Rick Snyder

Health Insurance
5:30 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Proposal would change Blue Cross in Michigan

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announces proposed changes to how the state's largest health insurance provider is regulated at a press conference, Tues. Sept. 11. 2012.
Governor Snyder's office State of Michigan

Update 5:30 p.m.

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed an overhaul of the rules covering Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. Blue Cross would have to pay taxes adding up to $100 million a year or more.

But the company could also make changes to its rates a lot more quickly and easily. That would help it compete for business.
    
Andy Hetzel is a vice president at Blue Cross. He says the new federal health care law is changing the insurance marketplace and Michigan needs to keep up.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:59 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Detroit Council ignores Snyder, approves proposed charter amendments for the ballot

Despite opposition from Governor Snyder, the Detroit City Council voted to put four proposed charter amendments on the November ballot.

Detroit and Lansing went through a long, contentious process before the two sides reached a consent agreement to keep the city from going broke.

But that agreement has faced resistance from some Council members.

Read more
Politics & Government
2:18 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Stateside: Gov. Snyder says Michigan could go for Romney

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at a Univ. of Michigan basketball game.
Facebook

Cyndy spoke with Michigan Governor Snyder for Thursday’s premiere show.

The Governor is just back from the Republican National Convention and told Cyndy that he thinks Michigan could go for Republican Mitt Romney in November.

“There are good chances and I told that to their [the Romney] campaign,” Snyder said.

He noted the major sweep for Republicans – both statewide and nationally – in 2010 as an example of the GOP making headways in the state.

Snyder also says he doesn’t plan to say negative things about President Obama during the presidential campaign.

“Public service is a major challenge on anyone,” Snyder said. “We need to partner with the federal government and local government and we want to work in a positive, constructive way. I don’t believe in doing negative activities,and I stick to the positive side of things.”

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

Politics & Government
2:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Democratic challenger says K-12 funding would be top priority in Lansing

Democratic candidate Winnie Brinks stands with Grand Rapids Public Schools' parent Matthew Patulski in front of Stocking Elementary School. The school closed two years ago.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

A political newcomer who’s challenging Democrat-turned-Republican State Representative Roy Schmidt says she’d work to get more funding for K-12 education.

Democrat Winnie Brinks is a case worker at a non-profit organization. At a very sparsely attended press conference (I was the only reporter there) Tuesday she said she's first and foremost as a mother whose main concern is her children’s public education.

Read more
Education
6:46 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Retirement changes signed into law today for Michigan's teachers

Teachers in Michigan will see changes in their retirement packages.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder will sign legislation into law Tuesday that will make some changes to how teachers and other school employees save for their retirement.
    
School employees will have to pay more for their benefits, and those hired after today will no longer get retirement health coverage.

Instead, they will get savings accounts to help them buy insurance once they are done working.
    
Governor Snyder said he understands that many school employees are upset.

“We had to make some reforms to make it fiscally viable and financially sound f or their future, too, in terms of their retirement benefits," said Snyder. "So, it’s a case of us all working together, and sometimes change is tough on people and I appreciate that. We’re just trying to make it something that lasts for the long term for the benefit of all."

Snyder said the new approach will begin to retire a long-term pension liability estimated in the billions of dollars.

He said it will also shore up the state’s credit rating, and ensure taxpayers won’t be saddled with the costs of a bailout years down the road.
    
Teachers unions say the plan breaks promises made to school employees, and went to court on Friday with a legal challenge.

Politics & Government
1:01 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Is it time to reconsider the way Michigan puts referendums and amendments on the ballot?

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan voters should know by September 7th how many statewide ballot questions and referendums will appear on the November ballot.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:01 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Talking 'Positive' at the Republican National Convention

Banners hang in the main terminal building at Tampa International Airport greeting people coming to town for the Republican National Convention
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s governor says he’s bringing his message of “relentless positive action” message to this week’s Republican National Convention.

“Positive” is not usually a word associated the rhetoric at national political conventions.

But Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who’s made “relentless positive action” the mantra of his administration, hopes that’s not the case at the Republican National Convention which opens Monday in Tampa.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:53 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Court of Appeals weighs in on "Protect Our Jobs" ballot question

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals hears arguments tomorrow over whether a ballot initiative to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution should be on the November ballot.

Read more
Transportation
4:23 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Calley: Ballot question would not stop bridge project

The Ambassador Bridge, seen from above
Elaine Ezekiel Michigan Radio

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says a ballot proposal to require the public to vote on a new international bridge in Detroit won’t stop the project. But he says it could put a halt to future infrastructure projects, including a badly needed upgrade to a rail tunnel in Detroit.

Calley says Governor Rick Snyder’s deal with the Canadian government to build a new international bridge in Detroit pre-dates the ballot question. But he says there are other international crossings in Michigan.

“As we look at Sault Sainte Marie, we look at Port Huron, and we look at the rail tunnel where cargo goes back and forth between our nations, there will likely be a need for expanded transportation options all along our border, and all this does is limit that," he said.

The amendment would require a statewide vote to use public resources on an international bridge or tunnel.

The ballot campaign is financed largely by the Ambassador Bridge company, which is trying to stop a competing span. A spokesman says it would not affect the privately owned Detroit rail tunnel, unless tax dollars were used for the upgrade.

Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Court of Appeals says Governor can privatize nursing assistants at home for veterans

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
Michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to save money by privatizing nursing assistants at a state-run home for veterans is legal. The state’s Court of Appeals issued the decision Friday.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two state-run hospitals for vets in Michigan. More than 700 are housed there.

Governor Rick Snyder privatized about 170 nursing assistants at the home last year to save around $4 million.

Read more
News roundup
7:45 am
Fri August 3, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

News roundup for Friday, August 3rd, 2012
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Boost for Detroit neighborhoods, schools

Governor Snyder was in Detroit yesterday to kick off an intensive neighborhood stabilization effort. It will focus on 3 neighborhoods, anchored by 9 Detroit schools.  Sarah Cwiek reports:

The effort kicked off outside Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit’s Morningside neighborhood, on the city’s east side. Morningside is one of three communities that will get state help to demolish the abandoned homes dotting the neighborhood, and clean up the area. Lansing also plans to send in some state police patrols, and will put social workers in the neighborhood schools.

Governor Snyder says Detroit must strengthen its neighborhoods if the city is to truly come back.

“That’s the goal. We’re doing this because we believe it will work, and we want to get good experience and do continuous improvement, and then continue to ramp up the program.”

The state is putting $10 million into the effort so far, and Snyder says more could become available. City officials say the state helps supplement existing blight eradication programs.

 Republican Senate candidates hold primary season debate

Three Republicans running for their party’s U.S. Senate nomination appeared together yesterday in their only televised debate of this primary season. Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra, charter school executive Clark Durant, and former judge Randy Hekman are running. Rick Pluta reports:

Read more
Politics & Government
7:59 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Targeted Detroit neighborhoods, schools get major boost

A house about to be demolished in the Morningside neighborhood.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan, the city of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools have launched an intensive effort to stabilize some city neighborhoods.

The targeted interventions focus on three major areas around a total of nine schools across the city.

The effort officially kicked off Thursday afternoon outside Clark Preparatory Academy in Detroit’s Morningside neighborhood, on the city’s east side. Other targeted areas include the communities around Bagley and Bates schools in northwest Detroit, and several schools including the Roberto Clemente Academy in southwest Detroit.

Read more
Offbeat
1:03 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Pushed for 'poundage,' Michigan Governor Snyder evades weight question

Michigan Gov. Snyder gets cagey on subject of weight loss.
Facebook

For a Governor who creates online "dashboards" to measure goals he has set for the state, he gets a little evasive when it comes to one of his goals.

Last fall, Mr. Snyder called Michigan's system of health care "a broken system."

He said too many people in the state smoke, are overweight, and don't exercise.

To set a good example, Snyder said his goal was to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year.

Some time has passed since that speech, but I thought we should check in on the goal. Michigan Radio reporter Lindsey Smith sat down with Governor Snyder yesterday and put the question to him.

Here's his answer:

"I've lost some, but not enough," said Snyder. When Smith pushed for "poundage," Snyder wouldn't give it up.

It looks like his weight goal has gone the same way as another goal he set for the state in that speech last fall. He asked the legislature to set up a state health care exchange under the federal health care law: so far, this goal is out of his control.

Economy
6:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Governor Snyder planning another trade mission to Asia

Governor Rick Snyder said this afternoon his office is planning a trade mission to Asia. 

Governor Snyder went on an 8-day trip to China, South Korea and Japan last fall. He says two new economic investments – one in Ann Arbor and one in Saginaw – are a direct result of that trip. Now he’s planning to go back to Asia to strengthen business ties there.

Read more
Environment
9:00 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Just how much land should the state of Michigan own?

Bug Girl Flickr

Of all the land in Michigan, the state owns a little less than 7 and a half percent.  That’s about four and a half million acres. And, some people think that’s too much. Some people think it’s not enough. Regardless, every few years, there’s a new call to take a look at how much land is owned by the state, and how it’s being used.

Governor Snyder signed a law recently that limits how much land the state can acquire while the state Department of Natural Resources conducts a study of what the state has and how it’s used.

“The state itself owns millions of acres of land, let alone cooperating with the private sector and there’s no cohesive strategy on how we manage our resources for both terrestrial things like – land-based things, but also aquatic. So one of the things I’d like to see in the special message is setting the framework of how we’re going to evolve over the next few years to have comprehensive strategy for how we’re going to manage land and aquatic resources in the state of Michigan," the Governor said recently.

Read more
Politics & Government
10:06 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Rhetoric heats up over Belle Isle; growing rift between Detroit and Lansing?

Dave Bing and Rick Snyder at a groundbreaking in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Signs of a widening rift between Detroit and state officials cropped up Tuesday, as rhetoric heated up over what’s going to happen to Detroit’s Belle Isle.

According to news reports, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said he’s rejected the state’s proposed offer to lease Belle Isle for 99 years.

A provision in Detroit’s consent agreement with Lansing provides for creating park funding for Belle Isle, while ensuring continued City ownership by designating  Belle Isle as part of a cooperative state relationship with Milliken State Park” on Detroit’s riverfront.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:59 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Snyder: Locals should not expect money from state to help with election cost

Gov. Rick Snyder says local governments in the 11th Congressional District should not expect the state to help cover the costs of a special primary to replace Congressman Thad McCotter.  
    

Read more
Health
3:28 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Snyder says he’s still willing to work with Legislature on health care law

Gov. Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan Facebook.com

Gov. Rick Snyder says he’ll continue to push the Legislature to create a place online to comparison shop for health insurance. The health care exchanges are an element of what’s required under the federal healthcare law that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    
Republican leaders in the state House say they’re in no hurry and plan to hold hearings before making their next move. The governor says time is growing short to comply with the law, and the state risks losing its share of federal funds to enact its exchange.

Read more
Transportation
5:35 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Gov. Snyder: Ambassador Bridge bomb threat exposes need for new crossing

The Ambassador Bridge
user Patr1ck Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Rick Snyder says last night's bomb-threat that closed the Ambassador bridge for hours provides another reason to build a second bridge.

Last week, when a similar bomb-threat closed down the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, Michigan Radio's Lester Graham had his mind 1.5 miles down river, on the Ambassador Bridge. 

Read more
Education
2:24 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Superintendent: School funding reform should include early childhood, college

Mike Flanagan
Mike Flanagan Twitter.com

The state’s education chief says money for early childhood education and community colleges needs to be part of fixing Michigan’s school funding system. Mike Flanagan is the Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction and leads the state Department of Education.

He spoke today at the first public hearing held by Governor Rick Snyder’s workgroup that’s devising a school funding proposal. The governor wants a system that rewards proficiency.
    
Flanagan says that won’t happen if the state doesn’t find a way to offer universal early childhood learning.

"We spend a billion dollars per grade and we spend nothing on early childhood, and we wonder why the results are exactly the same, and we blame the teachers, we blame the state superintendent, we blame the parent for not reading to them enough, and the bottom line is, we should blame the system first and foremost," he said.

Flanagan says every student should also be guaranteed a year or two of community college or its equivalent.  
    
The school funding workgroup will spend the summer working on its recommendations.

Pages