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.

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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It’s not too late to master the basics of Proposal 1. Here’s a 5-minute version.

Latecomers to the road-funding debate who plan to vote Tuesday may want to bone up on the basics.

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Todd Courser hits Lansing like a cannonball

The Lapeer freshman representative and tea party favorite puts faith, family and limited government at the front of his agenda. So why are fellow Republicans running for cover?

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Michigan police big and small defend use of military gear

A Bridge database tracks Humvees to bandages, snowshoes to sleeping bags, rifles to ratchet straps, given by U.S. military to local police.

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Searchable Database: Military donations to local police

Search by community, law enforcement agency or type or item. For instance, you can put in "Oakland" to see what the county sheriff, "state police" to see what the MSP got, or "rifle" to see which communities got military rifles. Department/itemItems acquiredNo. […]

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Is state’s defense of prison rape allegations another $100 million gamble?

Critics question the state’s aggressive defense of a lawsuit by young inmates who say prison officials failed to protect them from sexual assaults. An earlier suit by women inmates cost the state $100 million, far more than taxpayers would have paid had the state settled the case earlier.

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What NOT to post on Facebook: Jokes about prison rape, when you’re in charge of preventing prison rape

A social media post by a prison rape coordinator may serve to underscore allegations that the state is insensitive to young inmates’ rape claims.

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