Archives for May 2018

Governor Says State Will Put $50 Million Toward Upgrading Soo Locks

It will cost an estimated one-billion dollars to upgrade the Soo Locks…

Governor Snyder says the state is planning to set aside 50-million dollars toward the cost. Congress approved the work in the mid-1980s, but has never passed legislation to fund the project. President Trump announced his support for the upgrade earlier this year at a suburban Detroit rally. Snyder says the money the state is setting aside is part of the state budget surplus.

Governor Snyder Noncommittal On Nestle Water Controversy

The Governor says…he’s not taking a position on the Nestle Water Controversy…

Governor Snyder is not taking a stance on the controversy over Nestle Waters North America’s new permit with the Department of Environmental Quality allowing the European company to pull 400 gallons a minute out of an aquifer in Osceola County. At the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, Snyder said it’s a fair question to ask if the system for the permits needs to change but says he has no policy recommendations.

Traffic Deaths Increase Over Holiday Weekend

Traffic Deaths Increase Over Holiday Weekend

Michigan State Police say preliminary reports show 15 people were killed in eleven crashes over the Memorial Day weekend. The number of deaths was up by five from last year. Alcohol was a known factor in just two of the crashes, and five involved motorcycles. Authorities say the numbers might still go up and only reflect what was reported to MSP by 10:30 yesterday morning.

Fewer Saving For College In Michigan

A new survey by the Michigan Education Trust finds a disconnect when it comes to higher education.

An overwhelming majority of parents in the state say they view a college education as an investment in their children’s future, but only about half are actually saving money for those costs. The study also found significant differences in savings rates and knowledge about college savings vehicles in various regions of the state, with parents in the southern half of Michigan more likely to have a college savings plan than those in the north. The results were released to coincide with 529 Day, observed every May 29th to raise awareness of 529 plans, which are tax-advantaged college savings vehicles.

Co2 Detectors Recommended For Boats

With the summer boating season underway, officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are urging people to install carbon monoxide detectors on their vessels.

Chief medical executive Dr. Eden Wells notes in a statement that many people don’t realize they can still be sickened by the odorless gas while on a boat. Exhaust from the engine and generator can vent into the cabin, cockpit and bridge and cause people to get sick and even die. The department says the danger rises when boats are idling or moving slowly.

Republicans May Legalize Marijuana

There are a few more Republicans in the Michigan House who are open to the idea of the legislature legalizing recreational marijuana to prevent a vote on the ballot proposal in November.

There are reports there still aren’t enough members of the majority party in the House backing the idea for it to pass before a deadline of June 5th. There have been ideas floated in the Senate to pass the legalization of marijuana and then amend the law to only let it take effect when the federal government reclassifies the drug. There are also Republicans fearful of losing their majorities in the House and Senate this fall because the marijuana question is likely to bring out voters they say are more likely to vote for Democrats.

New Medicaid Requirements

A deal is in place among the state Senate, House, and Snyder administration on requiring people to work in order to qualify for Medicaid in Michigan.

Senator Mike Shirkey has been pushing for the change and had proposed a 29-hour per week work requirement, but says that’s been reduced to 20 in order to possibly get enough votes. Senator Margaret O’Brien of Portage says the new work requirement is more in line with new rules to receive food stamps that will take effect later this year, and her “no” vote will change with the work requirement being reduced by nine hours a week.

No Anchor Dropping In Straits

Ships are no longer allowed to drop anchor in the Straits of Mackinac.

Governor Snyder has approved the Department of Natural Resources’ emergency rule, which was prompted by an anchor rupturing electrical cables and spilling about 600 gallons of a mineral-based synthetic oil earlier this spring. The same anchor damaged Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits. Snyder says anchoring in the Straits of Mackinac “poses a serious threat” to Lakes Michigan and Huron, and says the emergency rule will help protect the environment until a permanent solution is in place.

Gas Prices Continue To Rise

It doesn’t matter how expensive gasoline is in the state, the Michigan Agency for Energy says we’ll pay it and use more than last year.

The agency is projecting gasoline demand to be up two-point-seven-percent compared to 2017 at four-point-seven-six-billion gallons. Gas prices are also expected to be around 20-percent higher than last year and are over three-dollars a gallon on average throughout the state.

MDOT Lifts Road Construction Ahead Of Holiday

The Michigan Department of Transportation is trying to make the drive to vacation spots this weekend as easy as possible.

MDOT is lifting lane restrictions on nearly 73-percent of road and bridge projects from 3 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Tuesday. Triple-A Michigan’s holiday travel forecast anticipates one-point-three-million Michiganders will be taking a trip of at least 50 miles from home for Memorial Day, with one-point-one-million planning to drive.