Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature are all calling for the removal of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon.  

Lawmakers say they’ve lost confidence in her leadership because of the handling of the Larry Nassar scandal. Support for Simon in the Legislature collapsed as, Nassar, the former MSU sports doctor faces sentencing for abusing athletes. For many hours this week in open court, women directed emotional statements to the man who abused them as children, and toward MSU officials who they say ignored the problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state House narrowly passed a charter school bill Thursday. 

It would let charter schools qualify for countywide tax millage dollars. That’s money that previously has gone to traditional public schools. The Senate bill has been waiting for a full House vote since last year.

Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw) chairs the House Education Reform committee. He said all students should be treated equally.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state treasurer says caution should be the watchword as the Legislature develops plans to deal with a glitch in the federal tax overhaul. If they don’t, that glitch could cost Michigan taxpayers more in state income taxes. 

There are differences among Republicans on what should happen next. Governor Rick Snyder has proposed guaranteeing taxpayers can continue to claim the personal exemption. He even wants a modest increase, so it amounts to a small tax cut. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There’s been a shakeup at the agency responsible for Michigan energy policy. 

People are being re-assigned as the agency’s leader leaves state government for the private sector. Sources inside and outside the Snyder administration say the departure of Valerie Brader makes the timing right for a re-organization.

Governor Rick Snyder has signed an executive order re-assigning staff to the state Public Service Commission. That’s the agency that regulates utilities in Michigan.

Nicholas Assendfelt is with the energy agency.

State launches new tool for school transparency

Jan 10, 2018

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan parents now have a new tool to vet their child’s school. 

The state launched the Parent Dashboard for School Transparency Tuesday. It’s an online site with information about schools in Michigan. The data includes things like test results and student to teacher ratios. Parents can use the information to see how their kid’s school is doing and to compare it to other schools across the state.

But state Board of Education co-president, Richard Zeile said the dashboard isn’t just useful to parents.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Legislature returns this week, and one committee is set to see a lot of action.

Judiciary is often one of the busiest committees. Republican Jim Runestad is committee chair. He says there is a plethora of bills he’s eager to dive into. They include issues like openly carrying a firearm and property forfeiture by police.

Runestead says he wants to get into these big – and in some cases controversial – issues as soon as possible.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder’s administration is looking at making changes to state tax laws early in 2018. That’s after it discovered the new federal tax law could have an impact on Michigan resident’s wallets.

freep.com

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state’s pipeline safety board wants a controversial line temporarily shut down. 

Enbridge’s Line Five has been under the microscope lately about problems with the protective coating.  Now the board has made recommendations after Governor Rick Snyder struck a deal with Enbridge.  

Two weeks ago, the governor and Enbridge agreed to new safety measures for Line 5, which is the pipeline runs through the Straits of Mackinac.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A union-led petition drive will launch Tuesday to protect the state’s prevailing wage law from a different petition drive. 

That could lead to dueling ballot questions next November.

The skilled trade unions are trying to make sure contractors continue to pay union-level wages on state-funded construction projects. A petition drive to ban prevailing wage turned in its signatures last month to put the question to the Legislature.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Legislature met into the night to adopt some changes in how local 

government pensions are managed, but the deal was not everything Governor Rick Snyder was hoping for.

Snyder is a CPA/investor turned politician, and he’s had his eye for a while on making sure local retirement plans are better funded. These bills were not as far as he wanted to go, but the governor badly wanted something done before the Legislature leaves for its winter break.  

“…because this is an issue that doesn’t get better with time,” he said.

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