Business Bridge

In partnership with Crain’s Detroit Business, Business Bridge covers the intersection of business, politics and policy across Michigan.


Putting a price on fixing Flint, and cities like it

January 24, 2016 | Chad Halcom, Lindsay VanHulle

More than $100 million in state and federal money already headed toward Flint will help with immediate needs. But replacing aging, lead-based water pipes in Flint and other older cities will take time, and a whole lot more money.

Should medical pot users be protected from job firings?

January 18, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

Under current law, workers registered under Michigan’s medical marijuana law could nevertheless lose their job if pot showed up in a drug test. Employers say such a law would make drug policies difficult to enforce

State budget decisions coming on surplus, less revenue

January 18, 2016 | Lindsay VanHulle

At least some of the windfall will likely be steered toward the state-created water crisis in Flint

When low-wage workers’ problems become a company’s problem

December 14, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A flat tire. Medical problems. No child care. All can lead to missed days for low-paid workers, and cost them a job. But finding new workers is a drag on companies, too. Some are finding that offering help also helps the bottom line.

Grand Rapids company helped forge employee aid program

December 14, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

For more than two decades, Cascade Engineering has scrutinized how to help low-income workers overcome obstacles. Now, companies are pooling resources to hire caseworkers to help workers solve problems and stay in jobs.

Low-income workers must ‘make it stretch’

December 14, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Workers in low-wage positions such as manufacturing often have a difficult time saving enough money to make ends meet.

Supplier aims to give parolees new workplace opportunities

December 14, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Sakthi Automotive Group USA Inc., has hired 25 convicted felons this year as part of its expansion of its Detroit facility, with positive results.

Report: Michigan held down by low income, education

November 21, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

The state’s low unemployment and booming auto sector are countered by low wages across the state and a lack of college graduates in the workforce

Pure Michigan sells its return on investment in new campaign

November 15, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Buffeted by cuts, MEDC is making more of an effort to show Lansing how it is spending advertising money, and what the state will receive in return

State rolls dice on bills that would expand sports betting

November 8, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Allowing sportsbooks and fantasy sports betting in Michigan would bring millions in added state revenue; money that now goes to an underground market. But would these new laws, if adopted, run afoul of federal law?

A bill aims to more fairly split purses at state’s last two racetracks

November 8, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A Senate measure would divide purse proceeds between thoroughbred and harness races tracks. But the tracks’ survival may depend on finding new sources of revenue.

Pension debt could give new Detroit Schools a stumbling start

October 25, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Snyder’s plan for a new Detroit school district would include nearly $100 million in red ink due to debt from employee pensions.

Proposed state bill has doctors, nurses at odds over who can give anesthesia

October 25, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Senate bill is the latest effort to give highly trained nurses more independence to carry out medical care, particularly in rural areas where there is a shortage of physicians.

Michigan Supreme Court hears arguments on prevailing wage law

October 19, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

At issue is whether municipalities have the power to exert local control over what wages they pay to contractors.

Michigan utilities want to end renewable energy mandate

October 12, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Does the success of the state energy mandate make it a no-brainer to keep? Or is it proof that it is no longer needed?

The politics of breast milk, and who can profit

October 5, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Legislation in Lansing wades into the commercialization of breast milk, and a growing battle between nonprofit milk banks and new, for-profit companies willing to pay nursing mothers.

State: Michigan’s energy efficiency program should save customers over $4 billion

October 5, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

The report from the Michigan Public Service Commission says customers get more than a 4-to-1 return on efficiency mandates. The report comes as the legislature is considering phasing out the mandates by 2019.

MEDC adjusts its belt

September 20, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

State agency mulls long-term strategy after budget, job cuts

State road construction industry seeks funding certainty

September 20, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A patchwork of temporary roads fixes makes companies hesitant to invest heavily in Michigan

Traverse City’s dilemma: Why this hot vacation mecca can’t attract young workers

September 13, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Traverse City fears a labor shortage as stagnant wages and the high price of housing are keeping talented millennials from moving in.