Education Funding

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed bills into law meant to prevent financial emergencies in schools.

The state and intermediate schools districts (ISDs) now have more power to step in sooner when schools show signs of financial trouble.

Michigan US Senator Gary Peters is joining those in support of today's US Supreme court decision upholding same sex marriage.  Senator Peters said "every year, we move closer and closer to fulfilling the ideals our nation was founded on-equality, freedom and justice."  You can listen to the entire interview here: 


Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says she is pleased with today's US Supreme court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. Listen to her thoughts and reaction in an interview with WEMU.

Ypsilanti storms, tree damaged.
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The sirens blared, winds howled, lightning lit the sky and rains blanketed the area. If the storms awoke you early this morning, that's the environment that existed just beyond your walls.  High winds caused by a suspected tornado caused damage to several residences near Manchester, but also knocked down trees, branches and power lines throughout the region. 

A recent report could serve as a blueprint for overhauling the state corrections system and saving taxpayers money. It aligns with Governor Rick Snyder’s plans to save money on prisons, not winning support from the Legislature is a different story.

Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A plan to boost road funding by about $1 billion a year could clear the state House this week. House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) is pushing a plan that would rely mostly on shifting existing funds in the state budget and expected revenue increases in the coming years. 

Michigan would give police less freedom to seize and sell property under bills making their way through the state Legislature. The state House approved the bills on Thursday with wide bipartisan support.

Bake Sale Michigan
Creative Commons/ Flickr / joelorama

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill that will allow student groups to sell baked goods in school to raise money.

New federal guidelines adopted by the Michigan Department of Education limited the kinds of food that could be sold in school. Several groups complained that the guidelines hindered their ability to fundraise.

Some Democrats in the Legislature are renewing their push to increase the minimum wage for workers who earn tips. They say there should be one minimum wage that covers the entire workforce.        

Patrick Bolger

One way to build community and create connections is with storytelling.  The award winning "Kitchen Sisters" are sharing their experience and expertise in this area at a Zing Train speaker series appearance in Ann Arbor. 

Governor Rick Snyder  tells a business conference on Mackinac Island that training and getting people interested in skilled trades is his top economic development priority.       


Michigan wildlife officials say they've detected chronic wasting disease among free-ranging deer in mid-Michigan. Chronic wasting disease is a contagious disease that can decimate deer herds if left unchecked.

Known as Detroit’s “Jazz Ambassador,” Marcus Belgrave's reputation in the jazz world as a musician and human being of the highest caliber was renowned worldwide.  Yet, Marcus always had time for his hometown friends be they in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.

A state elections board has given a green light to a petition drive to ban prevailing wage requirements in Michigan.

The petition language mirrors legislation currently in the state House that would end laws requiring union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects. Those bills appear to be stalled.


Shari Kane and Dave Steele
courtesy of the artist

Warm and delicious as hot buttered cinnamon toast, as easy and relaxed as a rewarding after-dinner talk and as soothing as Sunday morning.  That’s my immediate reaction to Feels Like Home, the new album by Shari Kane and Dave Steele.  It’s a perfect complement to the couple’s first recording, Four Hands Blues.  They continue their loving exploration of classic American music including Piedmont and Delta blues along with mountain gospel, Appalachian ballads and ragtime swing guitar.  What differentiates Feels Like Home from Four Hands Blues is the home setting.  Shari and Dave actually built a home studio and took their good sweet time working through each song as we eavesdrop on their intimate conversation involving call and response from acoustic guitar to mandolin to voice.  

Flickr / jakelv7500

A special state House committee has started to look for ways to pay for roads and transportation after voters overwhelmingly said “NO” to Proposal One. 

Gov. Rick Snyder outlined a public safety agenda on Monday that includes parole and sentencing reforms, job training for inmates, and more help finding a job once they’re released from prison.

Snyder says there are data-driven ways to reduce the state’s prison population without compromising public safety.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that may decide whether thousands of Michiganders can afford health insurance.

The court could strike down insurance subsidies offered under the federal health care law. That’s in states like Michigan where the federal government runs the health care exchange.

Michigan Theater / michtheater.org


Michigan House Democrats

If you look at a map of the pipelines that run through the state of Michigan, it resembles a spider-web. They are everywhere, and more on planned and more are being constructed as we speak.  As we learned in 2010 when a pipeline burst and polluted portions of the Kalamazoo River system, protection of our waterways may be lacking in some areas.   

On Earth Day last month, A group of state lawmakers and the heads of some leading environmental groups publicly announced a package of legislation that aims to address pipeline safety and natural resource protections.  This week, we are talking with Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin about the Pipeline Safety Legislation that he helped introduce.

A "Positive Business Conference" is happening this week at the Ross School of business on the University of Michigan campus.  I spoke to the "Chief Happiness Officer," Jenn Lim & Co-Founder of Delivering Happiness that will be involved in the event. 

A state Senate committee has adopted a Republican proposal to scrap prevailing union wage requirements on publicly funded construction projects. The bills now go to the Senate floor.

State House Republicans could introduce legislation to boost road funding as soon as this week.

courtesy of the artist

Alberto Nacif, the former and founding host of the program Cuban Fantasy has every reason in the world to be proud of Invisible, the new CD by his Latin jazz ensemble, Aguankó. He joined me in studio to discuss his partnership with fellow percussionist Jose Pepe Espinosa and his deep admiration for Michigan's great musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Rick Roe, Robert Hurst, Russ Miller, Chris Smith and Anthony Stanco. 

Juvenile Prisoner Michigan
Wikimedia Commons

People who were wrongfully convicted would be entitled to $60,000 for each year they spent in prison under legislation unveiled Thursday at the state Capitol.