Public sector

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.

In Michigan heroin epidemic, deciding whose lives are worth saving

With heroin and prescription drug abuse at historic levels, lawmakers are pushing for wider access to naloxone, a life-saving antidote, for some drug abusers.

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Map: Heroin deaths by county in Michigan

Overdose deaths as the result of heroin or other opioid addictions have quadrupled in recent years across Michigan, often primed by abuse of prescribed painkillers.

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An accident runner, a chiropractor, and the push to curb no-fault insurance

The insurance industry cites schemes involving morally flexible lawyers and overactive doctors as reason to curb Michigan’s no-fault law. Critics say Lansing’s “reform” legislation would hurt the most seriously injured.

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43,000 Michigan prisoners: Who should we cut loose first?

Reform advocates agree that Michigan could save millions by reducing its prison population, a cost that has risen seven-fold over three decades. But with politics never far from the surface, can policymakers agree on who doesn’t belong?

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Hell freezes over – GOP and ACLU push prison reform

An unexpected coalition of conservatives and progressives is forming around finding ways to reduce Michigan’s costly prison population

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Will Michigan defy Obama on lifting Iran sanctions?

As President Obama tries to sell Congress and the U.S. people on a nuclear deal with Iran, legislators in Lansing are pushing for ratcheting up state-level sanctions to discourage companies in the state from doing business with Iran.

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Father of Michigan fireworks law says he has no regrets

Harold Haugh has been vilified for helping to legalize high-powered fireworks in Michigan. He says the law has proved an economic boon to the state.

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Newspapers take notice of revenue threat

Proposed legislation would move public notices – hearings, descriptions of property to be sold, election dates, all in tiny type – from print to the Web, and with it money that Michigan’s newspapers can ill-afford to relinquish.

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Legislature gets little respect from state voters in survey

Democrats disapprove of the work Lansing lawmakers do by a wide margin, but even Republicans were down on the GOP-dominated body.

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Dem Rep. Sam Singh finds a lesson for Lansing in the streets of Pamplona

A Democratic representatives finds a legislator can be effective when his party is outnumbered, by turning policymaking into more of a chess game than an all-out assault.

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One year later, undocumented immigrant children quietly settling in Michigan

The anti-immigration protests last summer in Vassar have given way to the more mundane process of placing nearly 200 unaccompanied minors with relatives or foster families. Michigan remains one of the nation’s most welcoming states.

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Hispanic immigrants playing more critical role in Michigan’s farm economy

As residents flee rural areas in Michigan and across the country, Hispanic workers are becoming an even greater force in agricultural production. Nearly 3-in-10 Michigan farms are now owned by non-U.S. citizens.

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Political notes from a small island

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s three-day policy conference is this week at the Grand Hotel. Bridge has a live stream of all the action.

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Reforms could mean fewer prisoners, shorter sentences – and more money for potholes

The urgent need for road repairs could be the final push needed for criminal justice reforms to be unveiled Monday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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Snyder eyes future as his profile builds

Despite the failure of Proposal 1, the governor pitches a “comeback story” to audiences in California and New York.

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6 things we learned (and 3 things we didn’t) from Proposal 1 debacle

Legislators can’t write ballot proposals. And voters don’t read newspaper endorsements. Those are just two reasons why Proposal 1 failed.

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Good roads or bad, Proposal 1 hated equally across Michigan

Think the counties with the poorest roads were more likely to vote yes? Think again. This is being called a historic defeat for a reason.

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With roads measure crushed, a search for Plan B

With the resounding defeat of Proposal 1 on Tuesday, it’s unclear how Michigan’s deteriorating roads will be fixed.

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