Capital News Service Budget – April 3, 2015
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks & Sheila Schimpf
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HERE’S YOUR FILE:
SNYDERVIEWS: Rick Snyder has spent a majority of his time as governor focusing on jobs and the economy instead of social issues. This has left some activists wanting a stronger position on the causes that matter to them. We talk to Gov. Snyder, representatives from the ACLU, Right to Life, and a political science professor, to review the responses to Snyder’s history of trying to run Michigan like a business. By Cheyna Roth. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
OUTDATEDSNOWPLOWS: Some county snow plows are almost 30 years old and a bill has been reintroduced to help these countries get better equipment. These old plows slow snow removal services and make it hard for municipalities to keep roads safe and convenient. We speak to Keweenaw County Road Commission engineer, Houghton City manager, and Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet to hear about these local needs and this bill’s possible solution. By Elizabeth Ferguson. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, ALPENA, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAYLING, ALCONA, GLADWIN & ALL POINTS.
ABORTIONINSURANCE: A recent bill would repeal the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, a controversial law that requires women to purchase additional insurance to be covered for abortions, even in situations such as rape or incest. The law was originally vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder, who weighs in on the law’s potential repeal. While the law requires women to opt into an abortion rider, only 7 of 42 Michigan policies offer such a rider, and those 7 are only available through employers, meaning women will have to ask their boss for the coverage. By Brooke Kansier. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS
YOUTHBEHINDBARS: Michigan has some of the nation’s toughest crime laws when it comes to juvenile justice. An upcoming forum based on a report by the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency has placed a renewed spotlight on laws that juvenile-justice advocates say are outdated, harm children and perpetuate crime. Advocates and lawmakers are pushing a package of bills to reform juvenile justice in the state. By Caitlin McArthur. FOR ALL POINTS.
DNABACKLOG: Detroit’s DNA backlog is expected to be cleared by the end of the year, but now a lack of resources is leading to problems in prosecuting offenders. Advocates are working to attract more funding from the local, state and federal level, but money and manpower are both needed if there is to be progress in prosecutions. By Caitlin McArthur. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
FIREWORKSREGULATIONS: A new bill in the Michigan House would grant local units of government the power to place ordinances and regulations on fireworks for their communities. We speak with the representative who introduced the bill, an official from the Michigan Townships Association and a representative from the Committee on Regulatory Reform which is the committee the bill was referred to. By Josh Thall. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, BLISSFIELD, AND ALL POINTS.
RELIGIOUSFREEDOM-BUSINESS: Indiana recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation, and the backlash from the business community has been strong. Michigan business leaders are concerned about a similar backlash should legislation move forward in Michigan. We talk with Grand Rapids and state business leaders, and a lawmaker, about potential impact of a bill many consider to be discriminatory against gay and lesbian residents. By Collin Krizmanich. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE, CADILLAC & ALL POINTS
ROADS&TRANSIT: Whether or not Proposal 1 passes in May, Michigan’s roads will still need help. A 2011 legislative report says the $1.2 billion expected to be generated annually is less than needed right now and woefully below anticipated needs in a decade. One possible solution is moving forward with public and rail transit projects. We talk to MDOT and transportation advocates and explore a proposal to run a passenger train from Ann Arbor to Traverse City. By Josh Thall. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, TRAVERSE CITY, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, BLISSFIELD AND ALL POINTS.
STREAMMONITORING: The Michigan Clean Water Corps will soon announce winners of grants for volunteer stream monitoring projects to survey aquatic macroinvertebrates and to inventory where railroads cross streams. Over the past 11 years, the money from DEQ has supported nearly 40 volunteer groups such as the Huron River Watershed Council gathering water quality data from more than 800 sites. By Qing Zhang. FOR ALL POINTS.
w/STREAMMONITORINGPHOTO: Volunteers collect macroinvertebrates at Traver Creek in Ann Arbor. Credit: John Lloyd
ROBOTFISH: A new generation of robot fish will soon track live fish – native and invasive species — and toxic algae blooms in the Great Lakes. MSU engineers are testing a prototype at a Southwest Michigan lake and future tests are expected in Lake Erie and Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay. By Danielle Woodward. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, ALPENA, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, LEELANAU, HOLLAND, MANISTEE , LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
w/ROBOTFISHPHOTO: The first two generations of the robot fish. Credit: Danielle Woodward.