Rick Snyder

Politics & Government
8:04 am
Wed October 10, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Election complaint filed against Snyder

"A ballot campaign has filed an elections complaint against Governor Rick Snyder. It says he’s using his official website and other state resources illegally to campaign against Proposal 5. Matt Davis is an attorney for the Proposal 5 campaign. That’s the one to require super-majority votes for the Legislature to raise taxes. Davis says Governor Snyder has posted videos to his official webpage, used staff time, and other public resources to campaign against the ballot question. The complaint was filed with the Michigan Secretary of State. A violation is punishable by a fine of a thousand dollars or a year in jail. Governor Snyder – who is a licensed attorney – says he’s on solid legal ground -- and will continue to campaign for the emergency manager law and against the five proposed amendments to the state constitution on the November ballot," Rick Pluta reports.

More Asian carp DNA found

"More DNA from Asian carp has been found in Chicago-area waters, and officials say an intensive search for the unwelcome fish will take place next week. A committee of federal and state agencies said Tuesday the search was triggered by the discovery of genetic material from Asian carp during three consecutive rounds of water sampling between June and September. Officials say the presence of Asian carp DNA doesn't necessarily signal the presence of live fish," the AP reports.

Meningitis outbreak claims third life in Michigan

"The Centers for Disease Control reports a third fatality in Michigan tied to a nationwide meningitis outbreak. The CDC now says 25 patients in Michigan are linked to the outbreak tied  to tainted steroid injections. The injections were intended to relieve spinal pain.   But a fungus contaminated the compound used in the injections. Nationwide the meningitis outbreak has sickened 119 people. Eleven people have died including three people in Michigan. The Centers for Disease Control believes as many as 13,000 people may have been exposed to the tainted steroid," Steve Carmody reports.

Education
5:25 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Michigan's reform school district may become the state's largest

Mumford High School is one Detroit school already under the EAA's control.
detroitk12.org

A statewide reform school district could become the largest in Michigan over the next five years.

The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA)—the district instituted in 2011 to operate the lowest performing five percent of schools in the state—may add as many as 45 schools reports Lori Higgins of the Detroit Free Press.

From the Free Press:

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Politics & Government
7:08 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Felons with "four strikes" now face at least 25 years

Violent felons convicted of four offenses now face at least 25 years in prison, under a law signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

In a written statement, Governor Snyder says the new law holds chronic offenders accountable, while giving some peace of mind to victims and their families. 

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Politics & Government
5:22 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Governor Synder expected to sign legislation attempting to reduce concussions

Governor Snyder is expected to sign legislation attempting to reduce the number of concussions in youth sports.
Reigh LeBlanc flickr

Governor Rick Snyder said he expects to sign legislation to reduce the number and severity of concussions in youth sports. The Legislature easily passed the two bills last week.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association worked with lawmakers to craft the bills. The MHSAA’s John Johnson says many coaches may not know how to spot signs of concussions.

“It’s much, much more than a kid laying unconscious on the field. That happens only 1-in-10 times when a concussion has been sustained,” he said.

Johnson said the legislation would give coaches, players, and families the information they need to help limit the damage caused by head injuries. It would also require coaches to immediately take a player out of a game if they suspect a concussion.

The lone dissenter in the House, Representative Bob Genetski, said it’s not the state’s job to protect kids from every potentially unsafe situation.

Politics & Government
2:13 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Starting next week, welfare benefits will be linked to school attendance in Michigan

A new Michigan policy links welfare benefits to student attendance.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

New policy from Michigan’s Department of Human Services would strip welfare benefits from families with truant students.

Starting Monday, families will have to provide proof of student attendance in order to qualify for benefits.

Jennifer Chambers of The Detroit News reports families would become ineligible for benefits if they have a child between the ages 6-15 who is not attending school full time.

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Economy
4:48 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

MSU releases "State of the State" survey

A survey conducted by Michigan State University's Charles Ballard shows an improved approval rating for Governor Snyder.
MSU

The latest "State of the State" survey from Michigan State University indicates people in the state are feeling pretty good about the economy, a little more positive about the Governor, and the same about the President.

MSU Economics Professor Charles Ballard conducts the survey of likely voters in Michigan once a quarter. The latest was taken in August.

It shows that Governor Snyder's approval rating rose, from 33 to 38 percent. 

That's still lower than the President's 41 percent.  But that 41 percent is unchanged from the previous quarter's survey.   

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Health
1:40 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

State Senate committee begins examination of Blue Cross Blue Shield overhaul

Blue Cross Blue Shield would undergo major changes under proposed legislation.
Wikipedia

State Senate hearings began today on a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The plan calls for Blue Cross to become a customer-owned not-for-profit corporation that’s regulated just like other insurance companies.

Right now, Blue Cross has to accept all applicants, regardless of their health. Starting in 2014, the Blues’ role as “insurer of last resort” will become unnecessary. Due to the federal healthcare law, insurance companies will no longer be able to reject people because of their health conditions.

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Politics & Government
9:47 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Gov. Snyder speaks out on ballot proposals, encourages 'no' votes on amendments

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder voices his opinion on the ballot proposals.
YouTube

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder released six videos expressing his opinion on the six ballot proposals facing voters this fall.

And just like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Snyder is encouraging a "no" vote on all five proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution. He is encouraging a "yes" vote on the referendum on the emergency manager law (Public Act 4).

From Snyder's press release:

“I respect the initiative process as a fundamental democratic right, but the proposed constitutional amendments in November’s election have potentially dangerous long-term consequences for Michigan,” Snyder said. “Enshrining these seriously flawed proposals within our constitution would roll back positive reforms that are helping reinvent our state, and I encourage citizens to view them with skepticism.”

You can listen to Gov. Snyder's reasoning in his YouTube videos below. By the time he gets to proposal six, his voice seems a little strained:

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Politics & Government
8:27 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

cncphotos flickr

This week Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry talked about the lawsuit filed against Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. The lawsuit challenges Johnson’s instruction that voters who show up on Election Day should be asked whether they are US citizens. Shockley and Lessenberry also talked about Governor Rick Snyder's trade mission to China.

morning news roundup
7:54 am
Wed September 19, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Michigan No. 5 most obese state in the US

Michigan is now the fifth-most obese state in the nation. That's according to a study released yesterday by the Trust for America’s Health. The study also used data from the Centers for Disease Control to project obesity through the year 2030. The report says if habits don't change by then, about three out of every five

Snyder in China

Governor Rick Snyder left for a 10-day trade mission to China Tuesday. "Governor Snyder and members of his administration say he has two goals – to boost the more than two billion dollars a year in goods and services exported to China from Michigan, and to convince Chinese companies to make Michigan their U-S operational base," Rick Pluta reports. 

Detroit City Council says Belle Isle proposal is dead without changes

"It looks like a plan to turn Detroit’s Belle Isle into a state park has no shot with the Detroit City Council. The plan calls for the city to lease the park to the state for 30 years. The state would take over maintenance and make major, as-yet-unspecified upgrades to the island. But City Council members blasted the plan’s lack of detail. So far, Bing hasn’t laid out a contingency plan for dealing with Council resistance," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Politics & Government
5:55 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Plan to relax alcohol sales in Michigan meets resistance

Michigan Association of Police Chiefs Executive Director Bob Stevenson speaks out against plan to relax liquor sales.
Jake Neher MPRN

A plan to relax the state's alcohol rules is meeting resistance from some public health groups, law enforcement, and businesses. 

Governor Rick Snyder’s administration wants to make it easier for businesses like gas stations and farmers markets to sell alcohol. But a coalition opposing the plan says that could lead to more crime and violence.

Bob Stevenson directs the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. He says police are overburdened enough without expanding the availability of alcohol.

"When all these additional locations are selling alcohol to the motorists that are out there, potentially under-age drivers, we just don’t have the manpower out on the street to adequately police that and make sure they’re following the laws," says Stevenson.

Stevenson’s group also worries about a plan to eliminate fingerprinting for liquor license applicants.

Officials with the Office of Regulatory Reinvention say access to alcohol would not significantly increase under the plan.

Education
1:39 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Michigan schools mull Pledge of Allegiance, US flag bills

file photo
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The time-honored tradition of students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance soon could be enshrined into Michigan law - along with a requirement that every public school classroom have a U.S. flag.

The Michigan Legislature has approved the measures with little resistance, and the flag legislation is heading to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk.

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Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat September 15, 2012

The week in review

David Defoe flickr

This week Rina Miller talks with Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry about State Attorney General Bill Schuette stalling a plan to overhaul the state's public defense system, Governor Rick Snyder's comments about the state focusing too much on four-year degrees, and a possible move to

It's Just Politics
2:30 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

A mixed reaction from Republicans over Snyder's Blue Cross Blue Shield overhaul

Governor Snyder announced his proposal for an overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield this week in Michigan
Photo courtesy of the Snyder Administration

This week on It's Just Politics it’s all about the Blues. Blue Cross Blue Shield, that is. BCBS is, by far, the state’s largest health insurance company. It’s also a state government creation; created by state law. It has its own law, separate from all other insurance companies because it is Michigan’s “insurer of last resort,” meaning that Blue Cross has to take everyone who applies. Its mission: to make sure everyone who wants or needs health insurance in Michigan can get it.

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Education
1:34 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Does everyone need a four-year college degree?

In a speech yesterday, Governor Snyder highlighted the importance of vocational and career training. Do you agree with him?
American Panel

Yesterday, Rick Pluta reported on a speech by Gov. Rick Snyder that called for a reemphasis on vocational and community college education over more  traditional four-degrees.

We posted his story on Facebook, and many of our fans responded with their thoughts. We decided to continue the discussion by sharing some of their comments here.

Facebook fan Karen Hupp Taylor was surprised to find herself agreeing with Gov. Snyder:

I never thought I would see the day I would agree with Governor Snyder, but this is one place that I do. Not everyone should go to college. A lot of young people do because they have been told they will never amount to anything if they don't. Lots of them would like to be carpenters, electricians, and other trades people.

Nothing wrong with a women getting into many of these professions.

So how many women seek this kind of education?

A report by the National Center for Education Statistics notes that participation in vocational education, also known as career and technical education (CTE), is higher for women than men.

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morning news roundup
7:41 am
Fri September 14, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Snyder promotes vocational training

"Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan and the rest of the country lost sight of the value of vocational training as young people were encouraged to get four-year college degrees. The governor spoke Thursday at a business conference in Grand Rapids.  He says too many students have been pushed toward getting four-year college degrees when vocational education or community college might have made more sense. The governor says the result is thousands of jobs in skilled trades go unfilled while people are looking for work. Snyder says he intends to convene a summit of educators and employers early next year to get a better sense of where the demand for jobs is strongest – and use that information to help re-design Michigan’s education system. The governor has also called for stronger integration of pre-school through post-high school education," Rick Pluta reports.

Report finds 17 percent of Metro Detroit youth are not working or in school

"A new report says Metro Detroit has one of the country’s highest rates of youth who are not working or in school. The group Measure of America looked at 16- to 24-year-olds in the nation’s 25 biggest metro areas. It found Metro Detroit had the third-highest rate of so-called “disconnected” youth, at about 17-percent. Only Phoenix and Miami had higher rates. The report recommends universal preschool education, and re-building vocational education programs, as effective ways to fight the disconnection problem," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Public defense overhaul stalled

"The state Attorney General has stalled a plan to overhaul Michigan’s public defense system. The state is consistently ranked as one of the worst in the country for providing defense attorneys to those who can’t afford one. But Bill Schuette’s legislative relations director Alan Cropsey came to the hearing with a long list of concerns about the bill. He says it would open the state to lawsuits, and doesn’t provide enough oversight. Supporters of the bill hope to have another hearing this month," Jake Neher reports.

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Politics & Government
5:27 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Too much emphasis on a four-year degree, says Michigan Governor

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Governor Snyder's office State of Michigan

Governor Rick Snyder said Michigan and the rest of the country lost sight of the value of vocational training as young people were encouraged to get four-year college degrees. The governor spoke today at a business conference in Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Policy Forum.

He said too many students have been pushed toward getting four-year college degrees when vocational education or community college might have made more sense.

“And so we sorta messed up over the past 20 or 30 years, 40 years. We’ve lost the focus on how important those roles are,” said Snyder.

The governor said the result is thousands of jobs in skilled trades go unfilled while people are looking for work.

“How dumb was that? I mean, if you stop and think about it. So we did supply on one chart, demand on another chart, and when everyone knows we need to have one chart where we bring supply and demand together, and create talent, and connect it,” said Snyder.

Snyder says he intends to convene a summit of educators and employers early next year to get a better sense of where the demand for jobs is strongest – and use that information to help re-design Michigan’s education system.

The governor has also called for stronger integration of pre-school through post-high school education.

Offbeat
2:26 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Belle Isle to be overtaken by Photoshopped people?

A glimpse of the disturbing Belle Isle to come - from today's press materials about the proposed Belle Isle agreement.
State of Michigan/City of Detroit

Many Detroiters have long been suspicious of outsiders coming in to control their city, but once they lay their eyes on what Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder have in store for the city's crown jewel, Belle Isle Park, they finally have real reasons to be afraid.

Belle Isle, it appears, will soon be overtaken by Photoshopped people from Pleasantville.

Only Detroiters won't have the pleasure of romping around their Utopia with Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. They'll have to share the park with out-of-proportion picnickers, a cardboard blue heron, and a dancing DNR park ranger.

Politics & Government
1:40 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Details of the proposed Belle Isle agreement

The James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle Park.
Mike Russell wikimedia commons

Today, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder announced a plan to manage and restore Belle Isle. The plan will go before Detroit City Council for approval.

It calls for park operations, maintenance, and improvements to be managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources under a 30-year lease agreement. MDOT would maintain roads and bridges on Belle Isle.

The city of Detroit would maintain ownership of the park.

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Politics & Government
7:22 am
Wed September 12, 2012

Announcement coming this morning on the future of Belle Isle

DETROIT (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing have called a news conference on the future of Belle Isle park, a tattered green gem that has been subject of a city-state power struggle.

Mayoral spokeswoman Naomi Patton says Bing and Snyder will announce a park leasing agreement at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Bing's downtown office.

Proposals for a Michigan takeover of the under-maintained 985-acre park have met fierce opposition from some local officials who call it a state power grab.

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