CNS BUDGET – March 16, 2018

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March 16, 2018 – Week 8
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman & Sheila Schimpf
For technical problems, contact CNS technical manager Tony Cepak at (517) 803-6841;
For other matters, contact CNS Director Eric Freedman at (517) 355-4729 or (517) 256-3873;
Here’s your file:
DRINKINGWATER: When it comes to water, the contaminants you drink depend on where you live. Lead gets the most headlines but there are problems with arsenic, nitrate and volatile organic compounds. According to DEQ data, generally the further north you go, the safer your water is, although when it comes to nitrates, west is worse than east. The story names these counties, among others, on the naughty or nice lists: Mason, St. Joseph, Marquette, Montmorency, Mackinac, Manistee, Luce, Baraga, Keweenaw, Oceana, Alpena, Cass, Montcalm and Branch.  By Bailey Laske. FOR STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MARQUETTE, MONTMORENCY, LUDINGTON, ST. IGNACE, MANISTEE, SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, OCEANA AND ALL POINTS.
SEEDPOTATO: It may become mandatory for most potato seed growers to use only certified seed to prevent the spread of diseases that can threaten a valuable part of the state’s agricultural economy, under a bill awaiting the governor’s signature. We hear from the lead sponsor from Hudsonville, as well as a grower in Elmira, the Michigan Potato Industry Council and MSU. Major growing counties include Montcalm, Mecosta, Antrim, St. Joseph and Delta. There are co-sponsors from Cedar Lake, Berrien Springs, Sherman Township, Mancelona and Grand Rapids. For agriculture and news sections. By Crystal Chen. FOR HOLLAND, BIG RAPIDS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS, GREENVILLE, MARQUETTE, MONTMORENCY, PETOSKEY, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
FARMERFEARS: Many farmers are worried about possible retaliatory trade tariffs for agricultural products that Michigan exports to China and elsewhere. We talk to soybean, milk and agri-business groups about the potential impacts. For agriculture and news sections. By Kaley Fech. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
LAUGHINGGAS: A proposal moving through the Legislature would set an 18-year-old age minimum to buy nitrous oxide — laughing gas — in Michigan. The goal is to make it more difficult for young people to get high. But even if the bill passes, young people could still get nitrous oxide legally. Sponsors include Calumet and Mattawan legislators. We talk to a substance abuse recovery expert from Brighton, the Michigan State Medical Society and the Department of Health and Human Services. By Bailey Laske. FOR SAULT STE. MARIE, BAY MILLS, HOLLAND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
HOMELESSSTUDENTS: Homeless college students are often reluctant to seek assistance. Wayne State University has a program to help. Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College are partnering with an Ypsilanti nonprofit to provide mental health services. We also hear from the Michigan Community College Association. By Agnes Bao. FOR LANSING CITY PULSE, BIG RAPIDS, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.
ASSISTANCEFORMS: The Department of Health and Human Services has worked with a nonprofit Detroit design firm to slash the number of pages in the applications for social services benefits from 42 to 18 in an effort to simplify the process for the public and state staff. It was the longest application of its kind in the country. A plain English expert from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School says other departments should follow suit. By Maxwell Evans. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.
GENDERPAYGAP: In what critics call another move to curb the power of local governments, some lawmakers want to prohibit communities from passing ordinances that block employers from asking job applicants about their past earnings. Proponents for equal pay for women object. By Gloria Nzeka. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.
TIPPINGFEES: The governor has proposed dramatically increase dumping fees — tipping fees — to raise money for recycling, among other environmental programs. Michigan lags nationally in its recycling rate, and more state grants could spur an improvement. We hear about the program in Emmet County, which has one of the state’s highest rates and also serves Cheboygan, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. DEQ and the Michigan Recycling Coalition tell us more. By Casey Hull. FOR PETOSKEY, CHEBOYGAN AND ALL POINTS.

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