Author Archives: Jake Neher

Legislature begins debate over $500 million road funding plan

DSC07421A plan to boost state road spending by about half-a-billion dollars a year is taking shape. State lawmakers introduced four bills Thursday that are now part of the package.
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Schauer calls education his “top priority” in schools plan



The Democrat likely to challenge Gov. Rick Snyder in November says improving public schools would be his top priority in office.
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Local governments: Tax Day study shows state not paying fair share

moneyLocal officials say not enough of the revenue Michigan takes in around Tax Day goes to cities, towns, and counties.
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ALCU files suit to force Michigan to recognize same-sex marriages



The ACLU of Michigan is suing the state to force it to recognize the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples who got married last month. Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher caught up with one of the eight couples named as plaintiffs in that lawsuit… and their 13 children.
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ACLU will try to force state to recognize same-sex marriages with lawsuit

Seven same-sex couples married in Michigan last month hope to force the state to recognize their marriages. The ACLU of Michigan plans to file a lawsuit on their behalf Monday afternoon.
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Education groups uniting around bills to revamp teacher evaluations

TeacherThere could be movement soon on bipartisan legislation that would revamp teacher evaluations in Michigan. A number of groups that did not previously support the bills now say they’re on board.
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Bill to fight scrap metal theft signed into law

Scrap0410-fotoMichigan now has tougher laws on the books meant to crack down on scrap metal theft.
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Feds approve center to encourage immigrant investment in Michigan



Michigan will be only the second state in the country to run a statewide center meant to encourage investment from immigrants.

The center will provide visas for people who invest at least $1 million in the state and create at least ten jobs. The required investment goes down to $500,000 if it is made in a rural community or one with high unemployment.

This is one piece of Gov. Rick Snyder’s strategy to attract more immigrants to Michigan. His administration expects the center to bring in at least $30 million and create 600 new jobs every year.

“This is an existing program that Michigan has not taken very good advantage of,” said Joe Borgstrom, who will serve as the center’s director. “And so, what this is going to result in is more money being pumped into Michigan and more new jobs being created for Michiganders; more and better new jobs.”

Borgstrom says the center plans to partner with colleges and universities to keep young talent in the state.

“These great universities that we have already have foreign national students here,” he said. “We’re basically training the best in the world and we’re sending them off to be our competition. Part of our goal in this is we want to talk to those students and get them and their families to come and stay here so that we’re not training our competition, we’re training our best workforce.”

The center will operate under a federal visa program called EB-5. The program has come under attack in the past for funding several failed projects. Some critics also say it essentially puts visas up for sale for immigrants who can afford them.

State officials say the new EB-5 center could close on its first project by the end of the year.

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Flanagan defends teachers after report says Michigan schools falling behind

file1511236136264The state’s top education official says people should not blame teachers for a new report that shows Michigan schools are falling behind.
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Some prominent Democrats skeptical about proposal to fix roads


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A state House Republican plan to fix Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure is drawing criticism from some prominent Democrats.
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