Public Sector

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.

Articles

The latest on what key Snyder aides knew about Flint and when

March 1, 2016 | Bridge Staff

The release of additional Snyder administration emails reveals yet more aides to the governor who were alert to potential dangers in Flint’s water long before emergency measures were taken.

Three ways Snyder emails may foretell Michigan’s future

March 1, 2016 | John Bebow

Snyder administration emails on the handling of the Flint water crisis point to some big policy decisions facing the state.

After decades of failure, will metro Detroit pass mass transit this year?

February 23, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Southeast Michigan has tried, and failed, to craft a functional public-transit system that works – many times. Leaders hope the RTA’s master plan, to be revealed this spring, will turn the tide

In Cleveland, they built it, and riders came, along with a whole lot more

February 23, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

The lessons of Cleveland’s HealthLine bus rapid transit are many, including the need for wide community support for the project to succeed. But officials say the return on investment has been worth it

Before Flint, a Detroit-area water warning system was allowed to crumble

February 16, 2016 | Chad Selweski

A state-of-the-art water contaminant warning system protected more than 4 million people in southeast Michigan. But a few years back, communities began to pull out of the network, to save money. After Flint, was that a mistake?

What Flint lost

February 16, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

After more than a year of misinformation, Flint residents say they can no longer trust anything the government tells them. Paranoia? Or history?

Signs of trouble at MDEQ, years before Flint lead crisis

February 10, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

A 2010 federal audit expressed concern about shortcuts Michigan’s drinking water safety program was taking to save money. An expert testifying before Congress today concludes from the audit that water safety regulation in Michigan is “more broken than we think.

Snyder urges state to approve $28 million for Flint water crisis

January 21, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Rick Snyder used his State of the State speech to personally apologize for government’s failure to protect Flint residents from lead-poisoned drinking water, and pledge long-term support for those impacted

City blues: MSU study finds state tax policies cripple cities

November 17, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

Even as Michigan's economy grows, cities struggle against tax limits that a study concludes help choke their recovery.

Poll: Michigan voters strongly favor state prison reform

October 13, 2015 | Ron French

Voters back bipartisan efforts to lower Michigan’s prison population, in part by helping prisoners get job training so they can support themselves and are less likely to return to prison.

‘Clean slate’ law for offenders could be boon for business

October 13, 2015 | Ron French

A bill being introduced in Lansing would wipe criminal records for those nonviolent offenders who stay out of trouble, making it easier for them to get jobs.

Michigan prison reform gaining momentum in fall session

September 24, 2015 | Ron French

A measure that would make it easier for inmates to gain earlier release could be the first of several bills to reduce the state’s prison population.

Environmental groups see route to block Michigan highway expansion

September 3, 2015 | Andy Balaskovitz

Watchdog groups accuse MDOT of relying on outdated projections of traffic volume to justify expensive expansion projects. Federal courts have ruled in favor of such groups in other states.

In Michigan heroin epidemic, deciding whose lives are worth saving

September 1, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

With heroin and prescription drug abuse at historic levels, lawmakers are pushing for wider access to naloxone, a life-saving antidote, for some drug abusers.

Map: Heroin deaths by county in Michigan

September 1, 2015 | Bridge Staff

Overdose deaths as the result of heroin or other opioid addictions have quadrupled in recent years across Michigan, often primed by abuse of prescribed painkillers.

An accident runner, a chiropractor, and the push to curb no-fault insurance

August 25, 2015 | Nancy Derringer

The insurance industry cites schemes involving morally flexible lawyers and overactive doctors as reason to curb Michigan’s no-fault law. Critics say Lansing’s “reform” legislation would hurt the most seriously injured.

43,000 Michigan prisoners: Who should we cut loose first?

August 20, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

Reform advocates agree that Michigan could save millions by reducing its prison population, a cost that has risen seven-fold over three decades. But with politics never far from the surface, can policymakers agree on who doesn’t belong?

Hell freezes over - GOP and ACLU push prison reform

August 20, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

An unexpected coalition of conservatives and progressives is forming around finding ways to reduce Michigan’s costly prison population

Will Michigan defy Obama on lifting Iran sanctions?

August 11, 2015 | Chad Selweski

As President Obama tries to sell Congress and the U.S. people on a nuclear deal with Iran, legislators in Lansing are pushing for ratcheting up state-level sanctions to discourage companies in the state from doing business with Iran.

Father of Michigan fireworks law says he has no regrets

July 14, 2015 | Chad Selweski

Harold Haugh has been vilified for helping to legalize high-powered fireworks in Michigan. He says the law has proved an economic boon to the state.

Pages