michigan

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a budget-cutting executive order, and presented a spending plan for the coming fiscal year. Schools, universities, and local governments were spared cuts as part the order to help clear away a deficit.


The Michigan Senate provides a live, unedited video feed of Legislative sessions and special events and you can view it right here:

Solar Energy
courtesy Michigan Solar Solutions

53rd District State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D)-Ann Arbor discussed the Energy Freedom package of bills he is co-sponsoring and what he would like to see set as the new mandate for the state's Renewable Energy Standard. 

 

Grey Wolf
WikiMedia Commons

  The state Senate is urging Congress to end endangered and threatened species protections for gray wolves in Michigan. It passed the resolution Tuesday on a mostly party-line vote.

Michigan has been debating for about two years whether to allow a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula. That question was recently put to rest when a federal judge ordered Michigan wolves back on the endangered species list, along with wolves in two other states.

Washtenaw County's efforts to end homelessness are meeting with some success. Local officials have released the results of last month's Point In Time count of the local homeless population. The report indicates that the number of homeless individuals has dropped significantly from 2013.

    

A state appeals court judge has ruled there was no violation of Michigan’s open meetings act when the state Capitol was closed while the Legislature debated and voted on a right-to-work law. Judge Deborah Servitto dismissed the lawsuit without allowing the case to go to trial.

Democratic lawmakers and union activists filed the challenge. They wanted the law thrown out because two years ago, Republican leaders and the State Police ordered the doors to the Capitol locked as the Legislature debated and voted on the controversial legislation.

  Democratic state lawmakers are again hoping to allow no-reason absentee voting in Michigan.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has said recently that more people who have died or moved out of state must be removed from the state’s voter registration database before lawmakers will agree to stop putting conditions on who can vote absentee.

Michigan teens would be able to pre-register to vote under a proposal in Lansing.

The measure would allow 16 and 17 year olds to fill out their voter registration paperwork when they get their driver’s licenses. The state would mail their voter cards when they turn 18.

An economic study says the May ballot proposal to raise the state sales tax could also collectively cost Michigan taxpayers $100 million more in federal income taxes.

The ballot proposal would raise the state sales tax by a penny on the dollar.

Michigan teens would be able to pre-register to vote under a proposal in Lansing.

The measure would allow 16 and 17 year olds to fill out their voter registration paperwork when they get their driver’s licenses. The state would mail their voter cards when they turn 18.

“It’s another way of making government much more efficient,” said state Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren. “It saves people in lines at secretary of state offices. It saves more correspondence going to the secretary of state’s office. It makes it a much easier process.”

An economic study says the May ballot proposal to raise the state sales tax could also collectively cost Michigan taxpayers $100 million more in federal income taxes.

        

The ballot proposal would raise the state sales tax by a penny on the dollar.

A check by state health officials over the past year found an uptick in the number of retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors. The Department of Community Health Survey found 18 percent of retailers sold tobacco to minors. That’s a seven percentage point jump from two years ago.

Jennifer Smith of the Department of Community Health says the state plans to step up education and enforcement efforts.

Online shoppers in Michigan could see a sales tax added to their purchases starting next October.

The legislation is now in front of Gov. Rick Snyder.

Supporters say it would end an unfair advantage for retailers such as Amazon.com over stores located in Michigan.

“What really pushed it over the line is the amount of companies that are doing business online,” said Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake. “And you have all the brick-and-mortar people that are dying.”

Michigan high school juniors will take the SAT instead of the ACT starting in spring 2016. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced the switch on Wednesday.

The state has provided a free college entrance exam for eleventh graders on the state’s standardized test for several years.

The College Board – the company that administers the SAT – won a three-year, $17.1 million contract.

MDE spokesperson Martin Ackley says the SAT will be a better test that will save the state money.

State officials are reporting what they say is a small natural gas leak in a pipeline in the Upper Peninsula that’s owned by Enbridge Energy.

Brad Wurfel of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says the leak near Manistique was discovered, reported, and fixed by Enbridge. He says there was a small amount of liquid natural gas
released, but it quickly evaporated. 

“The good news is there’s no lingering environmental damage to discuss with this incident,” he said. 

Semis
Jake Neher / Michigan Public Radio Network

A group of semi-truck drivers made some noise Tuesday outside the state Capitol.

Several 18-wheelers circled the building with horns blaring to protest legislation that would increase fines and fees for overweight vehicles. It’s likely to be part of a compromise plan to increase funding to fix Michigan’s roads.

Supporters of a religious freedom bill in the state Legislature are pushing back against recent criticism. The legislation is meant to protect religious practices against state and local government interference.

Opponents of House Bill 5958 say it would make it easier for people and businesses to discriminate. For example, they claim emergency medical workers could legally refuse to treat LGBT people.

Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The state Senate will meet for a rare Monday session to kick off the final week of the Legislature’s “lame duck” session.

The goal is to get a head start on finding a compromise plan to boost road funding. 

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says he also wants to hold votes this week on easing legislative term limits.

  Lisa Wozniak, the Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, speaks with Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network about money that poured into our state during the latest election cycle.

The long election campaign season has come to an end, and the November 4th mid-term elections are behind us. WEMU is your source with the best local coverage on issues that matter to you, and we have provided you updates on all the elections and results right here.

Brian Calley
Wikipedia Media Commons

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley highlighted a change in culture in the state while speaking at the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber's Headline Lunch today.  He expects more progress if voters re-elect Governor Rick Snyder.


Rick Pluta, Terri Lynn Land
Michigan Public Radio Network

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta sat down with the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Terri Lynn Land  on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014 on our call-in program "Michigan Calling."

She took questions from the Michigan Public Radio Network's statewide audience. 

ycschools.us

The principal at Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School says they're making progress toward climbing out of the bottom 5 percent in the state's top-to-bottom rankings of schools.

 

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education got an update from Charles Raski and other school staffers at Monday night's meeting. 

flickr.com

Audit finds problems with prisoner education programs in Michigan

Wikimedia Commons

  Vice President Joe Biden will mingle with liberal activists next week at the Netroots Nation convention.

Netroots Nation says the vice president has agreed to speak at its annual political conference being held this year in Detroit. The July 17 speech will be the first time Biden has addressed the group.

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