Author Archives: Rick Pluta

New fight at Capitol over film subsidies


There’s a new fight underway at the state Capitol over Michigan’s tax credit for film, TV, and digital video projects. And some advocates for the subsidy say the debate itself is harming efforts to create a thriving Michigan movie and video entertainment business. Continue reading

Audit slams MDOT over road warranties


A new report from the state auditor general takes the Michigan Department of Transportation to task. The report examines a warranty program to hold construction companies responsible for the quality of the roads they build. It says the state doesn’t follow up often enough with contractors to ensure problems are fixed. Continue reading

State’s tax break questions bigger problem than expected


The future liability from Michigan’s uncashed business tax credits is three billion dollars bigger than first anticipated. Officials at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation report the job-creation tax credits granted to businesses total more than nine billion dollars. They will come due over the next 20 years. Continue reading

Auditor General faults MDOT rail program for wasting millions

Photo courtesy of the Clare Railroad Depot.

Photo courtesy of the Clare Railroad Depot.

The state Auditor General says a program to launch local commuter rail programs has wasted many millions of dollars. The audit found the Michigan Department of Transportation missed out on applying for federal mass transit funds that could have defrayed the state’s costs, and failed to ensure all railway crossings are safe. Specifically to task for spending nearly 10 million dollars to refurbish rail cars that are sitting idle. Continue reading

Senate approves 3/15 GOP primary date


Michigan’s Republican presidential primary would take place on March 15th of next year under bills that were just adopted by the state Senate. Republicans want to move the date to comply with national party rules. Michigan’s current February date is too close to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Continue reading

Police, corrections take biggest cuts in budget-balancing plans

rick-snyder-mugjpg-446cf7790e6a2ea6Governor Rick Snyder’s budget-cutting order looks mostly to reductions in State Police, corrections, and health care spending as a first step toward retiring a deficit.
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Governor: Not concerned about early ballot polls


Governor Rick Snyder says he’s not paying attention to early polls that show the road funding proposal on the May ballot is in trouble. The proposal would raise the state sales tax to 7 percent as part of a complicated plan to fund road repairs without taking money from schools or local governments. Continue reading

State check finds more stores sell tobacco to minors

117A check by state health officials over the past year found an uptick in the number of retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors. The Department of Community Health Survey found 18 percent of retailers sold tobacco to minors. That’s a seven percentage point jump from two years ago.
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GOP leaders to go ahead with prevailing wage repeal

Republican leaders in the Legislature say opposition from Governor Rick Snyder will not stop them from trying to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. It says state-funded construction projects have to pay workers union-level wages. Nearly two dozen local governments also have prevailing wage ordinances. Continue reading

Snyder looks ahead to 2015 but can’t leave behind unfinished business

Gov0120-Foto-1Governor Rick Snyder took a swipe at Washington tonight (Tue.) in his State of the State speech — and said Lansing could serve as an example to the federal government on how to solve problems. But the governor had to spend a portion of his own speech dwelling on some things he wanted to fix last year that didn’t get done.
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