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From property tax breaks to high school diplomas to expedited licensing for certain professions, 2013 is becoming a banner year for veterans in Michigan.
Nearly 20 bills giving veterans perks and breaks have been introduced this year, and $1.5 million has been added to the 2013-14 budget to better connect veterans to jobs once they leave military service. In addition, Gov. Rick Snyder created the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, funded with $4 million from the state and expected to grow from 12 to 40 employees by the end of the summer.
For the full article, see Kathleen Gray, "Bills, new agency to make life easier for Michigan's veterans", Detroit Free Press, June 17, 2013.
State law bans animals, with the exception of service animals, from restaurants, but that could change this year under legislation in the state House. Introduced by five representatives in February, municipalities would have the option to create an ordinance allowing dogs in outdoor seating areas.
State Rep. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the change is a way to buoy the economy. She said other states such as Florida allow people to take their dogs on outdoor patios, a practice that meets with little criticism and much success.
For the full article, see Ursula Watson, "Dogs on patios unleash debate in Michigan", Detroit News, June 17, 2013.
Go figure. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is one of the nation’s most conservative Republican governors, famous for her support of draconian state-level immigration legislation and for her dust-up with the sitting President of the United States. So how do you make sense of her powerful advocacy on behalf of expanding Medicaid coverage for poor people in Arizona, a signature piece of President Obama’s national health insurance reform strategy?
Why is Brewer pursuing a bellwether element of the Affordable Care Act? She sees the additional federal money that the state will receive through the Medicaid expansion as helping to provide medical coverage to 300,000 poor Arizonans, and thus the product as a reduction of the uncompensated care costs that hospitals typically have to deal with. She says that to cover the uncompensated care, insurance companies charge higher premiums, which she describes as a “hidden health care tax.”
Arizona’s nonprofit hospitals and health clinics must be breathing a sigh of relief as they contemplate the governor’s choice to provide coverage for lower-income people up to 144 percent of the federal poverty level. They may be surprised that they are expressing gratitude to a governor seen as a diehard opponent of nearly anything associated with President Obama, but in this case, Governor Brewer seems to have looked at the numbers, recognized that the ACA is the law of the land, and dealt with the issue pragmatically—and forcefully.
For the full article, see Rick Cohen, "AZ Legislature Passes Medicaid Expansion with Governor Support", Nonprofit Quarterly, June 17, 2013.
A decade before hometown hero Willie Horton would help the Detroit Tigers win a world championship, Ozzie Virgil took the field at Tiger Stadium on June 17, 1958, as the ballclub's first player of color. Before a crowd of 30,000, he played third base, batted second and went 5-for-5 against the Washington Senators as the Tigers pounded the Nats 9-2.
Osvaldo Jose Virgil had actually worn the Old English D for the first time earlier that month, but in a road game.
Traded to the Tigers by the San Francisco Giants, Dominican Republican native Virgil also was Detroit's first Latino player, according to team spokesman Ron Colangelo. He wore uniform Nos. 8 and 22 in his years with the Tigers.
Source : Zlati Meyer, "This Week in Michigan History", Detroit Free Press, June 12, 201l, A.14.
Nicknamed the “father of popular sovereignty”, Lewis Cass was born in New Hampshire in 1782. He moved to Ohio as a child, and relocated to the Michigan Territory to help fight against the British in 1812. The following year he was appointed Territorial Governor. He remained in that position until 1831 when President Andrew Jackson named him secretary of war. In 1848, Cass was the Democrat's nominee for President of the United States, but he lost the election to Zachary Taylor. Later, Cass served as U.S. Ambassador to France, as Secretary of State under President James Buchanan, and as U.S. Senator from Michigan. He was recognized as a staunch opponent of slavery and supported the right of each state or territory to make up its own mind on the divisive issue.
Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Hitorical Library at Central Michigan University.
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