Jan. 20, 2012 CNS Budget

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WELCOME BACK: Our new CNS correspondents look forward to working with you and your colleagues this semester. And many thanks to Dave Poulson for filling in as CNS director during the fall.
EDUCATION AHEAD: On Monday, Jan. 23, your correspondents will interview Don Wotruba, deputy director of the Michigan Association of School Boards. Potential interview topics include state aid to public schools, privatization of educational services, state mandates and the impact of more charter schools.
CNS DIRECTOR’S NEW BOOK: Congressional Quarterly Press has published Presidents and Black America: A Documentary History, by Central Michigan University history Prof. Steven A. Jones and CNS director Eric Freedman. For a review copy, contact Mary Kay Jezzini, 212-352-1404; publicity@sage.com. For more information on the book, see www.cqpress.com/product/Presidents-and-Black-America.html.
PUPPYPROTECTION: Senators from Warren, White Lake Township, Sterling Heights and Grand Ledge want tougher state regulation of commercial dog-breeding operations. The Ingham County Animal Control director and an MSU animal law expert support the proposal, but United Kennel Club in Kalamazoo and a retired Williamston vet say existing anti-cruelty laws are tough enough. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR MACOMB, ROYAL OAK, LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
TAXSOUTHWEST: To pay for public services, only one county—Calhoun– depends more heavily on personal property taxes than St. Joseph County. Local officials and the president of Glen Oaks Community College worry that eliminating the tax could be financial devastating unless lawmakers find a way to replace the lost revenue, but the governor and a Hillsdale senator favor allocating expiring business tax credit revenue to cover most of the loss. By Wei Yu. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
INNOVATIONFUND: Michigan is the first state to create a state board to manage a pool of $2.5 million for loans to advance technology within government agencies. We hear from the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Department of Technology, Management and Budget and a Grand Ledge legislator. For news and business desks. By Jennifer Chen. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
TOXICPRODUCTS: Sponsors from Ann Arbor, Warren, Detroit and Southfield are among lawmakers who say the state should require more public information about chemicals in t children’s products. An Ann Arbor-based environmental health group says the measure is necessary to protect children’s health, but the Michigan Manufacturers Association calls it expensive and unnecessary. By Patrick Lyons. FOR ANN ARBOR, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, MACOMB, ROYAL OAK& ALL POINTS.
UTILITYTAXES: A recent ruling that lowers taxes on utility companies and manufacturers of wind turbine parts could spur more wind farms across the state, experts say. Also spurring wind power popularity is a mandate that utilities get at least 10 percent of their energy from alternative sources. Large projects are underway in Mason and Huron counties and proposed for the U.P. and elsewhere. By Patrick Howard. FOR LUDINGTON, TRAVERSE CITY, MARQUETTE, ST. IGNACE, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CHEBOYGAN, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
TAXREPEAL: Eliminating the personal property tax would be good news – or bad news—for Northwest and Southeast Michigan, depending on whom you ask. We hear from Pellston and Warren lawmakers, Mackinac Island and St. Ignace city officials, Emmet and Macomb County officials and the Association of Counties. By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, MACOMB, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
TUITIONGRANTS: Senate Democrats want large tuition grants for in-state public university and community college students who attend Michigan schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Ann Arbor and East Lansing senators praise the idea, but the GOP says the idea is DOA. Overall, state aid cuts to higher education have been about $2,000 per student over the past decade. By Jon Gaskell. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ANN ARBOR, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
AIRLUBE: U of M naval architecture researchers say pumping air beneath hulls of Great Lakes freighters can improve fuel efficiency by 5 to 20 percent. The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute likes the idea but the Lake Carriers’ Association has questions about the technology. By Carol Thompson. FOR LUDINGTON, ANN ARBOR, MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, HOLLAND, SOUTH BEND, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, ALPENA & ALL POINTS.
GUNS&GOBIES: A new federal-state partnership will use seismic guns and underwater traps to combat underwater invaders such as the round goby and rusty crayfish from Grand Traverse Bay. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Geological Survey explain. By Brian Bienkowski. FOR HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, LUDINGTON, ALPENA, HOLLAND, SOUTH BEND, MARQUETTE & ALL POINTS.

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