State officials to discuss what programs to shut down due to government shutdown

Michigan's departments are to report to Budget Director John Nixon by Wednesday on which programs will need to be shut down and how many state workers should be laid off if the federal government shutdown goes into November. Department of Technology, Management and Budget spokesman Kurt Weiss says as many as 20,000 state workers could be laid off starting next month if the shutdown continues.

Gov. Snyder to review recently passed gun bill

There's focus this week on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who says he is reviewing legislation passed last week that is likely to spark passionate reaction on both sides of the gun-control issue. The bill -- passed a day prior to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut -- would allow some gun owners to bring concealed weapons to schools, churches, bars and other areas that are gun-free. The Republican governor has not said if he'll sign the legislation into law. The bill is part of a wider effort to ease gun laws in Michigan.

State House Rep. Potvin doing research on Personal Property Tax bill

If the State House decides to side with the State Senate and votes to repeal the personal property tax in Michigan, local governments and schools could potentially lose $470 Million the tax generates annually. State House Rep. Potvin says he supports the measure, only if the money is replaced. Potvin says, "Both the communities of Cadillac and Big Rapids have some big industrial dollars that come back to them because of the personal property tax. Until we can replace those dollars, we can't expect these cities to carry that burden alone.

State Lawmakers introduce bill to eliminate personal property tax

Legislation will be introduced in Lansing today to phase out the state's personal property tax. The PPT is an industrial tax, based on property held by, for example, a local plant. Revenue goes to that local government for things like police and fire departments. Business groups say phasing out the tax will be a boon for job growth. But others say it will negatively effect the ability of many local communities to fight crime, as well as fires.

State Lawmakers resume motorcycle helmet use law debate

There are indications an effort will be made this week to resume action on a proposal in Lansing to allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet in Michigan. The Lansing-based "Mirs" News Service reports that the bill is set for action in the state senate this week. The proposal would allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet if they meet certain conditions, such as a requirement that extra insurance be carried by the rider. (MRN)

Another strike could be on horizon for Red Cross Great Lakes Region

Another strike is being threatened at the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region in Lansing. Teamsters Local 580 and Professional Employees International Union Local 459 have both issued a 10-day notice of intent to strike. The unions represent some 200 staff members. It's the fourth time the great lakes region has received the notifications in the past two years, and would be the third time worker have gone on strike.

Morley Stanwood Lady Mohawks Win Over St. Ignace 60-50

Morley Stanwood Lady Mohawks win over St. Ignace today with a final score of 60-50. They will advance to state finals.

University Presidents against proposed high education budget

The heads of four Michigan universities are not pleased with portions of Governor Rick Snyder's proposed higher education budget. Gongwer News Service reports presidents from Michigan Technological University, The University of Michigan, Grand Valley State University and Saginaw Valley State University told the House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee yesterday they are opposed to the Governor's proposal of one-time performance funding. They want to see that 36 (m) million-dollars instead rolled into their base funding. 

Gov. Snyder wants your kids in school!

Governor Rick Snyder says more has to be done to convince parents that their children should be in school. So he's proposing that if your kids habitually don't show up for school, you'll lose welfare eligibility. It's part of the Governor's new focus on fighting crime, unveiled last week in Flint. The Governor says a root cause of crime in Michigan includes problems with truancy, because kids who don't go to school tend to more likely to be involved in crime. During the past school year, there were 83,000 reported cases of truancy in Michigan schools. (MRN)

Lawmakers introduce toy gun bill

State lawmakers are considering legislation that targets toy guns. Specifically, a proposal now before the senate would make it a crime to possess a toy gun that has required toy markings removed, or to possess a real firearm that's made up to look like a toy. The measure is sponsored by State Senate republican Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, who cites a recent case where a police officer recently took a shot at a gang member who was aiming a toy gun that had toy markings removed.

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