If the bills introduced in the first week of this legislative session are any indication, it's going to be a doozy of a year in the state Capitol.
Controversial issues abound, including a budget-busting repeal of the pension tax and a lowering of the state income tax; a return of the Religious Restoration Freedom Act; a prohibition of straight-party ticket voting, which has traditionally benefited Democrats, and repeal of the prevailing wage.
The annual bill rush is nothing unusual and is a symptom of trying to keep campaign promises, appease the base of the party, or just beginning the process of whittling caucus priorities.
"They'll get at least one check on their list by introducing a bill, but passing it is another issue," said Lansing political consultant Robert Kolt. "It's sort of a parade of political posturing, but they have to do it."
While many of these issues won't end up being top priorities of the Legislature, their introduction sets the stage for what could be a contentious year in Lansing.
For the full article, see Kathleen Gray, "Legislative session starts with controversial bills", Detroit Free Press, January 26, 2015.
For those of you following the progress of ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, you are aware its adoption has been somewhat controversial. This post from Jacob Berg on ACRL's blog summarizes some of the reactions and responses to the Framework from the last few months:
On Friday, the three U.S. financial heavyweights behind the Risky Business Project -- an effort to quantify the financial risks posed by global climate change -- published the organization's latest report to help people identify, understand and plan for the economic risks related to steadily increasing temperatures worldwide.
The analysis, called "Heat in the Heartland," is a granular look into the United States' Midwest and threats the region's cities and agricultural stakeholders will likely face due to unmitigated climate change and the continuation of present business and political practices.
Cited report : "Heat in the Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Risk in the Midwest", Risky Business Project, January 2015.
American Climate Prospectus : Economic Risks in the United States, prepared by the Rhodium Group for the Risky Business Project, October 2014.
For the full article, see Benjamin Hulac, Niina Heikkinen and Daniel Cusick, E&E reporters, "Bloomberg, Paulson and Steyer release bipartisan report on climate change risks to Midwest", ClimateWire, January 26, 2015.
Register now for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan's webinar to analyze Governor Snyder's FY2015-16 State Budget on February 18, 2015 10:00 AM EST at:
Governor Snyder will be introducing his proposed budget for the next fiscal year at a joint legislative session on February 11. CRC's Robert Schneider and Craig Thiel will team up to provide an overview of the proposed revenues and expenditures contained in that budget.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Note: Bob and Craig have decades of experience in state budget analysis. Besides this webinar, they are available for insights on the state budget: heading into the February 11 budget message, the day of the message, and following the budget release. They can be contacted at the telephone number listed above.
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Founded in 1916, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan works to improve government in Michigan. The organization provides factual, unbiased, independent information concerning significant issues of state and local government organization, policy, and finance. By delivery of this information to policymakers and citizens, CRC aims to ensure sound and rational public policy formation in Michigan. For more information, visit www.crcmich.org.
The Michigan Republican Party (MRP) could come out against the same ballot proposal its Governor, Rick Snyder, is actively supporting, MRP chair candidate Norm Hughes says. Hughes also talks about whether he supports Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema and if he voted for Snyder in the last election.
Also, does MRP chair candidate Ronna Romney McDaniel need to talk to the media before the MRP convention? And how is it that Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) Chair Lon Johnson has his re-election bid in the bag?
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