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

Gov. Whitmer seeks speedy Michigan public record response, but not (yet) for her office

February 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The Michigan governor’s order is intended to make state agencies more responsive to FOIA requests. She did not make her office subject to the law, and Republicans pounced.

Legal marijuana didn’t end black market elsewhere. What can Michigan learn?

February 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin

States that legalized recreational marijuana say low prices have pushed local producers to sell out-of-state on the black market.

Michigan’s energy vulnerability exposed by natural gas scare, bitter cold

February 1, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Two days of extreme cold and a Consumers Energy mishap forced Michigan into crisis that nearly disrupted the flow of energy to millions of customers. What happens next time? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to know.

Bipartisan ex-legislators propose gas tax hike to fix Michigan roads

January 31, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

The newly formed Michigan Consensus Policy Project says it intends to pitch bipartisan solutions to the state’s thorniest policy problems. Why not start with roads?

Arlan Meekhof takes credit for steering grants to help ex-GOP chair’s firm

January 31, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The former Michigan Senate majority leader says he helped ensure money for utility lines went to a project that will benefit Bobby Schostak. ‘I don’t think that’s unusual,’ Meekhof tells Bridge.

Michigan Democratic leaders Whitmer, Nessel and Benson working in concert

January 31, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The women meet regularly and, just weeks into office, are finding strategic ways to disrupt GOP laws and policy. Their alignment contrasts with the frosty relations between Gov. Snyder and Republican leaders during his tenure.

Bipartisan bills: New year, new chance for Michigan asset forfeiture reform

January 29, 2019 | Riley Beggin

With Republicans, Democrats and many stakeholders pushing for change, the odds seem good for Michigan’s first big bipartisan push under divided government.

Bipartisan bills: Michigan lawmakers take fresh aim at 'dark store' taxes

January 29, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Legislation intended to change the way property tax assessments are made has been reintroduced after failing to advance last term. The issue pits big box retailers against local governments.

Bipartisan bills: Will latest measure put an end to lame duck in Michigan?

January 29, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

After a contentious lame-duck session and accusations of partisan power grabs, Republican and Democratic lawmakers are pushing a resolution to ask voters to pass a constitutional amendment ending legislative terms before Election Day.

Jocelyn Benson seeks to settle gerrymandering suit by redrawing House seats

January 25, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s new Democratic Secretary of State proposes deal before 2020 elections. Republican lawmakers call effort a partisan coup.

Suburban leader wants Dana Nessel to probe $20M to help ex-GOP chair

January 25, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A Washtenaw County supervisor is seeking an investigation into two grants that will improve land owned by Bobby Schostak, a former GOP state chair and major political donor.

Who pushed $20M grants that help ex-GOP chair? Michigan records left blank

January 24, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

For two years, the Michigan Legislature has approved $10 million grants for utility lines on land owned by Bobby Schostak’s company. Each time, documents explaining why were left blank or don’t exist.

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.

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