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

Gerrymandering settlement would give Michigan Dems hope, GOP despair

January 23, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is drawing fire from Republicans, who say she’s trying to ‘rig elections to favor Democrats’ with a deal to end a suit over redistricting.

Whitmer administration changing tone around Michigan marijuana regulation

January 22, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The Democratic governor is signaling a less restrictive approach to pot licensing than under Gov. Rick Snyder. Critics say she will be held accountable for any downside to the state’s pot laws.

Six things to know about the federal government shutdown in Michigan

January 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Jim Malewitz

From food assistance to weather forecasts, the ongoing shutdown in Washington is beginning to have an impact on Michigan, which could become more profound if closed government extends into February.

Michigan secretary of state wants to settle gerrymandering lawsuit

January 17, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Jocelyn Benson seeks to settle the lawsuit that labeled the state’s legislative districts unfair. A settlement could pave way for new districts to be drawn for the 2020 election.

Michigan laws shield details of $10M grant to help ex-Republican chair

January 17, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Last month, lawmakers approved funding to help a company headed by a prominent Republican. But there are no records detailing the process. And if they existed, they’d be shielded under Michigan law.

Michigan lawmakers award $10M for project benefitting former GOP chair

January 16, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A company owned by former Michigan GOP chairman Bobby Schostak will benefit from one of the largest grants of the recent lame-duck spending deal. He says it’s a good investment. Others disagree.

Business owners, educators have outsized influence in new Michigan Legislature

January 14, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Nearly a third of the state Legislature is comprised of business owners. Educators, ex-military and law enforcement also represent larger swaths among newly elected members of the Legislature.

With flat budget, Gov. Whitmer’s search for Michigan road money gets harder

January 14, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

New state revenue estimates show Gov. Gretchen Whitmer won’t have a lot of extra money to work with in her first budget. Lame-duck spending and a 2015 road deal makes the task even trickier.

Michigan’s water crisis is coming to city near you, report says

January 14, 2019 | Joel Kurth

A new report says Detroit’s beleaguered water system is a harbinger for state and nation. Rising rates could make water unaffordable for 1 in 3 Michiganders in five years.

Lawmakers: Michigan Gov. Snyder swapped pork projects for votes in lame duck

January 11, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The now ex-governor spent years governing by spreadsheet. As he exited office, he governed by checkbook, doling out over $100 million in projects to secure votes for environmental cleanups, lawmakers say.

Will Jocelyn Benson defend Michigan gerrymandering tactics she once fought?

January 11, 2019 | Joel Kurth

The new Michigan secretary of state has spent years criticizing partisan redistricting. Now she heads the office that has defended the state against gerrymandering accusations. A federal trial is only weeks away.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer sets ‘equal pay’ rules to boost women in state hiring

January 9, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The new governor’s 10th executive directive prohibits state departments and agencies from asking about job applicants’ past salaries — an effort, she says, to close the gender pay gap.

Gerrymandering is dying in Michigan. Of old age. No joke.

January 8, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Demographic shifts in Michigan favor Democrats as the population in rural Michigan declines, forcing new maps that should have more “purple” districts.

Groups behind Michigan ballot initiatives mull challenges to lame-duck laws

January 7, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A challenge to controversial laws passed in Michigan’s lame-duck legislative session, which ended in December, could include everything from a lawsuit to a citizen referendum in November 2020.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lays down ethical rules for her administration

January 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

In her second full day in office, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed six executive  directives demonstrating her interest in ethics and transparency. But experts say there’s a long way to go.

2019 priorities in Lansing: roads and schools, no-fault and clean water

January 3, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The new legislative session kicks off this month, and with it, the first test of bipartisanship in an era of divided state government.

Michigan Democrats’ 2019 vows: safe roads, clean water, better schools

January 3, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan's incoming Democratic governor and the House and Senate Democratic leaders say they are aligned on their top policy goals to pursue in 2019.

Michigan Republicans’ 2019 to do’s: roads and auto insurance

January 3, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Fixing the roads and reforming Michigan’s expensive no-fault auto insurance are issues that both major parties say they want to fix. Republicans say they are willing to work with new Democractic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Snyder vetoes Michigan bills criticized as Republican ‘power grabs’

December 28, 2018 | Jim Malewitz

The departing governor took a different path from Scott Walker in Wisconsin, rejecting bills to shield dark money and make it easier for the  legislature to enter lawsuits.

Michigan lawmakers spread millions in pork. Did your town get a cut?

December 21, 2018 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan lawmakers dole out more than $100 million in special projects. Check to see if your district got a piece of the action.

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