Rick Snyder

The Environment Report
10:55 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Bill aims to restrict state's ability to manage for biodiversity

Rabbit Bay

You can listen to today's Environment Report or read an expanded version of the story below.

If you're feeling like you've heard this story before... you're right.

Senator Tom Casperson-R (Escanaba) has introduced a bill, Senate Bill 78, that would prohibit the DNR from setting aside an area of land specifically for the purpose of maintaining biological diversity (basically, to protect the variety of plants and animals that live in an area).  The DNR could not make or enforce a rule to do that.

This bill is similar to one Senator Casperson introduced last fall, SB 1276.

Casperson says he’s concerned the DNR wants to set aside too much land, and that people won’t have access to it.

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Politics & Government
8:07 am
Thu February 7, 2013

This morning's news: Snyder's numbers, Trooper saves girl, and more snow

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Gov. Snyder releases his numbers today

At 11 a.m., Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to unveil his budget to the state Legislature. It'll then be up to those representatives to wrestle with the numbers and come up with a final budget for the state. Among the things he's expected to call for:

  • After years of cuts, he'll call for a 2 percent increase in public education funding
  • More funding for road construction
  • And an expansion of Medicaid

More details emerge on I-75 crash, trooper saves one girl

More details came out yesterday on the deadly pileup on I-75 near Detroit the morning of Jan. 31.

A whiteout caused 12 crashes involving 43 cars on the Interstate. There were 12 injuries and 3 fatalities.

This morning, the Detroit News has more on Michigan State Trooper Seth Swanson's actions:

After failing to find a pulse on the first two children, Swanson went to the other side of the car, broke out the rear window with a hammer and reached in to see if the third child, a 10-year-old girl, was still alive. She had a faint pulse.

He cleared her airway and administered rescue breaths until she finally took a deep breath and regained consciousness.

And more snow is on the way, so drive carefully

Snow is expected for the entire state starting this evening. The middle of the state is expected to get the most snowfall. From the National Weather Service:

This system has the potential to generate heavy snowfall. 7 to 11 inches is expected north of M 46 and near Lake Huron, while 3 to 8 inches is possible for areas across the rest of Southeast Lower Michigan.

Mark Torregrossa from MLive says computer models for storms like this can predict higher snowfalls. His prediction is 4 to 9 inches for the middle of the state, and 1 to 4 inches for the rest of the state.

Morning News Roundup
8:35 am
Mon February 4, 2013

This morning's news: Medicaid decision, Rainy Day Fund, Super Bowl ads

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Snyder to decide this week whether to expand Medicaid

In his budget address this week, Gov. Rick Snyder will announce whether he'll expand Medicaid. Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government would pay for the state to allow an additional 400,000 people in the state to receive Medicaid coverage. The state would eventually have to pay for a portion of the costs, Rick Pluta reports.

Snyder to propose adding $50 to $100 million to Rainy Day Fund

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to recommend that the state add $50 to $100 million to its Budget Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund. Some Democrats argue though that now is not the time to be saving. The Detroit Free Press quotes Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy.

"For lots of families, it is raining right now," Jacobs said.  "There really is the opportunity to take a portion of the money that is in the Rainy Day Fund and use it for families that are experiencing hardship."

Chrysler pays tribute to troops, farmers in two Super Bowl ads

Chrysler's two Super Bowl ads were among the most well-received auto advertisements according to the Detroit Free Press. Chrysler's first ad, voiced by Oprah Winfrey, was a Jeep spot that paid tribute to the military. Their second commercial, an ad for Ram pickup trucks, featured the late radio personality Paul Harvey reading "So God Made a Farmer."

The ad took 9th place in MSU's annual Super Bowl Ad rankings.

- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom


Politics & Government
12:09 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Michigan's governor faces decision this week on Medicaid

Governor Rick Snyder (R) Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder decides this week whether he will call for expanding Medicaid in his new budget.

The federal government would pick up the entire cost at first, which would allow the state to add nearly 400 thousand people to the Medicaid rolls who are currently uninsured.

One of the goals of the federal health care law is to reduce the number of un-insured people and costly emergency room visits.

But, after the first few years, states will have to pick up part of the cost: 10% by 2020.

Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

State Senate unanimously passes Blue Cross overhaul without abortion language


The state Senate Thursday unanimously passed an overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The measure was unexpectedly vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder last month because it included some controversial abortion language. Lawmakers recently reintroduced the legislation without the abortion measure.    

State Senator Joe Hune said he expects it to take longer for the bills to get through the House.

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Politics & Government
5:41 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Clergy call on state lawmakers to address gun violence

Michigan clergy members pray at thestate Capitol while holding cards with the names of children killed by gunviolence

A group of Michigan clergy wants state lawmakers to drop a number of pro-gun bills.

Faith leaders held a prayer service today at the state Capitol to protest the measures. Clergy members sang hymns as they marched to the Capitol.

Each held a yellow card with the name of a child from their community killed by gun violence.

“We’re going to fill the heavens, the atmosphere with prayers," said Flint pastor Ken Boykins. "We mean business. We’re not going to back off. And something has to be done.”

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Politics & Government
5:34 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

State leaders question plan to divide Michigan’s electoral votes

Governor Snyder said a plan to split Michigan's Electoral College votes should not be considered at this time.
Office of Governor Rick Snyder Wikimedia Commons

Two top Republicans in Lansing say they’re not on board with a plan to split Michigan’s Electoral College votes.

Lawmakers have been expecting a bill that would divide the state’s electoral votes by congressional district.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said that would make the state less important in presidential elections.

“At this point in time, I’m still sticking to my guns. I think the bigger package of votes for the winner brings more attention to the state and keeps us united. So I haven’t been convinced otherwise yet,” Richardville said.

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The Environment Report
12:02 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

State officials want your input on Michigan's energy future

The Holland coal plant
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

You can listen to today's Environment Report segment here or read the story below.

In Michigan, we get more than half of our electricity from coal.  All of that coal is imported from other states.

In a couple weeks, you’ll get a chance to weigh in on how we’ll use energy in the future.

When Governor Rick Snyder gave his Special Message on Energy and the Environment last fall, he said he wanted to hold forums around the state to talk about energy.

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Politics & Government
4:25 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Gov. Snyder says low water levels in Great Lakes require emergency action


Governor Rick Snyder says emergency actions are necessary to address low water levels in the Great Lakes.

The lakes are at their lowest levels in decades.

Snyder says that could be a big threat to Michigan’s harbors.

“There’s going to be a need to do some, what I would describe as emergency dredging, to make sure we keep it open for commerce, for tourism, for many other issues. And that’s something we need to be discussing,” Snyder said.

Read more
11:05 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Michigan's governor eyes mental health makeover, GOP skeptical

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

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder says he has concerns about whether Michigan's health care system could handle the increased number of patients if the state agrees to expand Medicaid eligibility.

The Republican has said one of the benefits of opting in to an expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act is it would allow the state to significantly expand assistance for those who need mental health care.

Snyder said Friday that he hasn't made his decision but will announce it during his budget address on February 7th.

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11:14 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Governor Snyder not convinced gun laws an efficient use of state lawmakers’ time

Gun rights supporters rally in Lansing in January 2013.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder is weighing in on the debate over guns laws going on at the state Capitol. There are a number of new bills related to guns pending. Snyder was asked if he supports any of the proposed changes at events in Grand Rapids Friday.

Not to downplay the importance of gun rights or guns laws, but Governor Snyder just doesn’t think guns in general have a big part in his plan to “reinvent Michigan.” He says lawmakers in Lansing should let the debate over gun control run its course at the federal level first.

“In the meantime we could get a lot done on jobs, infrastructure, education; a lot of important topics. So I would prefer we stay on those topics,” Snyder said.

Snyder says he would consider improvements to the state's mental health system before focusing on changes to its gun laws.

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Politics & Government
7:45 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Michigan's governor declares Energy Emergency in parts of the Upper Peninsula

A propane tank sits, covered in snow.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has declared a State of Energy Emergency in part of the Upper Peninsula.

There’s a shortage of propane in parts of the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin. 

According to the governor’s state of energy emergency declaration, high demand for propane, coupled with repairs on a propane pipeline terminal has resulted in a temporary shortage.

The executive order suspends regulations restricting how many hours a day propane truck drivers can operate.    Drivers must travel longer distances to get to where propane is available.

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Politics & Government
12:34 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Governor hopes to rely less on state incentives for future jobs

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder was on hand to help celebrate as the Michigan Strategic Fund approved state-paid incentives to 14 new business projects.     

The governor said lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a skilled workforce should make incentives less necessary in the future. But he said state assistance still has to be part of the mix. 

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4:52 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Stateside: Looking at Michigan's new abortion law 40 years after Roe v. Wade

Protestors in favor of pro-choice.
Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

Dr. Harris discussed recent legislation regarding abortions in Michigan.

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

Among the flood of bills passed in the waning days of 2012 came House Bill 5711.

The bill was signed by Gov. Snyder last month and became law (Public Act 499 of 2012).

Dr. Lisa Hope Harris Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Michigan spoke with Cyndy about the new law and its implications for the state.

“There are four components to the new law. The first is that health centers that provide 120 or more surgical abortions per year and advertise those abortions be licensed as free-standing surgical centers. The law does include waivers… Clinics will very likely be able to comply with this regulation. That means that women are unlikely to be directly affected by the component of the new law.”

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Politics & Government
2:19 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Hathaway resignation official; Snyder considers replacements for Supreme Court seat


As Justice Diane Hathaway officially resigns from the Michigan Supreme Court today, Governor Rick Snyder says he is considering her replacement.

Hathaway’s resignation comes after federal prosecutors charged the justice with bank fraud in connection with a 2011 real estate deal.

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Politics & Government
8:18 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Michiganders will take part in today's presidential inaugural parade

President Barack Obama
official portrait

There will be a big parade in Washington D.C. after today’s inauguration ceremony.

Many people from Michigan will be in the parade.

Jocelyn Benson is the president of the Military Spouses of Michigan. She says it’s a great honor for a group whose sacrifices are often overlooked.

Benson says she’s looking forward to the parade, even though the temperatures will be on the chilly side.

Politics & Government
5:12 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Stateside: The economics behind State of the State

Governor Snyder gave his State of the State speech last night.
Rick Snyder for Michigan Facebook.com

Rick Pluta and Charley Ballard assessed Governor Snyder's State of the State address.

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

Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio Lansing Bureau Chief and Michigan State Economics Professor, Charley Ballard weighed in with their responses to Snyder’s State of the State speech.

“It was a pretty standard State of the State speech…The one wrinkle in that was just for one brief moment, the governor did allude to the controversies of last year and said he was hoping that going forward they could find ways to work together,” said Pluta.

Ballard said Snyder’s transportation proposal could be good for Michigan’s economy.

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Politics & Government
5:12 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Stateside: A State of the State analysis with Governor Snyder

Governor Snyder spoke about last night's address.

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

Last night Governor Rick Snyder delivered his State of the State address.

Today he spoke with Cyndy about the speech and his 2013 plans.

The governor began by assessing his transportation proposal.

“This is all about saving money. By actually doing this the right way, it will save us a tremendous amount of money that we’d have to pay later….This billion dollars a year, if we did that for ten years--that’s a lot of money. But if we didn’t, the bill we would have to pay to bring our roads back would be $25 billion. So it’s a huge savings by doing this…” said Snyder.

According to Snyder, one’s party affiliation shouldn’t affect discussions of the legislation. 

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Politics & Government
5:03 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Stateside: House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel reacts to State of State address


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

Today, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel spoke with Cyndy about his reaction to Governor Snyder’s State of the State address.

“We stand willing and eager to work together in a bipartisan way to move our state forward and we’ll have to whether the Republicans show that same willingness,” Greimel said.

He thinks Democrats could possibly agree with Snyder's proposal to allow voters to register online.

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Politics & Government
5:49 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Governor Snyder talks about roads and reconciliation in 'State of the State' address

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) Michigan
Official Portrait

Governor Rick Snyder made his pitch for higher taxes and fees to pay for roads in his third State of the State address.

He says Michigan needs at least a billion additional dollars in the coming year to pay for badly needed repairs to the state’s ailing infrastructure.  He may also need a plan to repair his strained relationships with Democrats to get what he wants.

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