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

Michigan eyes renewal of tax break that has cost $40K for every new job

April 30, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Some Republicans want to extend a tax incentive awarded to companies that create hundreds or thousands of good-paying jobs. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hasn’t publicly said whether she’d keep it, but generally supports tax breaks.

To fix maps, Michigan Republicans must please Whitmer and three irked judges

April 28, 2019 | Riley Beggin

After working in secret in 2011, Republican lawmakers must now redraw state political boundaries that can win over a Democratic governor and the federal judges who dismantled earlier maps.

If Whitmer’s road funding pitch fails, where is Michigan’s Plan B?

April 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A Grand Rapids roads summit provided no clear answers on how Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican-led Legislature might reach a deal that still raises the more than $2 billion need annually for a roads fix.

Sea change for Michigan marijuana comes amidst industry chaos

April 25, 2019 | Riley Beggin

A controversial licensing board ends, making way for a new agency overseeing a market with more questions than answers.

Michigan civil asset forfeiture bills headed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

April 25, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Police would no longer be able to take assets from people they arrest unless there’s a criminal conviction, under a bill going to the governor’s desk. It’s an early area of bipartisan agreement in the Michigan legislature.

Michigan’s political districts illegally gerrymandered, court rules

April 25, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

A three-judge panel finds that 34 districts were drawn in 2011 to benefit Republicans and orders special elections in 2020.  

Nessel pushes ruling on Michigan minimum wage, sick leave laws to high court

April 25, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will not write an opinion on last-minute GOP changes to wage and sick leave laws passed in December. Instead, she deferred to the state Supreme Court on whether the changes were constitutional.  

All systems go once again for Michigan’s $2.5M rocket plan

April 24, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A controversial grant to fund Michigan’s foray into the space race is revived after being grounded by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan Senate panel rejects Whitmer gas tax, as budget dance continues

April 23, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Senate Republicans adopted a state transportation budget without any new long-term funding for roads. That proposal will come this summer, Republicans said.

Dana Nessel, in a nod to Michigan workers, creates payroll fraud unit

April 22, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The attorney general, who received heavy union support in her campaign, said Monday she will go after Michigan companies that don’t pay full wages and benefits to employees through a new payroll fraud unit

When Michigan school districts go into debt, kids and communities pay price

April 22, 2019 | Emily Richmond

Michigan is among a dozen states that don’t provide funding to build or maintain buildings. That’s left districts like Whitmore Lake facing debt after trying to finance capital projects. How many more Michigan districts are in trouble?

Whitmer seeks a $5 million Pure Michigan cut to apply to roads. GOP balks.

April 22, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration says cutting $5 million from the Pure Michigan marketing budget will free up money for roads and schools. But two key House and Senate Republicans want to keep the popular campaign intact.

Dana Nessel, Michigan’s brash attorney general, plows through Lansing

April 19, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Just months into office, the state’s top lawyer has dueled with Lansing Republicans, the Trump administration and the Catholic church, while reversing course on lawsuits by her conservative predecessor. Got a problem with that?

Yes, it takes billions to fix Michigan roads. No, taxpayers don’t want to pay.

April 19, 2019 | Ron French

How willing are politicians to raise taxes on roads when the idea is unpopular and voters don’t trust Lansing? We’ll soon find out.

Whitmer and Republican leaders join forces to study Michigan jail reforms

April 17, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Elected leaders, judges and law enforcement want to learn more about the state’s crowded jails in an era of lower crime rates, in hopes of crafting new laws to reduce the inmate population, cut costs and right wrongs.

Public outcry changed Michigan social studies standards. Add your voice.

April 16, 2019 | Ron French

The public has one more round of public meetings to offer its views on updating subjects covered in social studies classes across the state. Check out the schedule for a hearing near you.

A deal to fix Michigan’s roads looks to roll into summer, at least

April 12, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The ball is in the Republican Legislature’s court when it comes to presenting an alternative to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s $2.5 billion road-funding plan. Will private negotiations produce a compromise both sides can sell?

No escaping billions of dollars needed for Michigan road fix, experts say

April 11, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

With up to half of all Michigan roads in poor shape, the state must generate new funding or residents will spend billions more in repairs and lost productivity, experts reveal at Center for Michigan road summit.

Jocelyn Benson plans overhaul of Michigan Secretary of State offices

April 11, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Secretary of State visited all 131 branch offices in her first 100 days in office. What she found, she said, “was heartbreaking.”

Bills to bar Michigan 'sanctuary cities' face headwinds in Lansing

April 11, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Proponents say they would protect law enforcement from political retribution. Opponents say it would encourage racial profiling and destroy trust between local police and immigrant communities. The bills face headwinds in Lansing.

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