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.

U.S. Education Secretary criticizes Legislature for inaction on DPS

The failure to come up with more than short-term fixes shows “a lack of concern for people,” says John B. King Jr., who urged a permanent resolution.

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Flint 101: In business schools and seminars, a tough grade for Snyder

Michigan’s CEO governor is the subject of case studies and forums in which the culture in his administration is being compared with oil spills and the Challenger explosion.




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Flint water crisis: Full coverage

Editor’s note: The litany of mistakes that caused lead poisoning in Flint’s drinking water – and responsibility for those gross errors – will be debated for years by investigators, lawyers, politicians, the media and the Michigan public. No one is exactly sure […]

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Felony charges filed against state, city employees in Flint water crisis

The state attorney general promises more will be held responsible for the city’s lead-tainted water, while singling out two DEQ employees, as well as Flint’s water-quality supervisor.




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24 Michigan hospitals were penalized for patient safety gaps. Is there a better measure?

A national ranking system financially punishes hospitals for high rates of hospital-acquired conditions, such as infections. But large, big-city hospitals say their poor scores can be misleading because they deal with patients more susceptible to complications.




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Citizens Research Council marks 100 years of putting government under its microscope

It’s one of the most influential groups you’ve never heard of. Born a century ago, its independent research still drives much of state policymaking.




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Candidates are gone, but economic woes remain for Trump, Sanders supporters

What happens when opposites attract? Many supporters of outsider candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders find themselves agreeing on issues, but from very different directions.

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The governor and the mayor: Perceived snubs strain Flint recovery

As city and state officials race to resolve the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, communication problems cause headaches and hard feelings.




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How Lansing can reduce crowding at state’s lone women’s prison

An epidemic of drug addiction has swollen the state’s sole women’s prison to near-capacity, leading to overcrowding complaints. Is there a better way?




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Flint report offers damning verdict on state emergency manager law

In a blunt report putting the blame for Flint’s water crisis squarely on state government, a task force finds that Michigan gives too much power to emergency managers and not enough voice to local residents in distressed communities.




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Flint’s switch to river water left residents holding the tab

Beset by financial woes, Flint’s state-appointed leaders kept charging high rates to the city’s impoverished residents even though the switch to the Flint River sharply reduced city expenses




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Breaking: Report finds ‘environmental injustice’ in Flint water crisis; poor, majority-black population given inferior protection

The task force, appointed by Gov. Snyder, finds state agencies, including Snyder’s office, were “indifferent” to residents’ concerns. The report is also scathing on impact of emergency management law. Read the full report here.




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The price of neglect: Michigan must spend billions on water, sewer fixes

Beyond Flint, experts say the state’s failure to upgrade its vast water and sewer systems means at least $17.5 billion in needed repairs. The cost of doing nothing may be even worse.




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Grand Rapids comes out of the sewer

Grand Rapids used to tremble when heavy rains fell since downpours often meant nasty sewer overflows. Today, the city rests easier after investing in a long-term upgrade that reduces the odds that raw sewage will flood river waters.




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In replacing lead lines, what Michigan can learn from Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin, the nation’s first city to replace all lead service lines, discovered that to keep residents safe it had to replace all lines, not just part of them.




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Flint’s legacy may include dramatic expansion of public records law

Questions about the state’s bungled response to Flint’s water crisis have led to a bipartisan push to make the governor’s office and legislature subject to the state’s public records law. Michigan now ranks at the bottom for government transparency.




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Michigan primary delivers one big surprise

Bridge breaks it down by party and county, in two interactive maps.

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Sticking with your own kind: tribalism in politics

We all tend to vote for one party over another. But we also are more likely to live, love and troll among fellow travelers.




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