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

Lansing, we have a problem: Whitmer kills $2.5M rocket plan pushed by Snyder

February 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The grant, approved in lame duck, was intended to boost prospects for a commercial space program in Michigan. But the venture lacked detail and was derided by an expert as a “back of the napkin” plan.

Attorney General Dana Nessel may review Michigan minimum wage, sick leave laws

February 13, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said she may review Michigan lame-duck laws that gutted citizen proposals to raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave. Her stance could produce a high-impact legal showdown with Republicans. 

Republicans to Whitmer: Where’s the cash? Doubts on climate plan.

February 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican leaders say they agree with the Democratic governor that roads need fixing, but aren’t ready to raise taxes or fees to do it. They also signaled opposition to raising the state’s college-going rate and Whitmer’s PFAS and climate change plans.

Analysis: Eight ways Gretchen Whitmer vows to improve Michigan

February 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The new Democratic governor outlined her policy priorities during her first State of the State address Tuesday. Bridge offers context behind the proposals and what Republicans and other skeptics had to say in response.

Whitmer changes course, blocks $10M grant that helps former GOP chair

February 12, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has put on ice a grant that would help bring water and sewer lines to a swath of land owned by a company with ties to former GOP chair Bobby Schostak. She wants to determine if the money could be spent elsewhere.

The real state of no-fault auto insurance: Reform within reach for Michigan

February 11, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Lawmakers and advocates say they see hope that a Republican legislature and Democratic governor can finally reform Michigan’s sky high insurance rates.

The real state of Michigan roads: Poor and getting worse without more cash

February 11, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The Michigan Department of Transportation cites studies showing as much as $2 billion more a year is needed to maintain the state’s roads. Republicans say new funding should come from existing revenue. Something has to give.

Pro-Whitmer group broke Michigan campaign finance laws, Benson finds

February 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Build a Better Michigan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign committee engaged in express advocacy, Democratic Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday, and must pay pay a $37,500 fine.

Meet the ex-drug cop who now helps regulate Michigan marijuana

February 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board member Don Bailey, a retired cop, has drawn the ire of industry advocates who accuse him of unfairly opposing licensing requests. He says he’s just watching out for public safety.

Redistricting guru: Michigan’s maps are legal, even if process was political

February 7, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s gerrymandering trial wraps up with testimony from the architect of the state’s political maps. He says he was besieged with requests but kept the process ‘bipartisan.’

Ex-Democratic chief says Michigan gerrymandering scared off candidates

February 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Brandon Dillon, former chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, testified at federal trial that Republican maps also made it difficult to raise campaign cash and find volunteers, claims disputed by the GOP.

Expert testifies gerrymandering in Michigan is worse than almost anywhere

February 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

An unusual federal trial that could redraw Michigan’s political boundaries before 2020 began Tuesday in Detroit. Republicans defend the maps, saying demographics are to blame, not partisan tricks.

Michigan Republicans defend political maps as gerrymandering trial opens

February 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

An unusual federal trial that could redraw Michigan’s political boundaries before 2020 begins in Detroit. The stakes are huge, but spoiler alert: there may be few theatrics.

Budget tests Gretchen Whitmer’s promise to repeal Michigan pension tax

February 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Gov. Whitmer faces likely Republican opposition to her campaign vow. And a repeal blows a $330 million hole in the state’s already strained budget.

Read previously undisclosed Republican emails on Michigan gerrymandering

February 5, 2019 | Bridge Staff

 A slew of new emails were made public on the eve of a federal trial over whether the GOP illegally gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts in Michigan in 2011.

New emails show Michigan GOP used maps to consolidate Republican power

February 4, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Just days before a trial over the state’s legislative maps, new records show GOP operatives working to make more districts lean Republican while lamenting some GOP dissent

Henry Ford and the Jews, the story Dearborn didn’t want told

February 4, 2019 | Bill McGraw

When a city-financed journal explored a darker side of the auto titan, Dearborn’s mayor banned its distribution and fired the writer. Public officials fail the public when they stifle serious journalism. It’s media’s role to step up.

In one month, Dana Nessel erases many of Bill Schuette’s federal pursuits

February 4, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The progressive attorney general has reversed or withdrawn from more than a dozen cases involving abortion, religious rights, Obamacare, environmental rules and other hot-button issues championed by her conservative predecessor.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer rips Michigan Republican pork deals; says she can't block them

February 1, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed displeasure with millions of dollars spent on dozens of pet projects during lame duck, but said state will honor the bill

Federal court scuttles Michigan gerrymandering deal, rejects trial delay

February 1, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

Less than a week before a trial is expected to start, federal judges paved the way for a landmark showdown over Michigan’s legislative districts, which Republicans drew and Democrats have derided as unfair.

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