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Roads Vs. Schools For Extra $483M
The battle lines on how to use the unanticipated surge in revenues for the current fiscal year quickly formed Wednesday with the Snyder administration continuing to signal interest in putting a big piece of the money toward roads while Democrats called for putting the money toward K-12 schools and tax relief.
Buena Vista Schools Set To Reopen; New Crisis Emerges In Albion
One of the most severe crises to hit the Michigan educational system in years appears set for at least short-term resolution as the Buena Vista School District plans to reopen soon now that the state decided to release regular funding to the district after withholding it in response to questionable financial practices by the district.
Hobbs Officially Announces Run For Congress; Floor Leader Race On
House Minority Floor Leader Rudy Hobbs announced officially on Wednesday he will run for U.S. Rep. Gary Peters' seat in the 14th U.S. House District.
Senate Appropriations OKs Claims Assessment Without Adjustment
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would essentially keep the Health Insurance Claims Assessment law the way it is but with a new sunset on the bill, despite much concern over "kicking the can down the road" to find a more sustainable solution to filling a hole in what is supposed to be a $400 million income revenue stream.
AT&T Mich. Chief Murray Ponders Senate Run
AT&T Michigan President Jim Murray, a longtime legislative Republican operative before moving into the private sector, said Wednesday he is considering running for the U.S. Senate.
The Forecast: Slow, Steady Growth To Continue
It's not the go-go 90s by any stretch, but Michigan's economy will continue to trend upward albeit slowly through 2015, economists agreed Wednesday.
House Panel OKs Expunction Bill
Individuals with more than two misdemeanors or a misdemeanor and a felony could have both expunged from their record under a bill reported Wednesday by the House Criminal Justice Committee.
Poll Suggests Mich. Voters Now Support Gay Marriage
A new poll shows support surging in Michigan for same-sex marriage with 57 percent of voters now backing the idea.
Committees Opens New Effort On Sales Tax On Difference Bill
Backers of legislation to no longer apply the sales tax on the value of a trade-in when purchasing a boat or motor vehicle began making their case Wednesday for the legislation, but just like last year's failed effort, ran into opposition from the Snyder administration.
April Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly To 8.4%
Michigan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly in April to 8.4 percent from the 8.5 percent rate in March, figures released by the state on Wednesday showed.
Committee OKs Disabled Veteran Tax Break Bills
Two bills exempting disabled veterans and their surviving spouses from property taxes were reported to the full Senate unanimously by the Finance Committee on Wednesday.
House Committee OKs Adoption Bills
The first bills of a package designed to smooth the adoption process won approval Wednesday from the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee.
PSC Approves Rate Hike For Consumers Energy Customers
The Michigan Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved a Consumers Energy Company settlement agreement resulting in a $1.67 increase for customers using 500-kilowatt hours of electricity each month effective May 16.
Panel Takes No Action On Wayne Parking Tax Bill
Senate Finance Committee members heard testimony, but took no action on legislation that would cut the Wayne County airport parking tax from the current 27 percent to 10, but which a county official said would leave the county with no revenues to finance indigent health care.
Forum Calls For Efforts To Help Entrepreneurship In State
Efforts to provide assistance to entrepreneurs, and to promote products and services of those entrepreneurs, are needed in the state, even though the economy is improving, speakers at a forum on Wednesday said.
Assailant Of Former Treasurer Awaits Sentencing
Terrance Edwards of Okemos, a former Senate employee, awaits sentencing on May 29 after he pleaded guilty to threatening former state Treasurer Doug Roberts.
Snyder Praises Roberts For Staying At Detroit Schools
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts announced Wednesday he would delay his planned retirement by six months, and Governor Rick Snyder praised his continued "commitment" to the students and parents in the state's largest school district.
Union Officials Seek Delay In Corrections Contract
Several union officials asked the Civil Service Commission to delay its review of a contract for food services at state prisons to give them more time to review it.
Governor Calls For 49th District Special Election
Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday called a special election for the 49th House District after former Rep. and newly sworn-in Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) took office in the Senate this week.
Senate Economic Development Committee Passes Bills To Protect Detroit Zoo and DIA Millages
The committee approved a package of bills prohibiting capture of increased tax revenue through the Detroit-area regional millages supporting the Detroit Zoo and Detroit Institute of Arts. The bills (HB 4458*, HB 4459*, HB 4460*, HB 4461*, HB 4462*, HB 4463* and HB 4464*) were unanimously agreed upon shy of Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), who was absent.
Senate Appropriations Committee Scuffles Over Disaster Contingency Fund
After considering a bill to address a soon-to-sunset Health Insurance Claims Assessment, the Senate Appropriations Committee sparred over SB 330*, which would require funds to be appropriated to the state's Disaster Contingency Fund to maintain it at a minimum level of $4 million and a maximum of $8.5 million, rather than the current minimum of $30,000 and max of $750,000.
Republicans Introduce Bills To Raid Department of Civil Rights Budget
In response to a complaint filed by the Department of Civil Rights earlier in the year regarding Michigan public school mascots depicting American Indians, Rep. Daniel Lauwers (R-Brockway) and Rep. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) introduced bills to transfer funds from the department's budget and give it to the schools to reimburse the cost of changing its mascots. If the complaint by the department is successful, the bills (HB 4734* and HB 4735*) would create a mascot reimbursement fund and provide the $3 million expenditure by way of the department's budget, a statement said.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #52, Report 96, May 15, 2013. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
Three months ago, Rep. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) said he wanted to push legislation to hold the Department of Civil Rights (DCR) accountable for any dollars schools lost because of a complaint the department filed with the federal government over Native American mascots.
Today, Genetski followed through.
Genetski and Rep. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) introduced Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4734 and Click to add MIRS Bill Hound HB 4735, which would create the "Mascot Reimbursement Fund" to pay for schools' expenses for changing mascots if they have to because of the DCR's complaint. The $3 million in the fund would come directly from the DCR's budget under the bills.
"The civil rights department filed its complaint independently, without input from local citizens, so it can pay for any necessary changes it may have caused," Genetski said in a written statement. "Our schools need all of their funding focused in the classroom educating our children, not being taken up by somebody's special pet project."
For the full article see "School Mascot Dispute Rolls On In House", Inside MIRS Today, May 15, 2013.
Other topics covered include:
• State Has $483M More In FY '13, $219M In FY '14
• Medicaid Claims Tax Sunset Extended Under Bill
• 44% Of Michigan's Lost Jobs Will Be Replaced In 2015
• $265M Of Extra Cash Came From Fear Of Taxes
• Hobbs Expects Crowded Field, Sees Path To Congress
• Flanagan Releases Money To Reopen Buena Vista
• Glengariff Poll: 57% Back Gay Marriage In MI
• Panel Considers Online 'Responsible Father Registry'
• School Mascot Dispute Rolls On In House
• AFSCME Take Food Service Privatization Plan To Civil Service
• Mayor's Debate Scheduled For The Island
• Gov Calls Special Election In 49th
• Expunction Bill Heads To House Floor
• Unemployment In April Dips To 8.4%
Full access to MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
When Ty Cobb was suspended for beating up a heckler during a game with the New York Highlanders (soon to be Yankees) on May 15, 1912, the rest of the team refused to play the next scheduled game. However, the Tiger's management signed up replacement players so the game went on. The Tigers watched from the stands on May 18 but returned to play the next game.
Source : The First Baseball Strike, excerpt from Bygone baseball by C. Philip Francis.
For another account, see Baseball's First Strike, Philly Sport History, May 18, 2011.
Source : Michigan History, May/June 2011.
Budgets, Transportation Eyed For Surplus
After both the Senate and House Fiscal Agencies reported the potential to see more General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue than previously expected, the debate over where that money should go or how it should be used was already underway on Tuesday, but the ideas are about as widely diverse as they come.
House Panel Has First Discussion On Medicaid Reform
Concerns surrounded House Republicans' proposed 48-month time limit on Medicaid for nondisabled adults during the first committee meeting on Tuesday discussing the recent Republican legislative proposal to reform and Medicaid.
Discharge Likely For Senate DCH Budget, Claims Tax Change Set To Move
Sen. Roger Kahn said Tuesday he expects his committee's only remaining 2013-14 budget bill, for the Department of Community Health, to be discharged to the full Senate from the Appropriations Committee at Thursday's session, though the committee will still take up a bill that reviews the state's Health Insurance Claims Assessment tax policy despite that it does not quite meet the shortfall it was intended to.
Buena Vista Could Reopen With Deficit Plan
Students in Buena Vista could be back in class later this week now that district board has approved a draft deficit elimination plan Tuesday. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan told the State Board of Education Tuesday morning approval of such a plan could enable reopening the schools, and late Tuesday evening, the board approved that plan.
Bing, Declining Re-election, Toys With Challenging Ficano; Olumba In
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing opened up the possibility Tuesday of running against Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano in 2014 as he announced he would not seek re-election as mayor.
Board Pushes Funding For Common Core
The state needs to come up with more funding for education, but particularly needs to allow funding for implementation of the Common Core Curriculum Standards and the Smarter Balanced assessment, some members of the State Board of Education said at a joint meeting with the House Appropriation Education and School Aid subcommittees.
House Fiscal Revises Revenues Upward $382M For Current Year
Revenues are better than expected, the House Fiscal Agency announced today in an economic forecast that is a bit less optimistic than that from the Senate Fiscal Agency released late Monday.
Senate Panel Discusses Changes To Registration Fee Categories
The Senate Infrastructure Modernization Committee on Tuesday found out just how complicated the state's system of registration fees can be and discussed extensively how simplifying it could be one part of the solution to filling a $1.2 billion infrastructure improvement need.
Richardville Not Running For U.S. Senate
As expected, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate, his spokesperson said Tuesday.
'Skunk Works' Moves From Private To Facebook
What had been a private discussion among some administration officials and top technology company officials over use of technology in the classroom has morphed to a page on Facebook under Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan.
Bills On Campaign Late Fees, 'Selfies' At Polls Draw Questions
Legislation that would allow voters to photograph themselves at the polls ran into tough questions and opposition Tuesday at the House Elections and Ethics Committee while the committee also wrestled with the issue of how campaigns should pay late fees for tardy campaign finance reports.
Education Board Calls For Transparency On Charter Leases
The State Board of Education split on party lines in approving a resolution calling for more transparency on charter school leases, but will conduct more research on changes to filing requirements for new charters.
Ananich Welcomed To Senate
The official swearing in ceremony of Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) on Tuesday brought with it praise and enthusiasm about bipartisanship.
Senate Passes Electric Utility Fee
The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would re-create the low-income energy assistance fund and allow the Michigan Public Service Commission to implement a fee increase on consumers' electric bills should the Legislature not find another way to fund a similar program using funds.
Schmidt: Transportation Plan Still On Track
A plan to come up with $1.2 billion in new revenue to improve the state's roads is still on its way to an early June completion, said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Rep. Wayne Schmidt.
Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Rules Passes Full House
The full House passed a bill on Tuesday that would require departments show that the benefits of a proposed rule essentially outweighed the new burdens on business or individuals
Court Of Appeals: No Deposition Of Orr
Saying the process first required to order Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to undergo a deposition had not been held, the Court of Appeals has ruled that the deposition initially ordered for Mr. Orr and others would not have to occur.
Bill To Eliminate Ski Area Safety Board Draws Criticism
A bill that would eliminate the Ski Area Safety Board received negative feedback from both board members and ski industry officials who came to give testimony Tuesday.
Elimination of Carnival-Amusement Safety Board
A similar discussion also took place at the committee meeting concerning the elimination of the Carnival-Amusement Safety Board, whose duties would also be transferred to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Registration of Auctioneers
Also during the meeting, a package of four bills saw discussion and testimony, all concerning the elimination of registration for Michigan's auctioneers.
Snyder Signs Veteran's License Bill
Legislation permitting honorably-discharged veterans to have a designation on their Michigan driver's license or identity card of their status was signed by Governor Rick Snyder Tuesday, and praised as one more step the state was taking to improve the lives of military veterans.
Horn Officially Announces Run For Saginaw Senate Seat
Republican former Rep. Ken Horn on Tuesday made his candidacy for the state's 32nd Senate District official after months of expectation he would run.
Palisades Nuclear Plant To Remain Offline Until Safety Concerns Addressed
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton called for no shortcuts in repairing the shuttered Palisades Nuclear Power Plant after touring the plant on Monday, several days after what officials have termed slightly radioactive water leaked from the facility into Lake Michigan.
New Pre-paid Tax Rate Set For June
Companies buying gasoline and diesel fuel in bulk will have a new pre-paid sales tax rate to handle in June.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #52, Report 95, May 14, 2013. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library.
The state will end the current fiscal year Sept. 30 with likely between $382 and $541.9 million more than legislation originally thought, opening the door to a rush of requests on how to spend the previously unexpected money.
Wednesday's Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) will nail down the final extra amount, but Republican legislative leaders are already considering using the new influx for transportation, a suggestion Gov. Rick Snyder seemed agreeable to today.
"The feeding frenzy has begun," said House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall). "Every one under the sun has new ideas and new ways on how to spend this money and everyone is rapidly coming forward with their plans, but we have to be careful."
For the full article, see "'The Feeding Frenzy Has Begun' On Newfound Surplus", Inside MIRS Today, May 14, 2013.
Other topics covered include:
• 'The Feeding Frenzy Has Begun' On Newfound Surplus
• Road Funding Plan Not Moving By June 1 Budget Deadline
• Hobbs Stepping Down As Floor Leader To Run For Congress
• Richardville: Medicaid Expansion Dead If Feds Don't Issue Waiver
• District, State At Odds Over Buena Vista Instruction
• 'Skunk Works' Heading To Facebook
• School Board Asks Legislature To Outlaw 'Sweep Contracts'
• Four Former Lawmakers Running For Detroit City Council
• Richardville Not Running For U.S. Senate
• House Fiscal Pegs Current Year New Dollars At $382M
• Lori: Legislators Need To Press Feds For Medicaid Answers
• Common Core Discussed At Board Of Ed Meeting
• Ananich Named Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member
• Buena Vista Not Added To 'Snow Days' Bill
• Internet Court Fees Debated In Committee
• Vets Get Designation On Driver Licenses
• Say 'Cheese' While You Vote?
Full access to MIRSNews.com is available via the MSU Library electronic resources page. Access is restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.
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