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Michigan News

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.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.  

“Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

State sees record revenues from medical marijuana program, but fewer caregivers
By Jake Neher

State officials are reporting record revenues from Michigan's medical marijuana program last fiscal year. They say the state took in almost $11 million dollars. That's up about $1 million from the year before, and $7 million more than it costs the state to oversee the program.

Push for Part-Time State Legislature Begins

Jan 24, 2014

Campaign launches effort to make the state Legislature part-time

By Jake Neher

Michigan voters could see a question on the November ballot this year asking them to make the state Legislature part-time.

The Committee to Restore Michigan’s Part-Time Legislature has turned in petition language to the state Bureau of Elections.

Snyder breathes new life into balanced budget amendment efforts

By Rick Pluta

It took a push from Governor Rick Snyder, but efforts to put Michigan on record as supporting a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution are moving again at the state Capitol. Governor Snyder supported the idea last week in his State of the State address. Today (Thu.), a state House committee held its first hearing on two resolutions calling on Congress to convene a convention of the states to draft a balanced budget amendment. 

“Right-to-work for lawyers” bill introduced in Lansing

By Jake Neher

Attorneys would no longer be required to pay membership dues to the State Bar of Michigan under a new bill in Lansing.

In 2012, the state made it illegal to require workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, making Michigan the 24th right-to-work state.

Statewide Teacher Evaluations Debated in Lansing

Jan 22, 2014

Bipartisan legislation in Lansing would create a statewide system to evaluate teachers and school administrators. The evaluations would be based partly on student growth and standardized tests.

State Jobless Rate Drops

Jan 22, 2014
pjbaldes / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point last month to eight-point-four percent.

Snyder announces plan to shield DIA assets from Detroit bankruptcy

By Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder has proposed committing up to $350 million to help mitigate cuts to Detroit pension benefits – as well as keep assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts off the auction block.

The state’s offer would play out over 20 years and would match money raised from private donations to make sure DIA paintings, sculptures, and other works of art don’t get sold off to pay pension benefits that are central to the bankruptcy negotiations.

lynnefeatherstone / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Michigan’s top transportation official is blasting state lawmakers for all but giving up on passing a long-term road funding fix this year.

State lawmakers return to Lansing this week with Governor Rick Snyder’s policy goals for 2014 in hand. But few are optimistic they’ll be able to pass legislation to boost road and infrastructure funding before the November election.

Snyder renews call for “civility” in MLK Day address

By Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder used a Martin Luther King Day speech to call for more public civility. His remarks come as a state Republican leader continues to roil his party with comments about gay people and Muslims.

Republican Party leaders say opposition to the Affordable Care Act is their No. 1 campaign issue for the midterm election.

For months, the 50th anniversary 2015 Ford Mustang was cloaked in secrecy. But an upcoming car can't stay in the garage forever. It has to undergo rigorous testing, and that means taking it out in traffic to monitor its handling on roads across the U.S.

To keep the redesign out of the public eye before December, Ford completely covered the car with camouflage.

"Underneath that material is a whole science and art, all-in-one," says Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak. "They're creating a new exterior over the exterior."

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