Apr. 17, 2015 Budget

Capital News Service Budget – April 17, 2015

To: CNS Editors

From: Perry Parks & Sheila Schimpf

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/. For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979) voloshin@msu.edu.

You can email us at cnsmsu@gmail.com.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

EQUALPAY: National Equal Pay Day was April 14, and people from around Michigan flocked to the state Capitol to promote a new 12-bill package aimed to reduce the wage gap between men and women. One key bill would require employers to release gender-based pay information to employees who ask. We speak with legislators who had a hand in crafting the bills as well as a president of a group supporting the legislation.  By Josh Thall. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, STURGIS JOURNAL, THREE RIVERS COMMERCIAL-NEWS, BLISSFIELD ADVANCE, HOLLAND SENTINEL AND ALL POINTS.

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WAGEGAPEXPLAINER: Michigan Democrats introduced a 12-bill package on April aimed at shrinking the gender wage gap. We talk with economists and provide analysis on why the wage gap exists, how it’s measured, and what can be done to address this issue. By Collin Krizmanich. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MANISTEE, PETOSKEY & ALL POINTS
w/ WAGEGAPEXPLAINERCHART1 “Career choice interruptions between men and women”
w/ WAGEGAPEXPLAINERCHART2 “History of gender wage gap”

YOUTHCONSERVATIONCOUNCIL: The state’s Youth Conservation Council is accepting applications until April 30 from students interested in the conserving Michigan’s natural resources. This year, the council is making improvements to help members gain leadership skills in conservation. We speak to a student council member from Kalamazoo and the council’s adviser to hear about these changes. By Elizabeth Ferguson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, HOLLAND, & ALL POINTS.

DOMESTICVIOLENCEBILLS: Survivors of domestic violence would be given increased protections in the workplace and greater support when they try to leave abusers under bills being considered by the state House and Senate. The employment bills are part of a package aimed at protecting domestic violence and sexual assault victims in several realms, including increasing confidentiality requirements and promoting updated sexual assault policies and training on college campuses. We talk to state representatives as well as victim advocates to hear about the potential impact of this new legislation. By Cheyna Roth. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE, MANISTEE & ALL POINTS

WATERUSE: Michigan is surrounded by nearly 20 percent of the world’s above-ground fresh water. While water sustainability, and terms like “shortage” and “drought,” aren’t commonly heard in the Great Lakes states, a three-year-old report says Michigan is failing in aggressive sustainability policies, and little change appears to have been made since. DEQ officials say the state is right to manage its resources differently than states with lower supply. By Brooke Kansier. FOR ALL POINTS

 

State officials unconcerned about failing water-policy grade

By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service

LANSING — In a state surrounded by 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, overuse and sustainability might not be the first thing on the minds of Michiganders.

And according to a study that graded states on their water policies and conservation, these concerns may not be very common in state government, either.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency’s most recent scorecard gave Michigan a mere 3 points out of the possible 40 for water efficiency and policy. Compare that to places such as fellow Great Lakes state Wisconsin with 15.5, Rhode Island’s 20, or California’s 29.
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New bills aim to close the gender-wage gap

By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service

LANSING — Employers could be required to release gender-based wage information, and the state could be required to report unequal wage data, under a package of bills aiming to close the wage gap between men and women in Michigan.

The Progressive Women’s Caucus laid out a plan for a 12-bill package on April 14, saying they aren’t content to wait for the gap to close in 2086 under current trends.

The Progressive Women’s Caucus is a group of 17 Democratic women legislators who work to make sure women’s rights and needs are not overlooked in the government.
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Bills would help domestic violence survivors

By CHEYNA ROTH
Capital News Service

LANSING — Survivors of domestic violence would be given increased protections in the workplace and greater support when they try to leave abusers under bills being considered by the state House and Senate.

The employment bills are part of a package aimed at protecting domestic violence and sexual assault victims in several realms, including increasing confidentiality requirements and promoting updated sexual assault policies and training on college campuses.

“No one should ever have to decide between going to the police or keeping a job,” said Rep. Winnie Brinks, a Grand Rapids Democrat, during a press conference. “No one should have to choose between bringing their children to a domestic violence shelter or losing a day of pay.”
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Young conservationists advise DNR on kids’ interests

By ELIZABETH FERGUSON
Capital News Service

LANSING — Students passionate about the environment can help the state provide outdoor recreation for their generation while learning more about Michigan’s natural resources.

Applications for the state’s Youth Conservation Council are available on the council’s website and will be accepted until April 30.

“If we are going to sustain world-class resources, you have to have people that care about them, and so how do you get the next generation to care about them?” said Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Natural Resources.
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Explaining the gender wage gap

By COLLIN KRIZMANICH
Capital News Service

LANSING — More than 50 years after Congress first acted to address the gender wage gap, many women across the country are still earning less than their male coworkers. Democrats in Michigan recently introduced a 12-bill package aimed at eliminating this disparity.

Michigan ranked tenth worst in the nation when it comes to the gender pay gap, according to the American Association of University Women. Understanding how and why this gap exists is critical in addressing the issue.

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Career choice interruptions between men and women Source: Pew Research Center

What is the gender wage gap?

Simply put, the gender wage gap is the difference, on average, between how much money men make and how much money women make. Many people, including President Obama, often bring up the statistic that, based on median earnings, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.
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Apr. 10, 2015 Budget

Capital News Service Budget – April 10, 2015

To: CNS Editors

From: Perry Parks & Sheila Schimpf

http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/. For technical problems, contact CNS tech manager Tanya Voloshina (248-943-8979) voloshin@msu.edu.

You can email us at cnsmsu@gmail.com.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

ALPACTS: Across the state, groups of community members, law enforcement and government officials meet in ongoing efforts to build trust between police and citizens so lines of communication remain open. The goal of the groups, known as ALPACTs, is to prevent discord and unrest in the event of incidents such as the police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and North Charleston, South Carolina.  We talk to members of the Grand Rapids ALPACT and the director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to learn more about these groups and how they function. By Collin Krizmanich. For LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS

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DEPARTMENT CULTURE: Michigan is turning out better police recruits than ever, but many are moving into departments that are still ruled by old-fashioned cultures, says Matt Wesaw, executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Training on issues of police-community relations, he said, needs to start at the top if the state is to see change. The head of the Michigan Chiefs of Police argues department culture has already changed and that local units could do better if training budgets weren’t being gutted at all levels. By Caitlin McArthur. FOR ALL POINTS.

EDUCATIONGAP: An organization that aims to close the college education gap between rich and poor is introducing a program that puts recent college graduates in Michigan high schools to guide students through the admissions process. Michigan College Access Network plans to hire 40 recent graduates from 13 Michigan colleges to work full-time in high schools with high proportions of low-income students and low college enrollment rates. High schools in Manistee, Alpena and Alcona are among those that will participate. With comment from the head of the program, Alpena Public Schools, and a Southwest Michigan United Way leader. By Josh Thall. FOR ALPENA, ALCONA, MANISTEE, LANSING CITY PULSE, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, BLISSFIELD, HOLLAND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.

MIGRANTWORKERS: A 2010 report by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights exposed inadequate living conditions for migrant and seasonal workers in Michigan. In spite of the 15 recommendations, five years later, living conditions for those making their living in the field are not where they should be, says the state’s civil rights director. We talk to the director of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, a professor who studies migrant working conditions, and a representative from Migrant Legal Aid to explore the housing conditions of Michigan’s seasonal and migrant workers. By Cheyna Roth. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.

DISABLEDEMPLOYEES: The state is working to make government jobs more accessible for disabled workers. A new council is developing employee training on the importance of including disabled people in the workplace, after determining this training doesn’t exist. We speak to council members and the president of West Michigan’s Goodwill to hear about the misunderstandings employers can have about disabled workers. By Elizabeth Ferguson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LUDINGTON, GREENVILLE & ALL POINTS.

TEXTINGBAN: Michigan’s texting ban has not made much of an impact on lowering crash or fatality rates — in fact, they’ve slightly increased since the law’s 2010 introduction. Distracted driving is a factor in one out of four accidents and can be especially dangerous among less experienced teen drivers, according to the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association’s Terry Jungel. But parents play a big part in this — does their behavior encourage teens to text behind the wheel? With comment from the State Police and the head of a driving school in Alpena. By Brooke Kansier. FOR ALPENA, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS

CANNONS: New research on six 19th century British cannons recovered from the Detroit River sheds new light on colonial-era militarization of the Great Lakes region, from the Straits of Mackinac to Indiana. A Wayne State researcher may have found the answers to when, why and how the British dumped the 1,200-pound-plus artillery onto the river’s Chicken Bone Reef near what is now Cobo Hall after the American  Revolution. The Detroit Police dive team may help search for more. We also talk to a Detroit Historical Society expert. By Eric Freedman. FOR ALL POINTS.

w/CANNONSDOSSINPHOTO: Restored 18th century British cannon on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum in Detroit. Credit: Joel Stone, Detroit Historical Society.

w/CANNONSRECOVERYPHOTO: 18th century British cannon being retrieved from the Detroit River in 2011. Credit: Michael Saraino.

w/CANNONSWATERFRONTPAINTING: Painting of the Detroit waterfront, “View of Detroit, July 25, 1794.” Credit: Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

 

Program turns college grads into high school advisers

By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service

LANSING — An organization that aims to close the college education gap between rich and poor is introducing a program that puts recent college graduates in Michigan high schools to guide students through the admissions process.

Michigan College Access Network plans to hire 40 recent graduates from 13 Michigan colleges to work full time in high schools with high proportions of low-income students and low college enrollment rates.

High schools in Manistee, Alpena and Alcona are among those that will participate, said Brandy Johnson, founder and executive director of the access network.
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Migrant workers’ housing still unsafe, civil rights official says

By CHEYNA ROTH
Capital News Service

LANSING – Five years after a report called migrant working conditions “intolerable,” Michigan is far from addressing its problems, the state’s civil rights director says.

“The migrant farmworker situation in this state, my opinion, is not as good as it should be,” said Matt Wesaw, executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

Wesaw, who said he worked in the fields of Southwest Michigan alongside migrant workers as a boy 40 years ago, believes housing conditions for workers are worse now than they were then.
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Culture, lack of training impede police-community trust, officials say

By CAITLIN McARTHUR
Capital News Service

LANSING — Lack of training funds and outdated cultures in smaller departments are among the factors interfering with improved police-community relations in Michigan, state officials say.

Michigan is turning out better police recruits than ever, but many are moving into departments that are still ruled by old-fashioned cultures, said Matt Wesaw, executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

“We’re training today the best police officer that we’ve ever trained,” said Wesaw, a retired State Police trooper. “I don’t care what academy you go to, we are training the best police officers.”
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