Michigan Public Radio Network

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)--   Any bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion to get a transvaginal ultrasound will not pass the state House.

Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher has more:

That’s according to House Speaker Jase Bolger.  He said there’s no way he’ll take up any measure that would require the invasive procedure.

Ari Adler is a spokesperson for the House speaker.

“It is not something that the state should be mandating," he said, "and the speaker has said flat out that we will not be approving a bill that requires that mandate.”

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)--   If an animal welfare group gathers enough signatures over the next few weeks, a law opening Michigan to a wolf hunt will be put up for referendum. A state board approved the group’s petitions Thursday.

Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher has more:

The new law makes the gray wolf a game species in Michigan. That means state wildlife officials could choose to declare a hunting season.

The group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected will have to gather more than 160,000 signatures in less than six weeks to put the issue on the November 2014 ballot.

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 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: