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Tired of waiting on the Griffon, the first European built ship to sail on Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and five other men left Fort Miami (present-day St. Joseph) to journey across the southern Lower Peninsula. Battling cold temperatures, snow, swamps and Indians, La Salle’s men reached Niagara on April 4, 1680, becoming the first Europeans to see the interior of the Lower Peninsula. The Griffon never met LaSalle at the mouth of the St. Joseph River because it either sank or was sunk carrying a load of furs back to the falls of the Niagra River. Divers have recently claimed to have found the Griffon in the northern part of Lake Michigan.
Source: Michigan is Amazing, Michigan Every Day, and other news reports.
House, Senate Veer Sharply From Snyder On Budget
The Legislature began Tuesday to put its stamp on the 2015-16 fiscal year budget as 15 budget bills for departments and major budget areas cleared Appropriations subcommittees, and it became clear the Republican majorities in the House and Senate are moving in a much different direction than Governor Rick Snyder.
House, Senate Oppose HICA Hike, Split On GME, Balk At Pharmacy Change
As expected, majority Republicans in charge of writing the budget for the Department of Community Health signaled they oppose increasing the tax on health insurance claims to fund programming, but unexpectedly they will pay for that decision with General Fund reductions in other budgets.
Kelly Wraps K-12 Categoricals Into Foundation
A number of the categorical spending lines in the proposed 2015-16 School Aid Fund budget, including the governor's third grade reading initiative, would disappear, but the foundation allowance would see a substantial boost under the budget reported Tuesday from the House Appropriations School Aid Subcommittee.
House Community Colleges Budget Increases Operations Funding
The state's community colleges would see a 2 percent increase in operations grants, more than the 1.4 percent Governor Rick Snyder recommended, under the House Appropriations Community Colleges Subcommittee budget, but the independent part-time student grant program would decrease to $2.9 million.
House DHS Budget Cuts Further Than Executive Recommendation
The Department of Human Services would see more cuts to programs under a budget approved by a House subcommittee on Tuesday, with the panel proposing $12.9 million less than Governor Rick Snyder for the department.
Ag Budget Reported From Both Subcommittees Without Fee Increases
A proposed budget for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was sent to both the full House and Senate Appropriations committees on Tuesday without proposed fee increases made by Governor Rick Snyder.
Trade-in Exemption Moves Faster Under Senate Change
Exemption from the sales tax on the difference between the purchase price of a car and what a purchaser actually pays after deducting the trade-in value of the vehicle it replaces would be fully implemented in 10 years rather than 23 years under legislation approved Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee.
Senate Panel Approves DEQ Budget
An environmental quality budget for 2015-16 that largely follows the recommendation of Governor Rick Snyder's recommendation was reported to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
Bills Ending Venture Fund Move To House Floor
The Michigan Early Stage Venture Investment Corporation would not be able to enter into any new agreement, and current venture funds would expire in 2030 rather than 2054 under bills reported by the House Commerce and Trade Committee on Tuesday.
House DNR Panel Cuts Summer Jobs, Senate Returns Cormorant Controls
The Department of Natural Resources would lose its summer jobs program and the Department of Attorney General would be limited in what it could spend on lawsuits over endangered species listing of gray wolves under the DNR budget as reported from the House Appropriations Natural Resources Subcommittee, but the DNR would regain funds to control cormorant populations under the version reported from the Senate Appropriations Natural Resources Subcommittee.
Benishek Announces Run For Fourth Term
When he first ran for office in 2010, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls) made a pledge that would serve just three terms and leave the 1st U.S. House District an open seat in 2016, but he announced in a radio interview Tuesday that he would seek a fourth term in the election that year.
House Subcommittee OKs LARA Budget, Minus Liquor Fee Hikes
Fifty percent fee increases Governor Rick Snyder had proposed for liquor licenses appear in trouble in the House as the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reported a budget Tuesday for the department that presumes no change to the fees.
Motor Carrier Officers Emerge As Key Difference In House, Senate State Police Budgets
The House and Senate Appropriations State Police subcommittees on Tuesday reported their respective recommendations for the State Police budget, with the biggest difference being funding for a new motor carrier officer school.
Jones Reintroduces E-Cigarette Legislation
Sen. Rick Jones on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would prohibit selling e-cigarettes or devices providing vaporized nicotine to minors, saying he stands by not creating a new tax for such items.
Dem Same-Sex Marriage Bills Head To Committees
Several Senate bills and one Senate resolution to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriages were sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, but the committee chair says it's "a waste of time" to take those bills up until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the case before it this summer.
Legislators Take Aim At Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault
Legislators in both the House and Senate on Tuesday unveiled their plans to empower and support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking as they make new lives for themselves.
Study Shows Major Effect In State From ACA
The first year that the federal Affordable Healthcare Act was in effect resulted in a "dramatic change in Michigan's health care landscape," a study from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan. Probably the biggest overall change is the percentage of the state's population that has no health insurance was cut in half during 2014 from the number in 2012. In addition, the study found fewer people putting off medical procedures during 2014, once the act - known as Obamacare to its detractors - took effect and the number of people who said cost was the reason they did not seek treatment was also cut in half from previous years.
House Dems Call Glenn Tweet About Newspaper Editor 'Disgusting' In Fundraiser Email
The House Democratic political action committee castigated Rep. Gary Glenn for suggesting a journalist promoted to news editor at the Midland Daily News might have an agenda because he is gay.
Pagan: Getting More Women Elected Will Help Combat Sexism In Politics
Rep. Kristy Pagan said she experiences sexism every day, both at work in the House and outside of work, and the way to fix the issue is to get more women elected to the Legislature and advance more "pro-women" bills.
Lucido Plan Would Use MCCA Fund Interest For Roads
Rep. Peter Lucido unveiled Tuesday a plan that would use the interest and principal from Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fund to fund repairs to the state's crumbling infrastructure.
Snyder Fills New Strategic Fund Board
In moving the Strategic Fund to the new Department of Talent and Economic Development, Governor Rick Snyder also reconstituted the fund's board.
STEM Certification Bill Advances
The Senate Education Committee reported SB 169 and SB 170 directing the Department of Education to issue high school diploma endorsements in science, technology, engineering and math for certain pupils. Both were reported with an S-1 substitute.
Tourism in Michigan
Visitor spending in Michigan hit $22.8 billion last year, and the state's Pure Michigan tourism campaign generated $6.87 for each dollar spent on Pure Michigan advertising in 2014, according to two reports released today at the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids.
MEDC Creates Superior Trade Zone
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Tuesday the Michigan Strategic Fund approval of the Superior Trade Zone as the state's newest Next Michigan Development Corporation. According to the MEDC, the Superior Trade Zone is an interlocal partnership agreement among the following communities: counties of Delta and Marquette; cites of Escanaba, Gladstone, and Marquette; and townships of Bark River, Chocolay, Ely, Ford River, Forsyth, Garden, Ishpeming, Maple Ridge, Nahma, Richmond, and Wells. The zone aims to leverage and promote business development actions that focus on the assets and logistics infrastructure unique to the region, including land located near the Delta County Airport Industrial Park and the Tellkyte Industrial Park located at the former Air Force base in Marquette County.
Wildfire Season Has Already Begun
The Department of Natural Resources warned residents Tuesday that wildfire season had begun. Officials reminded residents that they needed a permit to burn yard waste and urged proper safety precautions while doing so. The department has already responded to 10 fires burning 69 acres, Dan Laux, DNR fire prevention specialist, said in the statement.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 59, March 24, 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.
Faced with an impending battle with conservatives over $361 million in new money to cover the more-popular-than-expected Medicaid expansion program, the House today rolled the money into next year's Department of Community Health (DCH) budget.
Typically, additional mid-year money is broken off into its own supplemental appropriations bill. But sticking the federal money into a Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 spending bill prevents direct conflict on the House floor over Healthy Michigan, Gov. Rick SNYDER's 1-year-old plan to extend Medicaid to those making up to 138 percent of the poverty line.
Snyder had initially projected to enroll about 400,000 people in the first year. Instead, 580,000 Michiganders signed up.
For the full article, see "Medicaid Expansion Money Rolled Into Next Year's Budget", Inside MIRS Today, March 24, 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.
Mike Wilkinson, "Mapping out how Detroit is tackling a mountain of blight" : Faced with derelict properties across the city, leaders choose a strategy that produces measurable results in a few, targeted neighborhoods.
Bridge Staff, "INTERACTIVE MAP: Where Detroit is focusing on blight" : See which neighborhoods are getting the city's attention, and which are being ignored.
Bill McGraw and Mike Wilkinson, "In a city filled with blight, one Detroit neighborhood gets help while another waits" : Detroit officials must pick winners and losers in deciding which areas get homes demolished first. Those that must wait: neighborhoods already too far gone.
Lester Graham, "Landing a job isn’t the end of obstacles facing one Detroit mom" : For ordinary Detroiters like Fatima Mixon, finding a job is just the first step. Securing transportation to get to work can feel like winning the lottery. In Mixon’s case, that’s exactly what happened.
Phil Power, "Who wins when residents don’t know the people making policy?" : When political parties control who gets nominated for the state board of education and other policy offices, the candidates that emerge are too often the product of special interests.
In 2014, there were 35 public high schools in Detroit, 20 of them “conventional” public schools and 15 charter schools. Of the 20 conventional schools, all but two earned an “F” on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s student progress grading system, which unlike official state ratings take into account the effect of student family backgrounds on performance. In contrast, only two of the city’s 15 public charter high schools received a failing grade.
Nevertheless, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says the Legislature should impose a moratorium on opening any more charter schools, so that conventional school districts like Detroit can “stabilize enrollments.” According to Flanagan, because charter schools are succeeding at attracting more students, they are stressing the budgets of conventional schools.
Flanagan’s comments take on added significance in light of a nationwide study released last week by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), considered a leader in school performance research. It found that students in urban charter schools do better at reading and math than their conventional school peers. An analysis of student and individual school data from 2006 through 2012 revealed that students in Detroit charter schools receive the equivalent of a few weeks to as much as several months of additional learning in reading and math compared to their peers at conventional public schools.
The authors suggest that Detroit charter schools should serve as a model for other communities.
For the full article, see Tom Gantert, "State Superintendent Puts Failing Schools Ahead of Students' Choice; Superintendent Flanagan says no more charters until conventional schools 'stabilize' enrollment", Capitol Research Confidential (CapCON), March 24, 2015.
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