Author Archives: Mike Horace

Lobbyists spend $37 million in 2014 trying to influence Michigan lawmakers

Capital_Building_LansingLobbyists were busy in Lansing last year. They spent more than 37-million dollars trying to influence state lawmakers, according to a new report.

The numbers were compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a non-partisan organization that tracks spending by lobbying firms. Continue reading

Constitutional amendment would allow tax credits for private school tuition

State Rep. Gary Glenn (R)

State Rep. Gary Glenn (R)

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would make it easier for some parents to send their children to private schools.

The amendment would allow tax credits for tuition expenses – for both private and public schools. It would leave in place a constitutional prohibition on vouchers – that is direct payments by the state to cover tuition costs. Continue reading

Study links deer to forest plant species changes

deerA recent study is linking changes in forest ecosystems in northern Michigan and Wisconsin to the eating habits of White-Tailed Deer.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It links at least 40 percent of plant species changes in the forests of northern Michigan and Wisconsin to White-Tailed Deer. Continue reading

Kildee reflects on State of the Union, efforts to free Amir

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address. In the first minute of the speech, he summed up his theme for the evening: “Tonight, we turn a page.”

Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee was in the House chamber during last night’s speech, and he joined us to speak about it. Continue reading

Benishek discusses new congress, priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls)

Lawmakers returned to Washington this week for the start of the 114th Congress. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to hear their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Kildee reflects on new congress, lays out priorities for next 2 years

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

The 114th Congress got underway this week as lawmakers from around the country returned to Washington. We’ve been checking in with some Michigan lawmakers, to learn about their priorities for the new term, and to hear their advice for the five new members of Michigan’s congressional delegation. Continue reading

Kildee criticizes Keystone XL proposal

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted against final approval for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from Canada, through the Great Plains, to the Gulf of Mexico.

One Michigan congressman is happy about the outcome, because of what he says was an unfair tax break in the final proposal. Continue reading

Supporters shell out big bucks in governor, senate races

moneyIf you’ve tuned to local TV at any point in the last month, you’ve probably seen the election ads.

Millions of dollars have been spent so far on advertising in Michigan’s Governor and U.S. Senate races, and according to some political observers, there’s no end in sight.
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Report shows increasing cost of raising children

moneyThe cost of raising a child has increased by nearly 2 percent since 2012, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report estimates it will cost low-income families, or those making less than $61,530 annually, about $176,550 to raise a child from birth to age 18.
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State school board asks lawmakers for tougher laws on charter schools

flag in classroomThe state Board of Education is urging lawmakers to put tougher regulations on charter schools.

The board approved a set of legislative recommendations regarding charter schools on Tuesday. One recommendation asks lawmakers to consider putting a so-called “smart cap” on charter school creation.
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Ballot question asks voters to sign off on business tax overhaul

On Tuesday, voters across Michigan will decide whether to overhaul the state’s business tax system.

Proposal One asks voters to sign off on a plan that would eliminate the personal property tax, something many businesses pay on an annual basis.
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Kildee hopes to use repurposed federal funds to tackle commercial blight

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

Congressman Dan Kildee is hoping to get the federal government to help foot the bill for tearing down abandoned commercial properties in Michigan’s cities.

The Flint Democrat says abandoned commercial properties can be a drag on entire neighborhoods, hurting property values and affecting quality of life.
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