Michigan News

MI agriculture commission closer to decision on backyard livestockBy Rick Pluta The Michigan Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development is about to hold its final hearing on a controversial new rule. It would end Right to Farm protections for people who raise chickens and other livestock in residential areas.  The 1981 Right to Farm Act is the state's effort to preempt nuisance lawsuits filed against farmers as more people moved from cities and suburbs to rural areas.

This story comes from the Ann Arbor News. WEMU is following up on the matter, stay tuned for an update.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Office

Democrats say state attorney general not fit to investigate prisoner escape

By Jake Neher

State House Democrats are calling for an independent investigation into a recent prison escape in Ionia.

The state’s Republican attorney general is looking into the escape, including whether recent state budget cuts played a role. But Democrats say Bill Schuette cannot conduct an impartial inquiry because his fellow Republicans in the state Legislature voted for those budget cuts, and citing them as a factor would make Republicans look bad.

Wolf hunt opponents challenge Michigan law

Feb 11, 2014

Wolf hunt opponents challenge Michigan law limiting who can circulate petitions

By Jake Neher (Michigan Public Radio Network)

Right now, only Michigan residents are allowed to collect signatures for ballot campaigns and voter initiatives.

Democrats say state attorney general not fit to investigate prisoner escapeBy Jake Neher 

A goup hoping to end wolf hunting in Michigan says a law banning out-of-state petition circulators is unconstitutional. It filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court challenging the law.

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit says it will file a plan to emerge from bankruptcy next week, just days before a March 1 deadline.

DETROIT (AP) — Officials say diesel fuel that spilled into the Detroit River from a U.S. Coast Guard cutter has been contained.

A campaign to increase Michigan’s minimum wage expects to file its petition language later today with state elections officials. As Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports, the campaign wants to boost the state minimum wage to nine-50 an hour.

Michigan Public Radio Network

About 500 people packed a Michigan State University campus hall Friday to witness President Barack Obama sign the new federal farm bill.

ArtServe Michigan sees some reason to be happy with portions of the Governor's budget proposal. 

Lawmakers Debate Budget, Student Loan Tax Credit

Feb 6, 2014

Michigan Public Radio Network

Governor Snyder sat down with Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta to talk about his budget plan.

Emergency Fund
Tax Credits / Foter / CC BY

Governor Rick Snyder and other Midwestern governors have asked for federal assistance to help ease a shortage of propane gas throughout the region. 

Juvenile 'Lifers' Have No Shot at Parole

Feb 4, 2014
Jail Cell
spaceyjessie / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

So-called "juvenile lifers" in Michigan would not get a chance at parole under a bill approved Tuesday by the state House. That's unless the Michigan Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court rule otherwise.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Kenny Martin finally hit his limit. He's a mailman working out of the Walled Lake post office northwest of Detroit. Despite that northern location he wears shorts all year around. He gives the Detroit Free Press a simple explanation, quote, "I hate pants. They chaffe."

This winter finally broke him. He's put on pants on some of the coldest days though he still likes shorts and adds: I have a very high tolerance for pain. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Governor Rick Snyder Launches Re-election Bid

Feb 3, 2014
Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan's economic recovery is just starting and he wants four more years to finish the job. The governor formally launched his reelection campaign with stops in Detroit, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Day Two of the governor's reelection announcement tour has stops scheduled in Traverse City, Frankenmuth and at Oakland Community College.

Legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage all but ruled out, ballot drive likely
By Jake Neher

Legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage is not likely to go anywhere in 2014.

Republican leaders in the state House and Senate are not eager to take up bills to raise it above $7.40 an hour.

"It's a firm 'no' for me," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. "I think that individual CEOs of companies in Michigan should make those decisions based on the marketplace, not some arbitrary law."

A photo posted by our friends at Michigan's Interlochen Public Radio is so cool we just had to know more about it and about what's going on with the Great Lakes during this extra-frigid winter.

As you'll see, the satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows clouds and snow blowing across the now partially ice-covered Lake Michigan.

Income tax reduction clears committee, goes to full state Senate
By Jake Neher

Plans to reduce Michigan's income tax rate are moving forward in the state Legislature. A state Senate panel approved a bill Wednesday that would phase in the tax cut over three years.

The income tax rate would go from 4.25% to 3.9% by 2017.

"This is a tax on work," said Scott Hagerstrom with the anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity of Michigan. "You want more of something? Tax it less. We want more work and more productivity."

Environmental groups divided over possible tax break for oil and gas companies

By Jake Neher  

Bill would require felons to declare their past if they go into politics

By Rick Pluta and Jake Neher  

The state House could vote soon on a measure to require political candidates to reveal felony convictions that occurred within the prior 10 years. A state House committee approved the legislation today (Tue.) that would require political candidates to declare felony convictions within the past 10 years.   

So my week at the North American International Auto Show is wrapping up. It's my fourth Detroit Auto Show. And boy has it come a long way.

There is a vibrancy and spirit this year that's different than other shows. There's also been a lot more money spent. The tenor of the show is very different than when the federal government had an ownership stake in Chrysler and General Motors.

Campaign to seek Minimum Wage Hike in Michigan

Jan 27, 2014
Jesse f/2.8 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Campaign will try to raise minimum wage
By Rick Pluta

A ballot campaign is organizing to give a pay raise to the roughly 90 thousand Michigan workers who make the state minimum wage of $7.40.

The Raise Michigan coalition says it's looking to boost the state minimum wage to somewhere between $9 and $10.10 and index it to inflation. Tipped employees, such as restaurant servers, would also see a raise.  

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