Both sides of the political spectrum gathered this weekend as the fallout to the President Donald Trump inauguration continues to chug well past Election Day. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the Woman's March in Lansing while Sen. Patrick Colbeck talked to conservative activists at the Battle Cry event in Mt. Pleasant.
Where should the state spend its $478 million surplus? Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich has an idea and shares it on this week's podcast. Also, Ananich says if Republican push forward with an income tax, it will help bring about another lost decade. How so? Ananich explains.
The MIRS team breaks down what Gov. Rick Snyder is likely to talk about during his State of the State address and how much the city of Flint's condition should be a part of that discussion. These topics and more in this week's edition.
If House Minority Leader Sam Singh could have one bill passed this session, what would it be? How is he, as a leader, going to be different than former Leader Tim Greimel? Is it time to bring back the legislative quadrant? Singh answers these questions and more.
Also, how realistic is eliminating the state's income tax? Does the weight of coming up with the state revenue replacement almost kill the discussion in its infancy? In reworking Obamacare, are the Republicans willing to make health care one of their issues and is that a winning issue going forward? These subjects and more on this week's edition.
Gov. Rick Snyder brings up the potential impacts of a trade war under a President Donald Trump presidency, discusses a way to tier local governments in the pending retiree health care discussion and addresses whether he believes his office should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Also, what are Michigan's Top 10 legislative issues for 2017. MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn breaks them down in this edition.
Al Pscholka, Aric Nesbitt, Tim Kelly, Ed McBroom, Harvey Santana. Five different House members are nominated, but only one is the House Member of the Year. Find out who takes home the prize as part of MIRS' annual series that's based on effectiveness, impact and level of activity. The award is followed by nomination and named winner of a new category, Political Figure of the Year (16:30). Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel and Betsy DeVos among those nominated.
Also, what does the newly signed energy package mean to the average ratepayer? What process is state regulators taking to determine if the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant is shut down? Valerie Brader, the executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy answers those and other questions (30:50).
MIRS starts its year-end award series with the naming of its Senator of the Year and its Democrat of the Year. Every year, MIRS recognizes those lawmakers who stood out in the categories of impact, effectiveness and level of activity. History is made on the Senator of the Year category. Which five Senators were nominated? Which five Democrats were nominated?
Also, Gov. Rick Snyder describes how he sees the General Fund shaping up in the next few years? Does he see tax increases in the state's future?
Note to anyone interested in running for governor in 2018: Attorney General Bill Schuette said today he'd like to talk to you before you make any plans to announce. Schuette also talks with MIRS Publisher John Reurink and Editor Kyle Melinn about the Flint water investigation, the failed presidential recount in Michigan and if he regrets trying to prosecute former Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
Also, John Yob of Strategic National suggests former Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser as a state party chair if current Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel is President-Elect Donald Trump's pick for Republican National Committee Chair to replace Reince Priebus, who is Trump's incoming chief of staff. Yob also urges Michigan Republicans to unite behind Trump and "let the past be the past and stop fighting yesterday's battles."
House Speaker-Elect Tom Leonard gives his thoughts on the pending energy reform legislation, municipal employee retiree health care costs and the "TIF on steroids" package pending in the House. The current Speaker Pro Tem also offers up Rep. Gary Glenn for his nomination for MIRS House Member of the Year. Listen to hear his reasoning and who his second choice would be.
And how did Leonard get connected with former Gov. John Engler Chief of Staff Dan Pero for his incoming chief of staff? Leonard shares that story and more.
Also, the MIRS team sees the pension reform legislation in the Senate as dead and gives other observations on bills pending in lame duck.
The $11 billion unfunded liability that Michigan local governments are saddled with needs state government intervention, but is lame duck the time for that conversation? Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League tackles that question. He also offers statewide solutions for what can be done to curb costs so that cities -- already financially hobbled by state revenue sharing cuts and lower property values from the Great Recession -- can get on better financial footing.
What are the chance the energy reform package is passed in lame duck? MIRS Editor Kyle Melinn puts the odds at between 85 and 90 percent "yes," but not everyone agrees.
MIRS also offers commentary on the prospects of a statewide presidential recount. Who does a recount help and who does it hurt? Listen to this and more in this week's edition.
In trying to save the budget from a $140 million hit, the state was forced to endure another bad headline about fighting a Flint water delivery order. The MIRS team tackles this topic as well as the legislative discussion about amending the state's term limit law.
According to Publisher John Reurink, "There is not a legitimate argument that you can make to the citizens of Michigan that term limits should be repealed." Not everyone around the table agreed. Listen to theories on how a term limits proposal could pass.
Also more layoffs at both major Detroit daily newspapers appear to be on the way. Why are advertising-based or subscription-based general readership publications continuing to bleed staff? And how can journalism make money?