Rick Snyder

Health
5:21 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Gov. Snyder order creates Michigan Autism Council

Gov. Rick Snyder signed an order creating an Autism Council today
Office of Governor Rick Snyder Wikimedia Commons

Today, Gov. Rick Snyder signed an order creating an Autism Council in Michigan's Department of Community Health.

The governor's office said the order is a step to implement Michigan's Autism Spectrum Disorders State Plan. According to a 2009 issue paper concerning the plan, autism diagnoses have dramatically increased amongst children over the past several decades.

The AP reports:

The council will have 12 gubernatorial appointees.

Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley pushed hard to win passage of a mandate for insurance coverage for autism treatment for children. Insurers are reimbursed through a $15 million autism coverage incentive fund.

Calley's daughter Reagan has been diagnosed with autism.

Michigan's upcoming budget also provides for Medicaid coverage of autism treatment for children through the age of 18.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Flint
4:07 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Michigan's governor asks (again) for federal help for Genesee County flood victims

A stranded trucked on southbound I-75 near Flint. He was recused by a boat from the roof of his cab.
courtesy of WDIV/Youtube

Gov. Snyder is trying again to get some federal help for people in Genesee County hard-hit by spring floods.  

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Politics & Government
2:23 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

Michigan State Capitol
User goIfmuth Flickr

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for Michigan Radio’s Christina Shockley to check in with political analyst Jack Lessenberry about what’s happening this week in Michigan politics. Today, Jack and Christina cover how there's a little something for everybody in the budget Gov.

Education
11:10 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Muskegon Heights charter takeover a 'state bailout,' new report says

Muskegon Heights High School
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Muskegon Heights Public Schools voted late last year to request a state emergency manager in an effort to sort out chronically troubled finances. Part of the plan emergency manager Don Weatherspoon eventually came up with involved turning schools in the district over to a charter operator.

But as the Detroit Free Press reports today, a study from a non-profit research group says the turnover amounts to little more than a state bailout.

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Commentary
10:06 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Commentary: Tilting at Windmills?

Three years ago, then-Governor Jennifer Granholm killed the Michigan State Fair, then the longest-running event of its kind in the nation. The fair, which was how the agriculture industry showed itself off to the rest of the state, had been running continuously since Zachary Taylor was president. For awhile, it moved around.

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Politics & Government
2:00 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Gov. Snyder's meeting with Baptist Ministers in Detroit disrupted

Michigan Gov. Snyder was in Detroit today talking about cooperatively coming up with a new vision for Detroit, but he wasn't met with cooperation by some.

The Detroit Free Press reports his meeting was disrupted by protestors.

A meeting between Gov. Rick Snyder and the council of Baptist Pastors ended abruptly this morning when a group of several dozen protesters disrupted the meeting with shouts about the emergency manager law.

“Are you going to make sure the repeal gets on the ballot?” one protester shouted, with several more taking up the chants.

After a few moments, Snyder was escorted out of the Bethel Baptist Church on the east side of Detroit.

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Commentary
9:51 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Commentary: Simple and Wrong

Every so often, I run into someone with a simple solution that they believe would fix all our problems. Sometimes it is a flat tax. Sometimes it is single-payer health insurance.

But whenever someone stops me at the grocery store to explain their simple plan for saving mankind, or at least Michigan, all I can think about is H.L. Mencken’s famous maxim that, “for every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.”

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Politics
6:33 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Gov. Snyder to sign next Michigan budget into law

Governor Snyder is set to sign the state's $48 billion budget later this afternoon.
Photo courtesy of the Snyder Administration

The $48 billion spending plan for the budget year that starts Oct. 1 is about to be signed into law. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has scheduled a bill-signing ceremony for Tuesday afternoon at the Romney Building across from the Capitol.

The package includes a small cut in individual income taxes, twice as much money for film credits, a slight increase in education funding and a down payment on school employees' health care costs in retirement.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate passed the budget bills three weeks ago. Snyder has the right to veto portions of the bills.

Democrats have criticized the GOP budget plan for not spending more on education.

Education
5:24 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Michigan higher education construction projects at a glance

University of Michigan Flint will receive $16.6 million for renovations to the Murchie Science Laboratory Building
User acrylicartist MorgueFile.com

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill today that calls for investment in infrastructure projects at Michigan's colleges and universities.

The bills funnel more than $300 million into 18 projects on college campuses across the state.

Snyder approved the bills at Wayne State University in Detroit. That school will get $30 million for a new bio-medical research facility.

Wayne State President Allan Gilmour says that will involve refurbishing a now-defunct Cadillac dealership, and construction for at least one brand-new building.

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Education
6:33 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Michigan colleges, universities getting $300M for projects

Michigan Municipal League Flickr

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign a bill investing more than $300 million in infrastructure projects at Michigan's colleges and universities.

The governor's office says a signing ceremony is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Wayne State University. The Detroit school is planning a biomedical research building. MLive.com reports the legislation authorizes and assists construction for 18 projects at public universities and community colleges across the state. The House Fiscal Agency says the combined long-term costs of the projects are estimated at about $613 million. The state's share is $305 million.

Other projects include a bioscience building at Central Michigan University and an engineering center at Oakland University.

Transportation
4:25 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Forbes: "The Billionaire Vs. The Nerd: Who Gets To Control International Trade With Canada?"

A concept drawing of the new bridge to be built across the Detroit River. The bridge has yet to be designed.
http://buildthedricnow.com/

Check out Forbes staff writer Joann Muller's in-depth look at the politics behind this month's bridge deal:

-Via Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom

 

Law
3:43 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Snyder-appointed commission recommends better public defense for poor

User southernfried MorgueFile.com

A state commission adopted recommendations this morning to help ensure fair trials for people who can't afford to pay for an attorney.

Michigan's county-by-county indigent defense system is considered one of the worst in the country. The report calls for an independent agency to be a watchdog on counties' public defender systems -- and to step in when they fall short. It also calls for more training for public defenders, limiting caseloads and better compensation.
    
Judge James Fisher chaired the Michigan Indigent Defense Advisory Commission. He says the agency would set standards for every county to follow, “so that we can ensure that people have attorneys representing them who are capable, and adequately compensated, qualified, experienced, so forth.”

And the state should step in, he says, when counties don’t live up to the rules.

Republican state Representative Tom McMillin served on the commission. He says the Legislature will begin hearings on the recommendations this summer.

“When we’re looking at taking away somebody’s liberty and putting them in jail, I think that that’s an extremely, extremely high priority to ensure that we have as much equal justice as possible," he said.

He says it’s also critical to ensure that attorneys are independent from the judges hearing their cases.  

“When an attorney is counting on satisfying judges for their next appointment," he said, "there’s a question on whether that attorney is serving the best interests of the client who may end up in jail, or is some of that interest in satisfying the judge?"

McMillin and Democratic state Representative Ellen Cogan-Lipton say they’re already drafting legislation to create a commission and an agency to oversee indigent defense. 
       
Now, it’s up to the Legislature and Governor Snyder to enact the recommendations. Hearings could begin this summer. Fixing public defense in Michigan could cost taxpayers $50 million dollars.
   

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Politics
11:01 am
Thu June 21, 2012

As states see improving economies, Romney campaign tries to change the message

Mitt Romney
Gage Skidmore Flickr

In a Bloomberg piece this morning, Michael C. Bender is reporting that, “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.”

But Romney doesn’t just have a Florida messaging “problem.” Last month, Rick Pluta, co-host of It’s Just Politics, and I took a look at the same problem that the Romney campaign is having with Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan’s improving economy.

During a visit to Michigan in May, Romney said, “These last few years have been hard on the people in Lansing, and frankly, they've been hard on the people of America.” This message didn’t quite mesh with Governor Snyder’s statement that, “if you look at where we're at, we’re the comeback state in the United States today.”

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Law
8:02 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Gov. Snyder signs bill outlawing designer drugs

Gov. Rick Snyder, (R) Michigan, signs legislation outlawing designer drugs
courtesy of Gov. Snyder's office

On July 1, the state will launch a crackdown to clear store shelves of a type of synthetic marijuana called K2.

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Health
1:01 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Michigan will create a central database for advance medical directives

www.siumed.edu

It will soon be easier for Michigan hospitals and doctors to check to see if their patients have “advance medical directives."  

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Politics & Government
8:01 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Conservationists worry about plan to cap amount of publicly owned land in Michigan

Pure Michigan

Governor Snyder will soon have to decide if he will sign a bill that would cap the amount of public land the state can own. Some conservationists are suggesting the governor should veto the bill.

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Flint
6:41 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Gov. Snyder calls for local ideas for solving Michigan's urban problems

Gov. Rick Snyder, flanked by Flint civic and business leaders, discusses what he heard during a closed door meeting on the problems facing the city of Flint.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint business and civic leaders sat down with Governor Snyder today to discuss possible solutions to the city’s problems.

The closed-door session focused on crime, education, economic development and other urban issues.

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Transportation
2:45 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Gov. Snyder annouces bridge deal with Canada

A concept drawing of the new bridge to be built across the Detroit River. The bridge has yet to be designed.
NITC

At a press conference in Windsor, Ont. today, Gov. Rick Snyder joined Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper to announce the New International Trade Crossing Agreement. This agreement, according to the Governor’s Office, will bolster trade, simplify travel and provide as many as 10,000 temporary and permanent jobs by allowing the construction of a new bridge over the Detroit River connecting the cities of Detroit and Ontario.

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Commentary
11:08 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Commentary: The Politics of Abortion

Here’s something that occurred to me yesterday, when the Michigan House of Representatives passed what is really an anti-abortion bill. Consider probably the two most controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions in modern history.

Roe vs. Wade, which said that women have a constitutional right of privacy to abortion, and two more recent cases, District of Columbia vs. Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago, which established that individuals have a constitutional right to own and carry a gun.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Bing responds to court decision validating Detroit-Lansing consent agreement

Mayor Dave Bing and Governor Rick Snyder at a groundbreaking in Detroit last month.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he’s happy a “distracting” court case brought by his own city attorney was dismissed Wednesday, and the city can now follow through on its consent agreement with the state.

Bing said he was “not happy with” his corporation counsel’s decision to push the legal challenge—but insists that’s all in the past now.

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