors, schools, colleges and universities. And, more funds for early childhood education and law enforcement. This budget is all about investment: spend now to save later.

And, it’s interesting to take a look back and see what a difference a couple years can make. When Governor Snyder first took office he talked about how surprising it was to see folks in Lansing constantly asking for money for their departments, projects and programs; now the Governor is the one asking for some bread, coinage, clams. He might be asking nicely for more money but he’s going to also have to do some convincing. He’s got to sell his spending plan to fellow Republicans, the party that’s typically averse to so-called “revenue enhancements.”

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Fri February 8, 2013

This morning's news: Snow across the state, Snyder's budget, and charter school unionization

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Snow blankets most of the state

Most of the Lower Peninsula is blanketed in snow as an overnight storm brought up to 9 inches in some areas, creating a potentially treacherous morning commute and causing many school districts to cancel classes. 

Three to 7 inches of snow are expected in parts of mid and West Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Areas of Southeast Michigan received up to 5 inches of snow. Parts of the northern Lower Peninsula could get up to 9 inches. 

Snow is expected to continue throughout the morning, and it should taper off by around noon, the paper reported. 

Gov. Snyder releases budget proposal

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder released his annual budget proposal Thursday morning. 

"Sixty-one percent of the total investments we’re recommending are either for savings or education. This is a responsible budget. This is a budget to look to that long term, and learn from our past mistakes," Snyder said in his announcement. 

Among his priorities were increasing taxes to help pay for upkeep of the state's roads. Snyder proposed raising the gas tax to 33 cents a gallon for all types of fuel. He also wants to raise vehicle registration fees. 

Michigan Radio's Mark Brush has a run down of Snyder's other budget priorities, which include increasing funding for all levels of education and expanding medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. 

Detroit charter school teachers vote to unionize

Teachers at Detroit's largest charter school voted overwhelmingly last night to be represented by a union. 

The teachers and staff at Cesar Chavez academy voted by a 2-1 margin to have the American Federation of Teachers represent them, Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports. 

Only a small number of Michigan’s charter schools have unionized employees.

Nate Walker is with the AFT. He expects teachers in some other Michigan charter schools will also unionize this year.

“I think in the future we can certainly expect more collective bargaining campaigns,” says Walker,  “But we can also expect charter school teachers to engage in the policy discussions that impact them.”

- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Politics & Government
12:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Gov. Snyder proposes his vision for Michigan through budget

Gov. Snyder delivering his proposed budget to the Legislature today.
LiveStream

Want to know someone's priorities? Follow the money.

Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled his vision for the state by delivering his proposed budget today to the state Legislature.

"Sixty-one percent of the total investments we’re recommending are either for savings or education. This is a responsible budget. This is a budget to look to that long term, and learn from our past mistakes," said Snyder.

Here are some of the highlights of his budget proposals:

Taxes for road repair and maintenance

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Politics & Government
10:56 am
Thu February 7, 2013

LIVESTREAM: Gov. Snyder talks numbers, unveils his budget

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will unveil his budget this morning at 11 a.m.

Then the leaders in the Legislature will wrestle with the numbers and push their priorities for state spending and income.

Watch Snyder's budget unveiling here:

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