Capital News Service

of the Michigan State University School of Journalism

CNS budget Oct. 2

Week 4
To: CNS Editors
From: Eric Freedman and Vic Rauch
http://cns.jrn.msu.edu

For technical problems, contact CNS Webmaster Tricia Bobeda (bobeda@msu.edu)

MICHIGAN UNITED CONSERVATION CLUBS AHEAD: On Monday, Oct. 5, your correspondents will interview the new executive director of MUCC, Erin McDonough. Topics may include the impact of budget cuts on state parks, forests and game area; hunting and fishing legislation and regulation; firearms legislation; public lands acquisition; expansion of the bottle law; and habitat protection.

HERE’S YOUR FILE:

NEIGHBORHOODSCHOOLS:  A Holland senator wants to give parents and teachers of a failing traditional public school the option of breaking away and converting to a taxpayer-funded “neighborhood public school.” The Michigan Education Association and the state Association of School Boards oppose the idea, saying the priority should be improving public education, but the organization representing charter schools favors the proposal. By Emily Lawler. FOR HOLLAND, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.

SOCIALSTUDIES: A Macomb County legislator wants to eliminate the social studies section of the MEAP test because it’s not federally mandated and would save $2 million a year. Not surprisingly, social studies teachers, including one from St. Johns, criticize the proposal. The Michigan Education Association cautions that schools are already dropping valuable parts of their curricula for financial reasons, such as fine arts and phys ed. But the education dean at Western Michigan University sees no danger that eliminating social studies on MEAP will mean eliminating social studies from the classroom. By Adam DeLay. FOR MACOMB, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING & ALL POINTS.

SEXCLUBSIGN: In response to neighborhood complaints about a topless club in northwest Detroit, a senator wants to ban graphic signs for adult businesses such as topless clubs, adult theaters and bookstores. A community leader says such signs are offensive, but a Wayne State University law professor and an organization representing adult clubs say the legislation is unconstitutional. By Caitlin Costello. FOR MICHIGAN CITIZEN, OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK & ALL POINTS.

SCHOOLENROLLMENT: The state’s public school enrollment has dropped by 75,000 students over the past five years, and the future looks even bleaker, a Michigan State University expert says. That has serious financial implications for  the amount of state aid that districts receive. By Quincy Hodges. FOR LANSING, MICHIGAN CITIZEN & ALL POINTS.

EMERGENCYGRANTS: More than 13,000 laid-off workers stand to benefit from $38 million in emergency federal grants to retrain and reeducate them for high-demand jobs in such fields as health care and solar energy. Among the 24 covered counties are Oakland, Macomb, Clinton, Ingham, Allegan, Oceana, Wayne, Eaton, Ottawa and Lapeer. Ferris State says there’s high demand for slots in its nursing program, and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in Dimondale predicts growth in “green energy” jobs. By Vince Bond Jr. FOR OAKLAND, MACOMB, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, ROYAL OAK,  GREENVILLE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING, HOLLAND, LUDINGTON & ALL POINTS.

BOBCATHUNT: Bobcat hunters and trappers in the Upper Peninsula will have a shortened and later-starting season as the Department of Natural Resources tries to determine why the bobcat population is dropping. We hear from a DNR specialist, as well as Michigan United Conservation Clubs. For news and outdoors sections. By Jordan Travis. FOR MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY, CHEBOYGAN, UP NORTH, LUDINGTON, CADILLAC, PETOSKEY, CLARE, ALPENA, GREENVILLE, GLADWIN & ALL POINTS.
W/ BOBCAT PHOTO: Credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources

HAPPYPETS: A U.S. representative from Oakland County says pet owners deserve a  break today—a tax break, that is. His “Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act” would allow an annual tax deduction of up to $3,500 for vet expenses. The Michigan Veterinary Association based in Okemos and Michigan Humane Society in Bingham Farms like the idea. By Mehak Bansil. FOR OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, LANSING & ALL POINTS.

MERITCURRICULUM
: The rigidity of the Michigan Merit Curriculum prevents many high school students from learning what they need to succeed in a changing workplace and contributes to the dropout rate, say a West Branch legislator and the Michigan Education Association president. A Michigan State education professor counters that the state-mandated curriculum, which took effect in 2006, is highly regarded for its rigor, quality and potential for better preparing students. By Nick Mordowanec. FOR CADILLAC, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, LANSING, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, UP NORTH, CLARE & ALL POINTS.

BIOFUELTAXCREDIT: A Norton Shores senator wants to give gas stations a tax credit for selling renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, saying it would help reduce use of fossil fuels. The renewable energy market is active, a board member of NextEnergy in Detroit says, and the Agriculture Department counts 233 biodiesel and 117 E-85 fueling stations in the state. Co-sponsors are from Fawn River Township, Holland, Frenchtown Township, Three Oaks, Saginaw and Saugatuck Township. By Hyonhee Shin. FOR LUDINGTON, SOUTH BEND, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, BLISSFIELD, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.

BUSYLEGISLATURE: Struggles with an enormous budget deficit and a threatened shutdown of government have drawn the headlines but gloom-and-doom worries haven’t prevented lawmakers from addressing other pressing issues – such as making it easier for temporarily disabled hunters to get crossbow permits, requiring that members of local planning commissions be at least 18 years old and changing license requirements for dealers in gems and precious metals. We hear about some of the latest ideas from legislators from Traverse City, Roseville, East Lansing, Canton, Holland, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Midland and Taylor. By Eric Freedman. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING, CHEBOYGAN, PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN CITIZEN, HOLLAND, MACOMB, OAKLAND, ROYAL OAK, ALPENA, GLADWIN & ALL POINTS.

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CNS reporters cover state government — issues and personalities.



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