Michigan News

A storm that hammered the entire state with hurricane-force winds has left behind an unprecedented number of downed poles and power lines. And that poses a new danger for people still without power with the onset of freezing temperatures.

A coalition of more than 145 environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation groups is speaking out against the Trump administration's widely reported plans to propose massive funding cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Reports say Trump's proposed budget would slash funding for Great Lakes Restoration programs by 97% from $300 million to $10 million.

Michigan's wind-generated power woes are not over yet. 

Major energy providers Consumer's Energy and DTE Energy announced Thursday that more than 800,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity, and many in the dark about when they can expect to get their power back. 

Consumer's Energy spokesperson Terry DeDoes says crews have been working tirelessly throughout the week to restore power to the over 320,000 customers facing interruptions, routinely logging 16 hour days. He says while there has been progress, full power is still a few days away.

The U.S. EPA is making long term revisions to the 25-year-old Lead and Copper Rule. The new rules are expected to come out this year. A top EPA official says one of the biggest changes could be an expensive one.

Because of the water crisis in Flint, city officials now know there are more than 20,000 lead service lines, the water pipes connecting homes to a water main, still buried underground in Flint.

Because of Flint, we know that other cities are now at least trying to figure out how many lead service lines they have and where they’re located.

A group of gun control advocates was at the state Capitol to lobby against a proposal to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

               

Michigan is on its way toward sweeping changes in its criminal justice system. The state House passed a large package of legislation Wednesday. 

In 2014 and 2015, Genesee County saw the largest outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in at least a decade. The outbreak coincided with the city of Flint's switch from Detroit city water to water from the Flint River (and the subsequent lead exposure crisis).

 

If you're trying to understand what the heck this new Republican health care bill would mean for you, you’re not alone.

Let’s do a quick recap: Medicaid is health insurance for really low income people. Under the Affordable Care Act, states including Michigan expanded their Medicaid programs. Suddenly single adults making $16,600 a year were eligible, or a family of four making about $34,000 a year.

Since then, 650,000 Michiganders have signed up for that Medicaid expansion, called “Healthy Michigan.” Researchers say most of those people didn’t have insurance before this.

The state says 38 schools with persistently low test scores might not have to close by the end of the year. At least, not yet. These schools now have 60 days to come up with a turnaround plan using what the state calls a "partnership" model. We wanted to know a little bit more about what that partnership strategy might entail, so we took a trip to Dearborn to find out. 

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering making changes to rules about how complaints against judges are handled. 

And critics say some of the changes would make it harder to go after judges accused of violating the judicial code of conduct.

The Court proposed the changes for consideration on August 11, 2016, and since then has been accepting written comments from the public. The court held a public hearing on the proposal on January 17, 2017.

There are fewer school districts in severe financial peril, according to a quarterly report compiled by the Michigan Department of Education.

 

Michigan uses more tax breaks than most other states

Mar 8, 2017

Michigan uses more tax incentive programs than the average state, according to a new study by the Upjohn Institute.

The report shows that Michigan gives more tax breaks to businesses than most neighboring states. Michigan's total incentives in 2015 were also higher than the national average.

New Michigan roadways may soon be getting the green light. 

This comes after the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) released a report earlier this year, announcing pilot projects to test better and longer-lasting road construction.

The report was presented to legislators this month. Gov. Snyder signed a $1.2 billion road improvement bill in 2015 that recommended the state study new ways to build roads.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder opened a conference on water infrastructure by pointing to Flint’s water crisis as a “warning signal.”

More than 300 water quality experts and water system vendors are in Flint for this week’s conference. The city’s lead-tainted tap water crisis has spurred concern about aging water systems across the country. 

In his keynote address, Gov. Snyder says Flint is not the only bellwether for infrastructure problems.

On Wednesday, a state Senate committee takes up a package of bills to legalize online gambling in Michigan.

Online gambling is currently only legal in two states, Nevada and New Jersey. But several states are considering legalizing it. Supporters say legalizing online gambling could generate more tax revenue, though the difference seen in Nevada and New Jersey has been slight. 

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