Michigan Government

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

Grand Rapids seeks to raise African-Americans’ stake in marijuana boom

March 26, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Minority communities have borne the brunt of marijuana arrests. Now that pot is legal in Michigan, the city is giving priority to residents in lower-income communities seeking to profit from licensed businesses.

Whitmer’s plan to raise business tax a hard sell to Michigan Legislature

March 22, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Democratic governor says the increase will likely be offset by tax relief elsewhere. Critics say that’s unlikely and warn that higher taxes will reverse gains Republicans attribute to business-friendly reforms from 2011.

Study: More Michiganders struggle to afford basic needs

March 20, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A new study of the working poor in Michigan, from the Michigan Association of United Ways, suggests that more people, particularly seniors, are finding it difficult to afford necessities such as housing, child care and transportation.

Michigan House approves records transparency for Legislature and Governor

March 19, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Following unanimous House approval, the bipartisan package will now move to a Senate committee, where it could face headwinds.

Proposed repeal of Michigan ‘pension tax’ prompts fairness debate

March 19, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Supporters of repealing a 2011 tax on some retirement income say seniors were asked to shoulder more of the state’s income tax burden to offset a business tax break. Advocates for keeping the tax say it treats all retirement income equally.

Here’s how Michigan should spend Bloomberg’s $10 million to fight opioids

March 15, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg invests $10 million for “high impact” solutions. Experts tell Bridge Magazine where investment would help most.

Bills to improve Michigan transparency still have loopholes, critics say

March 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Transparency advocates say the FOIA package would be a big step forward for the state, but push back on loopholes still present in legislation.

For cash-strapped police in Michigan, asset forfeiture bills could be a blow

March 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Whether the concern is personal liberty or social justice, legislation reining in police property seizures is a bipartisan priority in Lansing. Some law enforcement agencies are not happy.

Analysis: Gretchen Whitmer's budget banks on Michigan GOP backing one historic tax hike

March 5, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is based on a series of interlocking monetary moves to fund roads, schools, cleanups and more. The Rube Goldberg-like plan is certainly bold, drawing a mix of admiration and caution.  

Six big proposals in Gretchen Whitmer’s first Michigan budget

March 5, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The new governor urges a state spending increase of 3.6 percent, with the centerpiece a 45-cent gas tax hike. She also proposes spending more for schools and to protect drinking water. The budget will test bipartisan pledges with state Republicans.

College advocate tapped by Whitmer as education adviser

March 4, 2019 | Ron French

Brandy Johnson, founder and executive director of the Michigan College Access Network will bring a college and career focus to the new administration, and a history of “getting stuff done.”

Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to fix Michigan roads: Nearly triple gas tax

March 4, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Mike Wilkinson

The Democratic governor wants to add 45 cents atop Michigan’s 26.3 per gallon tax on gas. She’ll propose doing so when she unveils her first state budget proposal Tuesday. Republicans already are criticizing plan.

Is this the year Michigan joins the rest of America on public records?

March 4, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

Michigan is one of only two states that exempt the Legislature and the Governor’s office from public records requests. Attempts to change the state’s FOIA act have failed year after year.

Michigan businesses to Whitmer: Focus on talent, stay consistent on taxes

March 4, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited local chambers of commerce and small businesses to promote her administration’s policy vision. Here’s what businesses want to see from Lansing while she’s in office.

Whitmer kills Michigan marijuana licensing board in favor of new agency

March 1, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan’s medical marijuana licensing board has been criticized as too slow at approving licenses. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to abolish it and replace it with a new regulatory agency meant to speed up the process.

Michigan roads are a big mess. Here are eight big ideas to fix them.

March 1, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Reform Proposal A? Raise the sales tax? Boost taxes on rich? As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prepares to unveil her first budget, Lansing officials say it’s time to think big to fix Michigan’s big problems.

Jeep plants a big win for Detroit. But expect debate about tax incentives

February 26, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Public officials cheer major investment in city to bring 5,000 jobs. But Detroit and state officials have 60 days to assemble land and present an incentives package to FCA.

Look to sales tax on gas to help fix Michigan roads, report suggests

February 26, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A new analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan offers suggestions to state policymakers looking at ways to pay to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

Will Michigan cities keep vow to cut legacy debt? New law lacks teeth

February 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Experts concede a new Michigan law on pension and retiree health debt has no real enforcement powers on communities that refuse to tackle this significant problem on their own.

That’s a wrap. Michigan gerrymandering case now in hands of three judges

February 23, 2019 | Joel Kurth

More than 650 pages of arguments filed by parties in hotly disputed case over whether Michigan political districts that have favored Republicans are unconstitutional.

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