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Transparency in state government was up for a vote Thursday in Lansing.

The state House approved a package of bills that would open up the governor’s office and the legislature to freedom of information requests.

Democratic Representative Jeremy Moss has been working on FOIA reform since last year. Moss says the vote shows their citizens want more transparency – and the Senate should approve them.

MPLP Breakfast

Mar 8, 2017
IPPSR - Michigan State University

West Michigan guests recently attended the 15th annual Michigan Political Leadership Program Breakfast.  The speakers were Governor Howard Dean and Political Strategist Ana Navarro. The Morning Show Roving Microphone was there.

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A bill that would keep bids secret until the state government awards a contract is nearing final approval in Michigan's Legislature.

Supporters say the legislation up for a vote in the House this week would prevent firms from using the Freedom of Information Act to access the bid information of competitors in order to win a state contract.

Companies' trade secrets and other financial and propriety information would be fully exempt from disclosure.

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The crisis in Flint over lead-tainted drinking water will be discussed during a 3-day water infrastructure conference.

The event starts Tuesday in Flint and is to focus on the need for reinvestment in municipal water and sewer systems, improving water quality and other aspects of an aging infrastructure.

Organizers say lessons learned from Flint and new technologies will be presented.

Flint was under state control when it switched in 2014 from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money.

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Michigan Senate and House Democrats want to see all Michigan workers get paid sick leave.

They introduced legislation on Wednesday that would give workers one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked regardless of whether they are part-time or full-time.

State Rep. Stephanie Chang says a majority of Michigan citizens support paid sick leave. A 2016 study by the Michigan League for Public Policy shows that 44 percent of Michigan workers cannot take time off if they or a family member becomes ill.

Michigan Capitol Building
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University presidents from across the state, including Grand Valley State University, are lobbying against the income tax cut plan.

The leaders of Michigan's 15 public universities are lobbying against an income tax cut they worry would lead to state funding cuts.

While the House has altered the income tax cut and roll back bill. The legislation would now cut the tax down to 3.9 percent by 2021 and then go no further.

Rep. Brian Banks
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A former state lawmaker will not face more jail time or probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and agreeing to resign.

Former state Representative Brian Banks was sentenced Friday. Banks had eight prior felony convictions, but this time got off with a misdemeanor and a one-day jail sentence with credit for time served.

But Banks had to give up his metro Detroit state House seat as part of the deal.

Andrea Bitely of the state Attorney General’s office says Banks can’t run again – but not because of his criminal conviction.

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In January, President Donald Trump asked Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act “very quickly.”

The replacement plan has yet to be revealed. A recent statewide poll asks Michigan voters what they think about repealing the ACA without a replacement?

Whether you’re a Michigan Republican, Democrat or Independent the overwhelming number of voters, 57 percent, want Congress and President Donald Trump to have a health care replacement plan enacted before repealing the one that’s already in place.

Michigan Capitol Building
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A Republican-led House panel has voted to cut Michigan's income tax and eliminate it over a number of decades despite "serious concerns" lodged by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Supporters say the bill approved 7-4 Wednesday would fulfill a nearly decade-old promise to reduce the 4.25 percent tax to 3.9 percent after it was raised to balance the budget.

Opponents say the tax cut would cost the state $680 million next budget year and $1.1 billion in the first full year at a time general funds are tightening.

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A former chairman of the Michigan Republican party is leading the GOP again. Ron Weiser was unanimously elected Saturday as chairman.

Ronna Romney McDaniel stepped down to become head of the national party.

Meanwhile, Brandon Dillon was given another term as chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Both parties are holding conventions this weekend. Weiser told 3,000 party members in Lansing that "united we win; divided we lose."

McDaniel gave a farewell speech, saying President Donald Trump's victory gives Michigan "the respect it deserves."

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