House and Senate Democrats gathered at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 2017 to discuss with the media their plans to reform the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The following is unedited audio of that press conference.
If Brian Banks attempts to re-seek the House seat he gave up as part of a criminal plea deal, can he win? Rep. Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit) says yes. The Democrats' new ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, Durhal also gives his thoughts on Gov. Rick Snyder's budget and the impact a Detroit public school closure would have on the community.
Also, how does Ron Weiser becoming the next Michigan Republican Party chair set up the R's to field the most competitive challenger possible against U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow? What are the Republicans looking for in a U.S. Senate candidate? And at the Democratic convention, who was the most active and who was surprisingly not overly visible? All this and more.
What does a U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos mean policywise for Michigan? How much impact can she have as the chief administrator of federal policy? The MIRS team takes a crack at this question, as does Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association.
Cook also updates MIRS on the MEA's membership numbers and if he believes national Right to Work is on the horizon. Also, listen for proposed solutions to the state's school accountability law and suggested names to replace Jarrod Agen as Gov. Rick Snyder's chief of staff in this week's edition.
The media need not worry about Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) pandering to them after openly acknowledgeing he's on the opposite end of the Michigan Press Association on two major policy initiatives. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, meanwhile, announced that he's looking at expanding public disclosure. MIRS talks to both elected leaders on these issues.
Also, how does the President Trump executive order on immigration impact Michigan Republicans? Should Gov. Rick Snyder react? And is U.S. Rep. Fred Upton the best U.S. Senate candidate the GOP could hope to find against incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018?
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?