Lawmakers eye child care as legitimate campaign expenditure

CHILD CARE: Running for office is demanding but even harder when you have a young child. Proposed legislation by Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, and Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids. would make child care a legitimate campaign contribution expense. Chang is the first state senator to give birth in office. By Dan Netter. For DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

One winemaker in northern Michigan is concerned about the recent wild swing in temperature affecting the cherry crop this year.

Farmers thankful for cool temperatures after high mid-April temperatures

CROPS: Recent extreme swings in temperature that had folks breaking out their winter coats again could harm Michigan crops. We talk to the state climatologist, a Grand Traverse County winemaker and an Alpena County strawberry farmer. By Dan Netter. FOR FARM NEWS, TRAVERSE CITY, OCEANA, ALPENA, LUDINGTON, HOLLAND, PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, WKTV, CORP! AND ALL POINTS

Just off of Interstate-496 in Lansing, near Pennsylvania Avenue, a billboard advertising Florida as a right-to-work state, used a play on Michigan's state motto.

Two states try to lure Michigan businesses, workers after right-to-work repeal

ADVERTISEMENTS: Two out-of-state groups are recruiting Michigan businesses by claiming that the state’s recent repeal of right-to-work laws is bad for business. A Florida group plays off of Michigan’s official motto: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, move to Florida.” It notes: “The Free State of Florida protects your Right to Work.” A North Carolina business group took out a newspaper ad in Lansing touting North Carolina’s low-unionization rate and that it is also a “proud Right to Work state.” By Dan Netter FOR CITY PULSE AND BUSINESS AND NEWS PAGES OF ALL POINTS.

Public land in small communities eyed for solar grids

SOLAR: Parks, vacant lots and even former dumping sites are being eyed as sites for solar grids. A pair of unlikely lawmakers – a Republican from the Upper Peninsula lawmaker and a Democrat from Ann Arbor – introduced bills to encourage the building and regulation of community solar power centers in smaller communities. By Dan Netter. FOR DETROIT, IRON MOUNTAIN, MARQUETTE, BAY MILLS, SAULT STE. MARIE, CORP! AND ALL POINTS.

More farm tourism brings more workplace hazards

AGRITOURISM LABOR: With an upcoming shortage of tourism personnel expected this year, the safety and health of some agritourism workers may be at higher risk than usual, a new study cautions. We talk to the researcher, the vice president of Pure Michigan and XXX. By Dan Netter. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS, CORP! TRAVERSE CITY, LEELANAU, PETOSKEY, HOLLAND, CLARE, GLADWIN, CADILLAC, HARBOR SPRINGS, ALPENA, MONROE, CRAWFORD COUNTY, OCEANA, ALCONA, BENZIE, GREENVILLE, GLADWIN, BIG RAPIDS, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, CRAWFORD COUNTY, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, ST. IGNACE, CHEBOYGAN, BIG RAPIDS AND ALL POINTS.

More dues expected to flow to unions after right-to-work repeal

RIGHT TO WORK: Repeal of Michigan’s decade-old right-to-work law means more revenue for union activities such as contract negotiations,representation in job discipline disputes, organizing health and safety programs and employee assistance programs. We hear why from the AFL-CIO and an MSU labor relations professor. For news and business sections. By Dan Netter. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP!, DETROIT AND ALL POINTS

Former Rep. Sara Cambensy of Marquette.

‘Cooling off’ period proposed for lawmakers to become lobbyists

LOBBYISTS: A White Lake senator is making another likely futile effort to slow the revolving door that lets legislators become registered lobbyists immediately after leaving office. Only one fellow Republican, from Holly, and no Democrats, are cosponsoring his ethics bills, which would also prohibit legislators’ spouses from lobbying. A Marquette Democrat, who just left the House and heads the Michigan Chemical Council discusses. We also hear from Common Cause and the Southfield senator who chairs the committee. By Dan Netter. FOR MARQUETTE, CORP!, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS JOURNAL, DETROIT, LANSING CITY PULSE, SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALL POINTS.

Lawmaker wants different property tax assessment on big box stores

PROPERTY TAXES: Do big box stores avoid paying their fair share of local property tax? Yes, according to critics – including a UP legislator – who say the companies take advantage of the controversial “dark store” assessment metric that the state Tax Tribunal uses. We hear from the Retailers Association, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and local government associations that say some cities, counties and townships could be on the hook for millions of dollars in business tax refunds, including Houghton, Big Rapids Township and Lansing Township. By Dan Netter. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! BIG RAPIDS, IRON MOUNTAIN, LANSING, MARQUETTE AND ALL POINTS.

The avian flu has not harmed Michigan’s commercial turkey farms to date.

Turkey farms spared so far from avian flu

TURKEYS: While avian flu hit Michigan’s chicken farms heavily, contributing to higher egg and chicken prices, the state’s commercial turkey farms have largely been spared so far. Only one turkey farm, in Muskegon County, has been hit. Turkey farmers have ramped up biosecurity measures but worry about the impending spring bird migration to the state. We talk to the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, DNR and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. By Dan Netter. FOR HOLLAND, OCEANA, WKTV, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS AND ALL POINTS.