Economists still believe budget deficit to be $1.8 billion

Economists at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference in Lansing on Friday, said that Michigan’s budget hole is a familiar one for the coming fiscal year. While State Treasurer Andy Dillon and the Directors of the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies projected increases in state revenue, budding problems with the state's Medicaid money could keep the hole at the same $1.8 billion. (MRN)

AG wants Lansing District Court Judge removed from office

Attorney General Bill Schuette wants a Lansing District Court Judge removed from office saying he's in violation of state law. Hugh Clarke was appointed by former Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 20th to fill the last days of the unexpired term of former District Court Judge Amy Krause. However, Schuette says any attempt to remain in office past noon on January 1st is illegal. The Republican Attorney General says Clarke cannot fulfill the new term Krause had been elected to in November but had not started before leaving the District Court.

Legislators now to pay for their parking spots in Lansing

It's long been known that the best parking spaces at the State Capitol are the ones assigned to legislators. And from now on we know just how much they're worth. A new plan to take effect in January requires $17 to be deducted from each House member’s paycheck for their parking spaces. Up until now lawmakers have always gotten the parking space at no extra cost. Lansing-based MIRS News Service confirmed the new deduction with the Office of House Speaker-elect Jase Bolger. No word on whether the Senate will charge their members for parking spaces. (MRN)

Michigan home to seven of the smartest cities in the U.S.

Michigan has seven of the smartest cities in the nation. That's according to a survey which ranks Ann Arbor and its 114,000 residents at number two in the nation in brainpower. The national business news website used U.S. Census Bureau data to analyze the levels of educational attainment in 200 metropolitan areas, ranging in size from New York City to Burlington, Vermont. Ann Arbor, the home of the University of Michigan, is second to Boulder, Colorado in the concentration of adults who attended college at 77.4% and the share who hold advanced degrees at 25.5%.

Billboards go up to try and help Pure Michigan campaign

A dozen billboards are going up on major highways around Lansing urging lawmakers on their way to the capitol to pump more money into the state’s Pure Michigan advertising campaign this year. The tourism industry is launching a full court press on the legislature to approve another $25 million for the national advertising campaign. The Pure Michigan campaign has just under $5.5 million, which is inadequate according to tourism officials, and is far less what was spent in earlier years.


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