Items of potential interest to government documents librarians or government information managers in Michigan. For more information contact Jon Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senate Panel Retains K-12 Funding Formula
The Senate Appropriations Education and K-12 School Aid Subcommittee essentially held to the governor's recommendation for school funding, though distributing those funds through the current formula and weighting the count to the prior year for declining enrollment districts.
House Subcommittee OKs Revenue Sharing Cut To Detroit
Detroit would see $5.8 million less in statutory revenue sharing from the state than it receives in the current fiscal year under the general government budget approved Wednesday by a House subcommittee.
Flanagan Withdraws Warnings For 7 Charter Authorizers
Only four charter authorizers remain at risk of having their authority suspended, Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan declared Wednesday. Of the original 11 authorizers he had listed at risk of losing authority (See Gongwer Michigan Report, August 11, 2014), only Detroit Public Schools, the Education Achievement Authority, Highland Park Public Schools and Eastern Michigan University remain on the at-risk list.
House GOP Split On Education Budget
In a rare occurrence, the majority caucus was not united behind the chair's recommendation in the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee as it reported its budget to the full committee Wednesday.
Courser Calls Federal Supplemental Funds For Medicaid ‘Sneaky'
Rep. Todd Courser characterized as "sneaky" a House subcommittee move to include supplemental funding for the current budget year for the higher-than-expected Medicaid expansion participants in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget bill for the Department of Community Health.
Bills Eliminating February Elections Clear Committee
A package of bills designed to save local communities money by eliminating February elections where turnout is often low was reported by the House Elections Committee on Wednesday.
House Passes Bill Allowing Ticket Scalping
A bill that would allow a person to resell an event ticket for more than face value cleared the House on Wednesday.
Uber, Lyft Tangle With Senate Committee On Bills
Drivers and general supporters of the transportation network company Uber showed up in full force for a Senate Regulatory Reform Committee hearing taking testimony on bills that would regulate the industry just like other for-hire transportation industries, but the committee did not report the bills.
Opposition Campaign Unveils New Ad Against Proposal 1
The opposition to Proposal 15-1 continues to emphasize the funding "special interests" would receive if voters pass the proposal in May to increase the sales tax as part of a plan to increase funding for roads.
Senate Panel OKs Community College Budget Closer To Snyder Proposal
A proposed 2015-16 budget for Michigan's community colleges that more closely follows the budget proposal by Governor Rick Snyder was reported to the full Senate Appropriations Committee by the subcommittee on Wednesday.
Senate LARA Subcommittee Rejects Liquor Fee Hikes
The Senate Appropriations Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee reported its budget to the full Appropriations panel on Wednesday without the across-the-board 50 percent fee increases to retail liquor licenses as Governor Rick Snyder had proposed in his budget recommendation.
House Panel OKs Supplemental Bill That Could Save State $5M
A supplemental bill reported Tuesday would appropriate $45 million to potentially purchase certain tax vouchers issued by the Venture Michigan Fund and could save the state $5 million as it is carrying $50 million on the balance sheet.
Unemployment Drops Below 6%
Employment increasing and the workforce decreasing drove the state's unemployment rate to 5.9 percent in February, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget announced Wednesday.
MCCA Assessment Cut For 2015
Insurers will pay, and pass on to their customers, $150 per vehicle for 2015, down from $186 the previous two years, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association said Wednesday.
Senate Passes School Aid Payment Bill For Buena Vista
A bill that would lapse a portion of an existing project to pay off the operating debt of Buena Vista Schools, dissolved in 2013, and give Saginaw Schools and Bridgeport-Spaulding until December 2016 to pass a renewal of the 18-mill school district levy passed the Senate on Wednesday.
House Transportation Budget In Line With Snyder Recommendation
The Department of Transportation will get the same appropriations as recommended by Governor Rick Snyder in February under a bill approved by a House subcommittee on Wednesday.
House Panel Reports Increase In Emergency Municipal Loan Totals
The state's current emergency municipal loan fund would be increased by another $100 million under legislation sent Wednesday to the full House by the Financial Liability Reform Committee.
House Dems Get Roll Call Vote On Amendment For Truancy Bill
As a bill that would codify the Department of Human Services' existing practice of ending cash assistance to poor families that have a child who is repeatedly truant from school was readied for a final vote Wednesday, House Democrats got a rare record roll call vote on an amendment that eventually failed.
Rep. Johnson Wants To End Lame-Duck Sessions
Legislative session would adjourn the Friday before the election of even numbered years under a resolution introduced Wednesday by Rep. Joel Johnson in the attempt to stop "rushed" legislation from passing during lame-duck sessions.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 60, March 25, 2015. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.
Detroit would be the only city to see a drop in revenue sharing next year under a proposal advanced by a House subcommittee today.
The House General Government Appropriations Subcommittee voted to take $5.8 million from the city of Detroit's proposed statutory revenue sharing total for next year and spread it out among 101 smaller local governments.
According to the House Fiscal Agency (HFA), the bill, Click to track bill HB 4090 HB 4090, would drop Detroit's statutory revenue sharing payment from $140.4 million this year to $134.6 million next, a 4.1 percent cut.
For the full article, see "House Panel Proposes $5.8M Drop In Revenue Sharing For Detroit", Inside MIRS Today, March 25, 2015.
Other topics covered include:
MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
The U.S. government counts all kinds of things, a recent piece in the British newspaper The Guardian noted — nut consumption by non-Hispanic white men, the number of hours men spend weekly on lawn care, the number of women between 15 and 44 who use contraception.
"The U.S. government is a virtuoso counter," The Guardian's Tom McCarthy asks. "So why can't it count people killed by police?"
It is a confounding question.
After a cop in Ferguson, Mo., shot unarmed teen Michael Brown last summer, we went looking for Michigan statistics — the data that would tell us how many residents of our state die or are seriously injured at the hands of police officers every year. We were shocked to find such numbers are not available; they're simply not recorded at the state level.
In theory, a phone call to each of Michigan's 83 counties could yield the information, assuming each county's prosecutor investigates officer-involved shootings. But that's not the case in every Michigan county.
It's unclear how many of Michigan's more than 1,000 cities, villages and townships operate police departments, but calling them all might not help. There's no uniform reporting requirement, and thus no guarantee that effort would yield an accurate picture.
That's true across the nation. In short, crucial information about how our society functions, a key element in building an equitable justice system, just isn't there.
Why? There are no uniform reporting procedures for officer-involved deaths among the nation's roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies. Even if such incidents are documented locally, most states don't require local governments to report upward; nor does the federal government require states to report to it.
Data are more reliable when culled from and confirmed by multiple sources — checking police records against news reports or community activists' records, for example. That takes time, and money.
The Guardian's meticulous reporting suggests the flawed numbers that are available don't tell anything close to the whole story. If the numbers the newspaper has compiled are correct, there's good reason to believe an average of 928 Americans die each year at the hands of law enforcement — that's roughly two Americans killed by cops every day. One African American is killed by police, security guards or vigilantes every 28 hours.
It's breathtaking. And horrifying.
A good first step would be state laws creating a uniform protocol for reporting officer-involved deaths. This is something our Legislature could instate immediately, if it cared to do so.
There's a deep divide in this country about the import of police brutality — whether it's overblown or underreported, justifiable or evidence of systemic bias. No matter which side of this divide you stand on, we should all agree on the need for ironclad data. To solve the problem, we must first define it.
Detroit Free Press Editorial Staff, "Police killed how many people? Start counting", Detroit Free Press, March 25, 2015.
For further reading, see Tom McCarthy, "The uncounted: why the US can't keep track of people killed by police", the Guardian, March 18, 2015 : After a year of high-profile police killings, calls for a national database have gained traction. But how would that work? Tom McCarthy investigates the challenges for law enforcement and government officials alike.
Tom McCarthy, "The counted: inside the search for the real number of police killings in the US", the Guardian, March 18, 2015 : State by state, town by town, cop by cop, a lack of transparency is halting police reform. But part two of a Guardian investigation reveals that a quiet revolution in crime data may be under way – and justice may be next.
Tom McCarthy, "Police killed more than twice as many people as reported by US government", the Guardian, March 4, 2015 : As Obama calls for better data and Justice Department exposes Ferguson, trusted FBI count of ‘justifiable homicides’ omits 545 people per year in study.
Tom McCarthy, "Police must report shootings to federal government, suggests Obama taskforce", the Guardian, March 2, 2015 : Proposal is part of broad call for reform and comes as Justice Department prepares to issue its own findings that Ferguson police target African Americans
The Michigan House on Tuesday approved legislation that would lift a statewide prohibition on ticket scalping, allowing ticket holders greater ability to resell tickets for more than face value.
"It's about decriminalizing the practice of reselling tickets," sponsoring Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Township, said in committee testimony earlier this month. "It's a 1931 law that I think has outlived its usefulness."
Under current state law, reselling a ticket without the permission of the venue for more than face value is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. That ban is not believed to be widely enforced.
House Bill 4015, identical to legislation approved by the lower chamber last year, has faced opposition from concert venues, promoters, artists and sports teams who say ticket scalping limits their ability to ensure fair prices for fans.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Ticket scalping decriminalization proposal wins approval in Michigan House", MLive, March 25, 2015.
The Michigan House on Wednesday unanimously approved two bills designed to prohibit the use of drones to assist or harass hunters.
The Senate signed off on similar legislation last year, but the House had only approved one of the two measures, leading Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to veto what he considered an incomplete package at the time.
Reintroduced bills have now passed both chambers this session with unanimous support. The Senate must concur on House changes before the full package heads back to Snyder's desk.
For the full article, see Jonathan Oosting, "Drone hunting, hunter harassment bills float through Michigan House", MLive, March 25, 2015.
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