Business Bridge

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


Lansing battle lines being drawn with competing energy bills

September 8, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A House bill expected to be introduced this week would offer more protections for renewable energy producers. Supporters of a competing Senate measure say their approach takes Michigan out of the process of picking winners and losers.

Swearing, sex and the path to a roads deal

August 31, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Lansing is getting rid of antiquated criminal laws and addressing the Courser and Gamrat mess. But a roads fix must wait until the fall.

Online state lottery games spark feud with tribal casino operators

August 24, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gun Lake Tribe stops payments to protest state’s expansion into online gaming, which the tribe says violates compact. If other tribes follow suit, MEDC funding put at risk.

Michigan municipalities learn tough lessons on tax incentives

August 24, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Some communities have learned that extending economic incentives to companies can carry risks

Pew: Lessons from Detroit’s bankruptcy for other struggling cities

August 18, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Pew Charitable Trusts argues that early state intervention is critical when municipal fiscal troubles first appear.

Severe weather takes toll on Michigan tourism

August 10, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A wicked recent storm along with several harsh winters have hurt the bottom line for lodging, retail, fruit crops in northern vacation retreats.

1-in-10 Michigan workers now collecting disability

August 6, 2015 | Chad Halcom

Disability rolls surge past 500,000 workers, who are unlikely to return to the workforce. Critics claim Michigan’s system is too soft.

Expanding benefit rolls drains federal trust fund reserves

August 6, 2015 | Chad Halcom

At current rates, money marked for workers with long-term disabilities will be exhausted by the 2016.

MSU survey: Consumer confidence in state near all-time high

July 30, 2015 | Tom Henderson

Snyder’s approval rating slips while Obama’s climbs.

Community colleges seek state OK to give bachelor’s degrees

July 19, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Senate bill to expand the four-year degree offerings by community colleges faces stiff opposition from the state’s 15 public universities.

Should electric vehicle owners pay higher fees to help fund state roads?

July 19, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A state House bill is proposing EV owners pay up to $100 more in registration fees to help fund the state’s roads plan. Automakers counter that buyers should be given incentives to buy alternative-fuel cars, not penalties.

State roads legislation getting bumpier than the roads that need fixing

July 16, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

House Republicans adjourn for the week after failing to square their measure with a bill passed by the Senate.

Turf war: Community colleges want to offer more 4-year degrees

July 13, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Senate proposal would allow community colleges to offer bachelor degrees in nursing and other fields. State universities push back.

House summer plans including watching Senate’s move on road funding

June 21, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Critics say legislative leaders should be meeting now with Gov. Snyder to hash out permanent roads fix for Michigan. But House prefers to wait to see what the Senate comes up with first.

Bill would ban questions, discrimination over contraceptive use

June 21, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Democrats introduced the bill to prevent employers from discriminating against workers or potential hires over the issue of birth control.

Debate rages on whether ‘prevailing wage” repeal would save state money

June 15, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

A 2013 report promising more than $200 million in annual savings from a repeal has drawn criticism and some backtracking by its author. Republican leaders, defying Gov. Snyder, are pressing ahead with a ban.

Pot proponents pass petition process

June 15, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Two state groups seeking to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana in Michigan have received approval for their petition language from the Board of State Canvassers.

Mackinac notes: A train to Traverse City; road funding; MEDC cuts

June 1, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Wish lists and bottom lines at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Crain’s poll: Despite optimism, Detroit-area businesses not bullish on hiring

May 28, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Nearly 6-in-10 businesses surveyed said they expect to maintain current employment levels over the next year

Bill banning setting of local minimum wage sparks partisan divide

May 26, 2015 | Lindsay VanHulle

Democrats accuse Republicans of going back on their support for local government control; Republicans say allowing local governments to set their own minimum wages would create a patchwork that discourage business investment.