State of Michigan

-Michigan News
4:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Report Details Factors Leading To Inmate Escape

Credit wikimedia commons

AG prison report cites human, technology errors as prime cause of inmate escape

A report by the Michigan Attorney General's office has found both human and technology failures played a part in the prison escape of a convicted murderer.

Michael Elliot slipped out of the Ionia Correctional Facility last February 2 by crawling under fences during a heavy snowfall. He wore white clothes to blend into the snow. He was captured about 24 hours later in Indiana.

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-Michigan News
4:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Former Treasury Secretary Says Foreign Investment Key To Michigan Economy

Paulson (l) and Governor Rick Snyder speak to reporters Monday at Ford Field in Detroit.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network

Henry Paulson tells Michigan to seek out Chinese investment

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says foreign investment and immigration will be critical to turning around Michigan's economy.

The former aide to President George W. Bush spoke before the Detroit Economic Club (DEC) Monday afternoon with Gov. Rick Snyder.

"Make Michigan attractive for investment, period. OK? Make it attractive," said Paulson.

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-Michigan News
5:16 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Hospital Infection Rates May Be Made Available To Public

Credit michigan.gov

State could become more transparent about infection rates at hospitals

The state's top health official says Michigan could be more transparent about how many people get infections while at hospitals.

A recent MLive.com series suggests the state has withheld that information from the public. That includes infection rates at specific hospitals.
    
Jim Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), says that information is becoming more important for many patients.

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-Michigan News
4:30 am
Fri July 18, 2014

New Legal Assistance Available For Veterans And Military

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette introduces new legal guides for veterans and military families Thursday in Detroit.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network

State attorney general's office unveils law guides for vets and military personnel

Michigan veterans and active duty military families now have new resources to help handle legal issues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released two new legal guides Thursday.

"Sometimes trying to help veterans in transition coming back from a deployment, it can get a bit complicated," said Schuette.

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-Michigan News
4:29 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Michigan Attorney General Mum On Medical Marijuana Opposition

Credit michigan.gov

AG Schuette won't give details on his opposition to medical marijuana bills

The state attorney general is not saying why he opposes bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan. Some top lawmakers are now urging Bill Schuette to detail his concerns.

A state House panel approved the two bills this week. House Bill 4271 would let communities allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. House Bill 5104 would also allow patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.

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-Michigan News
6:24 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Medical Marijuana Bills Clear Senate Panel

Credit wikimedia commons

Future of medical marijuana bills uncertain after clearing state Senate panel

Two bills that would ease restrictions on medical marijuana in Michigan are one step closer to becoming law. A state Senate panel approved the legislation Wednesday.

But it is not clear what will happen to the bills now that they are going to the full Senate.

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-Michigan News
4:57 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Non-Union Construction Firms Attack Local Prevailing Wage Laws

Credit abcsemi.com

Non-union builders challenge local wage floors

An association of non-union construction companies has asked the state Supreme Court to strike down local prevailing wage laws. The Associated Builders and Contractors says a state law preempts the ordinances.

Nearly two dozen Michigan communities have their own prevailing wage ordinances. They're supposed to ensure that workers on city-financed projects are paid something close to union wages.

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Michigan News
11:16 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Expansion Of Medicaid Exceeding Expectations

Credit michigan.gov/mdch

Medicaid expansion sign-ups hit one-year target in just four months

In less than four months, Michigan has already hit its 2014 enrollment goal for the state's expanded Medicaid program.

More than 322,000 low-income Michiganders now have government sponsored healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) say the dramatic jump in enrollment will help boost the state's economy.

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Michigan News
5:13 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Audit Points To Failings At Michigan Department Of Human Services

Credit wikimedia commons

Another audit says Michigan has failed to protect vulnerable adults

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is again taking heat for failing to protect vulnerable adults.

A state audit released Wednesday shows the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has mismanaged its Adult Protective Services (APS) program since 2010. Among other things, it says DHS did not adequately train caseworkers and supervisors and failed to investigate complaints of abuse.

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WEMU News
5:12 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Washtenaw County's Representatives In Lansing Do Well On Environmental Scorecard

Credit michiganlcv.org

Washtenaw County's legislative representatives continue to score highly in the Michigan League of Conservation Voters annual Environmental Scorecard.

State Senator Rebekah Warren and Representatives David Rutledge, Jeff Irwin and Adam Zemke all scored 100 percent, while Representative Gretchen Driskell received an 85 percent rating. 

Senator Warren was singled out for her support of legislation to update and increase fees for hunting and fishing licenses.

Find the complete scorecard online:

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Michigan News
8:26 am
Wed July 9, 2014

State Schools Superintendent Has Warning For Charter School Authorizers

Michigan Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan.
Credit michigan.gov/mde

State superintendent predicts institutions will lose ability to charter schools

The top education official in Michigan says there's a good chance some institutions will lose their authority to create charter schools.

That statement comes a day after state Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan said he's ready to use his authority to revoke that ability from charter school authorizers. That's if they fail to meet new standards for transparency set by state education officials.

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Michigan News
4:31 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Good News, Bad News In State Test Data

Credit wikimedia commons

High schoolers' test scores up in all areas, many still not ready for college

Michigan high school juniors are improving in all core academic subjects. That's according to standardized test results released Monday.

The Michigan Merit Exam (MME) is given to high school juniors each year. The data released by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) includes the ACT college entrance exam.

The biggest improvements in the results were in social studies and reading. State education officials credit tougher graduation requirements approved in 2006.

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WEMU News
3:29 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Irwin Blasts Road Funding 'Earmarks'

53rd District State Representative Jeff Irwin (D)
Credit http://053.housedems.com/

A local state representative is among Democrats crying "foul" in Lansing over the latest round of road funding.

The state chose projects that'll receive $115 million in funding based on request from lawmakers, and Democrats complain that most of the work is being done in districts represented by majority Republicans. 

Representative Jeff Irwin says this is what happens when road projects are funded by earmarks rather than by a set formula.

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Michigan News
5:47 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Michigan School Superintendents Want Budget Re-Do

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Superintendents blast education budget

As Michigan schools begin their new budget year this week, some local superintendents are urging lawmakers to return from their summer break to boost education funding.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new education budget last week that boosts funding for all public schools by at least $50 per student. But Forest Hills Schools Superintendent Dan Behm says districts face new costs that wipe out that minimum increase.

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Michigan News
5:47 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Governor Warns Of Possible Prison Food Service Contract Cancellation

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit wikimedia commons

Snyder: Prison food contract troubles are "unacceptable"

Governor Rick Snyder says a deal with a private contractor to provide food for state prisons could be terminated if there are future problems with the company. Aramark Food Services was awarded the $145 million, three-year contract last December. But the arrangement has been beset by problems since then.

Aramark has been fined by the state for unapproved menu changes and running out of food. Also, 70 Aramark employees are banned from state prisons for inappropriate relationships with prisoners.

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Michigan News
8:28 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Home-Aid Workers To Undergo Background Checks

Credit wikimedia commons

Background checks coming for home-aid workers, state can't exclude all felons

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state's Medicaid in-home care program. That's according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

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Michigan News
4:23 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Schauer Speaks Out On Charter School Regulation

Democratic candidate for Michigan governor Mark Schauer.
Credit Facebook.com/ShauerforMichigan

Schauer says he'd push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor

Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he's elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a "free pass."

"We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools," said Schauer. "It's the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads."

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Michigan News
7:40 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Economists: Michigan Didn't Think Ending Public Employee Pensions Through

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Michigan economists warn against ending pensions for public employees

Some economists say Michigan failed to consider the consequences of ending pension plans for public workers.

The state stopped offering pensions to new employees in 1997. Budget officials say that decision has cut Michigan's long-term debt by about $5 billion.

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Michigan News
7:27 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Office To Help Skilled immigrants Find Work In Michigan

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Michigan welcomes office to help skilled immigrants get jobs

Highly skilled immigrants in Michigan now have a new resource to help them find jobs. The national nonprofit organization Upwardly Global opened a new office in Detroit on Monday.

Upwardly Global says immigrants and refugees often have valuable job skills that are in high demand in the United States. But the group says they often still have trouble finding work because of cultural differences.

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Michigan News
4:44 am
Thu June 19, 2014

State Jobless Rate Up Slightly

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Michigan's jobless rate jumps very slightly to 7.5 percent

Michigan's monthly unemployment rate has edged up slightly 7.5 percent. It's a statistically small nudge of one-tenth of a percentage point, and most of the change is attributed to more people looking for jobs.

A one-tenth of a percentage point shift in the unemployment rate represents about 2,000 people, and statistically that's considered virtually unchanged from the month before. The slight bump in the rate is attributed primarily to more people joining the workforce to compete for jobs.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Court Costs May Only Be Ordered For Defendants If Allowed By Legislature

Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit wikimedia commons

MI Supreme Court: Judges can't impose fines for court costs on their own

The Michigan Supreme Court says judges can't order people convicted of a crime to pay the costs to the legal system -- unless it's been specifically allowed by the Legislature.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Official: Snyder Not To Blame For Home Care Flubs

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

State health director says Snyder not to blame for home care failings

Michigan's top health official is defending Gov. Rick Snyder amid claims his administration put in-home care patients in danger.

A new audit shows the state allowed convicted felons to work with vulnerable Medicaid patients. That includes people convicted of Medicaid fraud and violent crimes including assault and murder.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Expanded Medicaid Enrollment Soars

Credit medicaid.gov

Sign-ups for expanded Medicaid program soar over 300,000

More than 300,000 low-income Michiganders have signed up for the state's expanded Medicaid program.

In just eleven weeks, the Healthy Michigan program has almost reached the sign-up goal for its entire first year. State officials say that bodes well for the success of the program.

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Michigan News
3:23 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Audit: State Misspent In-Home Care Funding

Credit wikimedia commons

Audit slams state for $160 million in improper payments for in-home care

Two state departments are under fire for mismanaging a program that provides in-home care for Medicaid patients.

A new audit shows the program has misspent at least $160 million since 2010.

The Michigan auditor general's report says the state also failed to make sure money was actually used to deliver services and that caregivers were qualified.

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Michigan News
4:32 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Governor Requests More Help For Refugees

Credit wikipedia commons

Snyder: More needs to be done to help refugees in Michigan

The number of refugees who have settled in Michigan has grown in recent years - and Governor Rick Snyder says more should be done to help them.

At a town hall meeting at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Snyder called on community leaders to help the state find ways to help refugees.

"It's important that we find ways to help these people - they've gone through terrible circumstances - about making them feel welcome in our country," Snyder told reporters after the town hall.

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