Feb. 17, 2012 CNS Budget

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Feb. 17, 2012 – Week 5
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
For technical problems, contact Brandon Kirby (kirbybra@msu.edu734-718-5292).
All articles ©2012, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.
IN-DEPTH AHEAD: Next week will be the first of our three in-depth files this semester.
DEATHTHREATS: Should legislators bulletproof themselves and other state officials by stiffening penalties for death threats against them? We hear differing views from lawmakers from Evart, Traverse City, Pellston and Escanaba, as well as an Onondaga legislator who was a kidnap plot target. State Police says current law covers everyone. A Lansing city council member says local officials don’t need special treatment. Sponsors are from Taylor, Hart, Grand Ledge, Traverse City and Lake Orion. By Saodat Asanova-Taylor. FOR LANSING, BIG RAPIDS, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, CLARE, CADILLAC, LUDINGTON, MARQUETTE, ROYAL OAK, LUDINGTON, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
VOTING: Senate-passed GOP legislation would deter voting fraud—or disenfranchise many people, including the elderly. It depends whom you ask. A Grand Blanc Republican is in favor, but a Detroit Democrat, AARP, League of Women Voters and ACLU oppose it. By Jon Gaskell. FOR LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
HOMELESSWOMENVETS: The problem of homeless women veterans is serious but little known, a federal report says, and Michigan officials say it’s hard to reach them, even with a new effort in Macomb County. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, General Accountability Office, Michigan Women’s Commission and a Traverse City American Legion official discuss. By Jennifer Chen. FOR MACOMB, TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.
AGRICULTURESPENDING: The governor proposes $1 million more for a program to quintuple the number of environmental verifications of farms. The Association of Conservation Districts, Farm Bureau, DEQ and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development discuss. By Xinjuan Deng. FOR HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, TRAVERSE CITY, ALPENA, SOUTH BEND, BLISSFIELD, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LAPEER, BROWN CITY, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, CLARE, GLADWIN, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.
w/AGRICULTURESPENDINGGRAPHIC: Proposed Department of Agriculture and Rural Development budget. Credit: executive budget.
METRODETROITRANSIT: A Royal Oak lawmaker is proposing—for the 24th time– a regional mass transit authority to oversee bus systems in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, saying it would improve services and attract more federal funds. A Detroit passenger advocacy group generally likes the idea but says the bill doesn’t treat rail service equally. Co-sponsors include representatives from Detroit, Ypsilanti and Constantine. By Patrick Lyons. FOR ROYAL OAK, MACOMB, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, SOUTH BEND & ALL POINTS.
TAXRANKING: A significant jump in rankings for Michigan’s tax and economic climate has the Snyder administration glowing about future prospects. The report comes from the Tax Foundation, but other economic experts questions the validity of the rankings. By Patrick Howard. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING & ALL POINTS.
LOW-SPEEDCARS: Hundreds of low-speed, low-polluting cars toot around an upscale resort community on Little Traverse Bay. Transportation experts say they may represent a new wave in fuel-efficient personal and family transportation in some urban and suburban areas. But there are safety concerns if they’re on the same roads as normal vehicles. By Brian Bienkowski. FOR PETOSKEY, HARBOR SPRINGS, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.
w/LOW-SPEEDCARSTABLE: Laws on low-speed cars in the Great Lakes States.
w/LOW-SPEEDCARSPHOTO 1: Low-speed cars parade in Bay Harbor. Credit: Bay Harbor Co. and Bay Harbor Foundation.
w/LOW-SPEEDCARSPHOTO 2: Low-speed cars parade in Bay Harbor. Credit: Bay Harbor Co. and Bay Harbor Foundation.

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