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

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.

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.

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