State of Michigan

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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Michigan News
4:32 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Michigan, Israel Sign Research And Development Agreement

Gov. Snyder and Israeli Consul General to the Midwest Roey Gilad met in Dearborn on Monday to sign a memorandum of understanding to do joint industrial research and development.
Credit Michigan Public Radio Network

Michigan forges official relationship with Israel on industrial R&D

Gov. Rick Snyder has cemented a formal relationship between Michigan and Israel to collaborate on industrial research and development.

The governor and Israeli Consul General to the Midwest Roey Gilad signed a memorandum of understanding Monday in Dearborn.
    
Snyder says the deal was reached after more than a year of talks with Israeli officials.

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Michigan News
4:47 am
Fri June 13, 2014

State Supreme Court To Hear Two More Medical Marijuana Cases

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court takes two more medical marijuana cases

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear two more medical marijuana cases. Two medical marijuana cardholders want the state's highest court to rule that a voter-approved law shields them from criminal charges.

In both cases, the defendants say the fact that they have medical marijuana cards should protect them from prosecution even if they did not abide by the letter of the law.

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Michigan News
8:43 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Governor Snyder Not Fan Of Restoring MEAP Test

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

Snyder: Restoring MEAP test not his preference

Governor Rick Snyder says he's not giving up on plans to change Michigan's standardized student test. That's despite a provision in the School Aid budget that lawmakers could send to the governor soon. It says schools have to stick with the current test - the MEAP -- for at least another year.

The governor wants the state to use "Smarter Balanced," a new student test that's aligned with the controversial "Common Core" education standards.

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WEMU News
3:06 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Ann Arbor Area Superintendents Blast State K-12 Funding Proposal

Ann Arbor Superintendent Jeanice Swift speaks as other district superintendents and school board members look on.
Credit Andrew Cluley

The Ann Arbor School Board was set to vote on a balanced budget tonight, but the latest proposal for state funding would leave a big hole to fill.

A House Senate committee's proposal would give the district $2.5 million less than Governor Rick Snyder's plan. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift indicated the board will likely still vote on the original budget tonight.

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Michigan News
5:24 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Richardville: More Funding For Film Incentives

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan film incentives to stay at $50 million, Senate leader wants more

The top Republican in the state Senate says he's not satisfied with the amount of money lawmakers have set aside for film and TV productions.

The Legislature is expected to wrap up a state budget this week. It will include $50 million in film incentives. That's the same as last year, but half of that money is now slated to continue into future budgets.

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Michigan News
5:24 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Road Funding Discussions Dredge Up 'Right To Work'

Credit wikimedia commons

'Right to work' part of discussions on roads package

Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats at the state Capitol over road funding may have resurrected the controversy over Michigan's right-to-work law.

There's a lot of deal-making happening in Lansing as the Legislature enters the final days before its summer recess. The two biggest issues are finishing the state budget, and coming up with more than $1.2) billion new dollars a year for roads - Governor Rick Snyder's top priority before lawmakers leave Lansing.

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Michigan News
4:21 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Road Funding Deal May Have To Wait

Credit Andrew Cluley

Gov. Snyder eyes road funding deal this week

Gov. Rick Snyder wants a road funding solution on his desk by the end of this week.

Lawmakers will meet three days this week before they're expected to go on their summer break.

One of the governor's biggest priorities in his first term has been to boost infrastructure spending by more than $1 billion a year. But with political campaigns about to heat up over the summer, a legislative deal still hasn't materialized.

The governor does not want the issue to stay unresolved until the fall - or later.

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Michigan News
7:26 am
Fri June 6, 2014

State Schools Superintendent: Schools' Finances Stabilizing

Credit michigan.gov/mde

Michigan schools' finances "stabilizing," says state superintendent

Late last year, the state's top education official had dire predictions for the finances of Michigan schools. He predicted the number of districts in deficit could reach 100 "before long."

Now, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the situation is stabilizing, and he credits increased funding from the state.

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WEMU News
7:15 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Says Voters Are Disappointed in Governor Rick Snyder

Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Lisa Brown.
Credit markschauer.com

Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate Lisa Brown made a stop in Washtenaw County last weekend to push running mate Mark Schauer's plan to move Michigan forward.

Brown says education is an important issue for the people she spoke with during a visit to Ann Arbor, adding that Governor Rick Snyder has disappointed a lot of people who plan to vote Democratic next time.

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Michigan News
7:57 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

State Working To Improve Fine Collection System

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court names workgroup to improve system for collecting fines

A group of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys goes to work Thursday on finding new and better ways to collect fines and fees from defendants, and to ensure that people are not sent to jail because they don't have the money to pay.

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Michigan News
7:53 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Road Funding Up In The Air In Lansing

Credit Andrew Cluley

Road funding talks in flux at state Capitol

It looked like there might be a wave of bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. Lawmakers recently voted to raise the state's minimum wage and contribute almost $200 million to help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy.

But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore with road funding negotiations in flux.

State lawmakers want to find a way to increase funding for roads in the next couple weeks. That's when they leave Lansing for the summer.

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Michigan News
8:16 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Supreme Court Says Decision To Commute Sentence Final

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

MI Supreme Court says governor cannot un-commute life sentence

The Michigan Supreme Court says a governor cannot take back a decision to commute a prison sentence once the papers are signed and filed.

Matthew Makowski helped plan the robbery of a co-worker in 1988, but was not there when the attempt went awry and Pietro Puma was stabbed to death. Makowski was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the killing and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole, the mandatory sentence.

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Michigan News
8:12 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

'One Parent' Doctrine Struck Down By Michigan Supreme Court

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan Supreme Court strikes down "one parent" doctrine

A Jackson County man will get a trial on whether he gets to keep his kids after a ruling by  the Michigan Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court struck down a policy that allows authorities to limit or terminate both parents' rights to their children when one of them runs into trouble with the law. In this case, the mother lost her parental rights when the couple's newborn daughter tested positive for drugs.

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Michigan News
7:53 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Governor Defends Taxing Of Pensions

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit Michigan.gov

Snyder defends "pension tax" in special message on aging

Gov. Rick Snyder is firing back against critics of his so-called "pension tax."

Snyder gave a special address on aging Monday in Rochester. He used part of the speech to defend his 2011 decision, which ended the practice of exempting pensions from state income tax.

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Community
4:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

LGBT Community Hopeful Michigan Legislature Will Act On Governor's Challenge

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

The local LGBT community is hopeful the state legislature will take Governor Rick Snyder up on his challenge for them to vote on civil rights protections for the LGBT community before the November elections.

Mary Larkin directs Eastern Michigan University's LGBT Resource Center.  She says EMU's LGBT students are a talented bunch who can't wait to get out of Michigan because of the state's outdated civil rights laws. 

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Community
4:15 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Ypsilanti Businesses React To Minimum Wage Hike

Credit pixabay.com

The rising minimum wage doesn't appear to have too many Ypsilanti businesses concerned.

In fact at the Sidetrack Bar and Grill, owner Linda French says she pays her workers at least $10 an hour.  She doesn't think the legislature raised the minimum wage high enough. 

Haab's President Mike Kabat is glad the issue didn't come down to referendum that sought to hike the minimum wage for all employees to $10.10 an hour. 

He says tipped workers may have lost out in the long run under that plan, since they earn a good portion of their income from tips.

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Michigan News
7:46 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Michigan Legislature OKs Minimum Wage Hike

Credit Raise Michigan

Legislature approves $9.25 Michigan minimum wage

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to quickly sign a bill increases the Michigan minimum raise as a petition campaign is about to file signatures to force the wage floor even higher.

That will cap days and weeks of feverish negotiations between Republicans and Democrats and business and labor groups that produced the compromise measure that cleared the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

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Michigan News
8:28 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Michigan House Republicans Prefer No Inflationary Ties To Minimum Wage

Credit wikimedia commons

Republican wants to make sure state minimum wage doesn't get tied to inflation

A bill to boost Michigan's minimum wage would not be tied to inflation if a state House committee chair gets his way.

The legislation would gradually boost the wage from $7.40 to $9.20 an hour over three years. After 2017, it would index the minimum wage to inflation.

That last provision is something House Government Operations Committee Chair Pete Lund doesn't want.

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Michigan News
7:25 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Michigan Senate Democrats Say Road Fix Plan Is A No-Go

Credit wikimedia commons

Senate Democrats do not support plan to fix roads

It looks like efforts to boost state road funding by about $1.4 billion dollars may have stalled in the state Senate. That's after Senate Democrats came out against the plan because it would significantly increase the state's gas tax.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, says increasing the amount people pay at the pump would disproportionately hurt the poor.

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Michigan News
7:24 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Minimum Wage Hearing Planned In State House

36th District Michigan Representative Pete Lund (R)
Credit gophouse.org

Bill boosting minimum wage to $9.20 an hour to get hearing in state House

The debate over raising Michigan's minimum wage moves to the state House Wednesday.

A legislative panel will hear testimony on a bill that cleared the state Senate last week. Senate Bill 934 would gradually increase the wage from $7.40 an hour to $9.20 an hour. After 2017, the minimum wage would rise with inflation.
    
State Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, chairs the panel. He says he's open to the plan - but he has some concerns.

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Michigan News
7:20 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Detroit Bailout Vote Pending In Lansing

Credit wikimedia commons

Lawmakers could cast first votes on Detroit bailout

There could be a first vote Wednesday in the Legislature on an almost 200 (m) million dollar bailout for the city of Detroit. Mayor Mike Duggan was one of those who testified prior to the historic vote. Duggan says, overall, he supports the plan.

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WEMU News
3:05 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Michigan Hosts Virtual Job Fair Wednesday

Credit Bob Eccles

Michigan is using state-of-the-art technology to help people find work without leaving the comfort of their own home.

The state is hosting a virtual career fair Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Joe Quick is the manager of talent programs at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

He says they hope this fair will generate some great connections between employers and qualified talent for these positions.

Here's a link to the virtual job fair:

http://michiganvirtualcareerfair.com

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