politics

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Gov. Rick Snyder is seeking to boost base funding for most of Michigan's public schools by the largest dollar amount in more than 15 years. Snyder on Wednesday will ask lawmakers for a $240 per-pupil increase for school districts that get the minimum grant - a 3.1 percent boost for more than 75 percent of traditional schools and all charters. Higher-funded schools would get $120 more, a 1.4 percent increase.

Snyder also is proposing to shift $325 million in general funds to road repairs, more than double what's called for under law.

Patrick Center / 546

As Congress works on its 2018 Farm Bill one consideration is making food assistance recipients work. Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Grand Rapids’ Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery meeting with local farmers. This is where Perdue was asked about what could be in store for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Perdue made it clear the Trump administration and a Republican Congress won’t eliminate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, rather there’s a need for the nutrition program to, as Pedue put it, work for Americans.

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The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue visited Michigan Thursday. His first stop was for a breakfast at Grand Rapids’ Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery meeting with local farmers. This where Perdue rolled out the agency’s new interactive website designed to assist American farmers.

“If any of us have ever gone to a governmental website looking for information it’s kind of like hunting for Easter eggs. You know, they’re kind of hidden many times. We want this to be very evident.”

After serving 8 years as Grand Rapids City Manager, Friday marks Greg Sundstrom's last day of public service. Last August, Sundstrom penned an official letter to Mayor Rosalynn Bliss saying he would not seek a new contract after his current one expired on December 31st.  Sundstrom’s 8 years of service makes him the City’s third-longest serving City Manager.

He says seeing Grand Rapids through the recession is what he is most proud of during his tenure.

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Tuesday, January 23rd at 9PM WGVU Public Television and FRONTLINE present Exodus: The Journey Continues. This is a close-up and personal look at global migration and European refugee crisis. WGVU spoke with the film’s director.

“Now when they arrive they’re met and put into refugee camps that look a hell of a lot like prison camps.”

James Bluemel is director of FRONTLINE’s Exodus: The Journey Continues.

Michigan voters will elect a new governor this year. As a lead up to the Republican primary the parties candidates are planning town hall forums. The first is planned for next week in Grand Rapids.

Republican gubernatorial candidates Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, state Senator Patrick Colbeck and Dr. Jim Hines will take questions from voters next week in Grand Rapids.

It’s the first in a series of town hall forums planned for January and February.

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The Civil War came to an end more than 150 years ago. Today, communities are debating the preservation or removal of Civil War monuments.

Christy S. Coleman is CEO of the American Civil War Museum. As a guest of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies and its Division of Inclusion and Equity, Coleman presented “How Shall We Remember?”

“Around this conversation, this debate, about confederate statuary in particular, part of the challenge is that we have to unpack when they’re put up and why?”

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State budget director Al Pscholka is resigning next month and will be replaced by Gov. Rick Snyder's strategy director John Walsh.

The Republican governor announced the change Friday, effective Feb. 28.

Pscholka, a former lawmaker who became budget director a year ago, says he wants to pursue unspecified opportunities in southwest Michigan to spend more time with his family. He will stay on to help finalize and release the next proposed budget in February.

Walsh will be the fourth budget director for Snyder, who has less than a year left in office.

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The majority of Michigan voters say fixing the state’s infrastructure is the number one problem lawmakers need to address. That is the finding in a recent poll conducted in December.

Fix MI State is a campaign organized by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. It asked Lansing-based Epic-MRA to survey 600 registered Michigan voters asking what they think is the top problem facing the state?

Republican gubernatorial candidates Brian Calley and Patrick Colbeck plan to participate in a series of town hall forums where voters can ask questions.

Details on dates, locations and formats have yet to be worked out, but Calley - the lieutenant governor - said Monday he's envisioning one event per week for six weeks over January and February.

Colbeck, a state senator, says GOP candidate Dr. Jim Hines will also participate.

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