The votes were there to move a $515 million Detroit Public Schools package out of the House Appropriations Committee last Friday. Are they there now that DPS teachers' mass "sick-out" has closed nearly every traditional public school in the Motor City? House Appropriations Committee Chair Al Pscholka answers that question. Also what is in the new House DPS package? Why $515 million instead of the $715 million the Governor and Senate want?
Sen. Tom Casperson reveals that his school bathroom plan for transgender students is being implemented without issue in two schools in his district. He speaks more about his proposal in this week's edition. Casperson, a congressional candidate, also handicaps his race and talks about eliminating a federal department. Which one?
Do Democrats really have between a 35% and 45% chance of winning back the state House? The answer is yes. Craig Mauger with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network and MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn explain why 2016 may be the best chance the D's have to win control of the chamber in 10 years and why that's important.
Also, what are the odds Republicans could nominate someone other than Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich at their convention this summer? John Yob gives his perspectives on that and if he, the owner of Grand Rapids-based Strategic National, will be joining the convention as a delegate amid a nasty party fight in the Virgin Islands that sparked an alleged physical altercation this weekend involving another Michigan political consultant.
If former state Treasurer Bob Kleine could reform the state's emergency manager law, how would he do it? Or would he simply eliminate it? The Great Lakes Economic Group consultant also opines on whether the Flint water crisis would have happened under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm's watch and why it will take cities until the 2030s to fully return to a tax revenue base equal to 2008 unless the state steps up their revenue sharing payments.
State Board of Education President John Austin asks: does Michigan want to risk a business backlash as a state "legislating sexuality and gender identity?" He also talks M-STEP and his own political future on this week's MIRS Monday Podcast. Also tune in as the MIRS team talks Flint, presidential politics and Virgil Smith's pending resignation.
The American Federation of Teachers-Michigan stayed neutral on the Senate's Detroit Public School reform package. What would get them to support the bills? Do they think they are going to get anything better in the House, whose starting volley on the DPS bills were not what the teachers' union had in mind? MIRS asks AFT-Michigan President David Hecker these and other questions.
Darwin Jiles, the Ethnic Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, claims his party's historic inability to connect a compassionate conservative philosophy to the needs of urban residents makes it harder for officials like Gov. Rick Snyder and Bill Schuette to be met with anything other than skepticism when it comes to the Flint water crisis.
Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said, "Somebody in Flint needs to go to jail" over the Flint water crisis. Gleason compares the water that came out of the faucets at his offices to a "black and tan." What should happen to those who pulled the trigger on using the Flint River as an interim water source? Gleason gives his answer.
Ohio First Lady Karen Waldbillig Kasich said she was proud of how her husband, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, handled himself during Thursday's debate in Detroit. As for the other three?They acted as if they were running for "class clown," she said. Listen to Waldbillig Kasich's thoughts on her husband's "kitchen" comment, what role she sees herself playing as First Lady, what issue he struggled with most as governor of Ohio, what he does to relax and more.
On paper, the 1st Congressional District would look like the Democrats' best chance for a pick-up in 2016, but Ed Sarpolus from Target Insyght tells MIRS why history indicates that Lon Johnson's path to victory would be difficult. Sarpolus also breaks down where Michigan House Democrats have the best chance of winning in '16 based on historical data.