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

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.

A $18B debt is coming due, and it’s haunting small town Michigan

February 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

See how your town compares as a new state law tracking public pension and health care debt lays bare the financial woes of rural Michigan.

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.

Dana Nessel shakes up Flint prosecutions; civil settlement talks underway

February 21, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin

Saying “the people of Flint deserve nothing short of justice,” Michigan’s attorney general is moving quickly to resolve dozens of civil lawsuits filed in the wake of the Flint lead poisoning crisis.

Michigan AG Dana Nessel turns up heat with Catholic Church over sex abuse

February 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Catholic dioceses in Michigan are having alleged sex abuse victims sign non-disclosure agreements, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday. She encouraged victims to report their abuse to authorities even if they’ve signed agreements not to talk.

Dana Nessel to MSU: ‘Do the right thing’ and cooperate more with Nassar investigation

February 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

At a news conference Thursday, Michigan’s attorney general said she’s frustrated with Michigan State University’s level of cooperation in the investigation surrounding Larry Nassar.

Michigan GOP asks high court to rule on sick leave, minimum wage changes

February 20, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Bad blood still remains after the GOP-controlled Legislature adopted citizen initiatives only to gut them later. Now, they want the Supreme Court to rule on whether lawmakers have that power.  

GOP lawmakers want Michigan Supreme Court to rule on minimum wage, sick leave

February 19, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

A request from the Republican-majority Legislature would sidestep the traditional litigation process, and do an end-run around Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Medicaid work rules another test for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republicans

February 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is trying to avoid a repeat of Arkansas, where thousands of poor people lost medical coverage because of complex work rules. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says she has little to worry about with his legislation. 

Michigan senator seeks to end ‘revolving door’ of lawmakers turned lobbyists

February 18, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan state Sen. Jim Runestad, a Republican from Oakland County, is trying again to force lawmakers to wait at least two years before going to work as lobbyists.

Michigan Republicans kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s environmental overhaul plan

February 14, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

The Republican-controlled Legislature killed Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to reorganize Michigan’s environmental agency. It’s the first time since 1977 that lawmakers reversed a governor's executive order.

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