Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has asked the federal government to order schools to stop using American Indian nicknames and mascots or risk losing education funds.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports the complaint was filed Friday with the U.S. Department of Education: 

The complaint cites research that finds the use of American Indian mascots and nicknames affects student performance. Leslee Fritz is with the state Department of Civil Rights.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal includes some big spending increases for road repairs and early childhood learning.  He revealed his spending plans for the coming fiscal year Thursday. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

Higher fuel taxes and vehicle fees would raise money for road repairs.  Governor Snyder called for a big increase for early childhood programs, and a boost for the lowest-spending schools.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder made his pitch for higher taxes and fees to pay for roads in his third State of the State address. He says Michigan needs at least a billion additional dollars in the coming year to pay for badly needed repairs to the state’s ailing infrastructure. He may also need a plan to repair his strained relationships with Democrats to get what he wants. 

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports.

(WKAR’s Joe Linstroth helped with this report.)

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder delivers his third State of the State address Wednesday night.  Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

Governor Snyder won’t say if there will be any mention of the controversies of 2012 – especially right to work. During a walk through the North American International Auto Show, the governor cheered Michigan’s steady growth following the Great Recession.

"And Michigan’s one of the most-competitive states in the nation today and I’m proud of that," he said.  "And we’re just going to keep going.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed a tax overhaul that he says will encourage more mining in Northern Michigan.  We have more from Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta:

The new tax will be based on how much iron, nickel, copper and other metals are pulled from the ground and will replace a complicated hodgepodge of local taxes. Humboldt Township Supervisor Joseph Derosha says his region will benefit from a mining tax that’s simple and easy to understand. 

“This tax will create new jobs across the Upper Peninsula and the state of Michigan," he says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will phase out the tax on industrial and business equipment. The next step is for voters to approve a way to replace the money local governments would otherwise lose.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

The question will appear on the 2014 statewide ballot. It would guarantee no cuts to schools or emergency services. Also, that local governments would get most, but not necessarily all, of the money for other services replaced.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Now that the Legislature’s lame duck session is over, Governor Rick Snyder has to make decisions on controversial legislation dealing with abortion and where people may carry concealed guns.  Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta reports:

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Protestors have filled the halls and Rotunda of the state Capitol for a second day as the Legislature prepares to vote on measures to make Michigan a right-to-work state.  That means workers in unionized companies could opt out of paying union dues.

Governor Rick Snyder and Republicans rolled out details of the legislation Thursday.  It would cover all workers in the state except police and firefighter unions.

Governor Rick Snyder has long said a right-to-work law is not high on his list of priorities.           

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--  Democrats at the state Capitol have vowed to fiercely fight a right-to-work bill if and when one is taken up in the Legislature’s lame duck session. The prospect of the measure coming up has increased tensions in Lansing.

Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta has more:

Demonstrators opposed to Michigan becoming the 24th right-to-work state filled the Capitol.  Their shouts could be heard inside the legislative chambers as lawmakers debated other issues while preparing for the possibility of a right-to-work fight.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., is facing the daunting prospect of running a write-in campaign to get re-elected this year, as his campaign fell far short of the number of petition signatures he needs to qualify for the August primary ballot.

Compounding McCotter's troubles: It appears election fraud may have played a part in the failure.