Category Archives: State Government

State’s top education official will not weigh in on education funding issue

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan speaks with reporters during Tuesday’s State Board of Education meeting in Lansing.

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan speaks with reporters during Tuesday’s State Board of Education meeting in Lansing.

The state superintendent of schools is refusing to weigh in on the debate over school funding ahead of the November election. That issue has been a central talking point in the governor’s race.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he has increased education funding every year he has been in office. He includes money that went to shore up teacher pension funds. Democratic nominee Mark Schauer says Snyder has cut funding by about $1 billion. Read more

Schauer rallies seniors on heels of gubernatorial town hall

“Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer speaks in front of a group of retirees Monday at a local UAW center in Warren.”

“Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer speaks in front of a group of retirees Monday at a local UAW center in Warren.”

Democratic nominee for governor Mark Schauer rallied retirees a day after his first, and probably only, public joint appearance with Gov. Rick Snyder. He blasted Snyder’s decision to end income tax exemptions for pension income.

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ACLU of Michigan director denies major roadblocks for LGBT rights in Legislature

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Groups that support adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they’re confident state lawmakers will act this year. That’s despite some recent setbacks.

State House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, says he wants to make sure the measure doesn’t infringe on religious liberties. And people working closely on the issue say some Republican lawmakers don’t want to include transgender people in the legislation.

ACLU of Michigan Director Kary Moss appeared this week on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record. She says the business groups pushing for the measure do not have any interest in removing gender identity from the legislation.

“There’s not been debate in the business coalition,” said Moss. “All the members of the coalition agreed to support including both sexual orientation and gender identity. And I think too much has been made of the opinions of a few people who have been concerned about it.”

She said supporters’ focus is squarely on getting the measure passed during the Legislature’s “lame duck” session in December.

“The business community has come together in an unprecedented way. I think that’s created a lot of momentum. I think we’ve had a lot of Republicans who have indicated that the time is now and right and they’re supportive of it.”

Under current state law, people can be fired, denied employment, or denied housing because they are gay or transgender.