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.

Bridge book on Flint crisis offers lessons on government failure

“Poison on Tap,” the first book released on Flint’s lead-poisoning disaster, shows how a series of government missteps left children in this impoverished city with a lifetime of heartache. A portion of book sales will go to help those children.

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Michigan balks at rule shortening full-contact practice for high school football

A new guideline recommends no more than 90 minutes of hitting a week to reduce brain injury, but official policy still allows up to six hours. That’s six times what Ohio and Wisconsin allow.




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City dwellers came for the tax breaks. Will they stay when breaks expire?

Cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon lured young professionals to struggling neighborhoods with tax breaks that allowed them to pay a pittance in taxes for beautiful homes or condos. Should those breaks be extended?




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Live free and die: Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law four years later

In 2015, Michigan recorded the highest number of motorcycle deaths in 30 years, with an average of 14 more deaths annually since a law requiring helmets was dropped. Lansing has no interest in revisiting the helmet law.




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Bipartisan bill to make governor, lawmakers subject to open records law in doubt

After disclosure of government incompetence in Flint, there were passionate calls for Michigan to join 48 other states in making the governor and legislature subject to the state’s public records laws. But House and Senate leaders remain reluctant.




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Flint syndrome:

Welcome to Pennsylvania, where cash-poor cities work together with state emergency managers.

In Part 2, Bridge shows how Pennsylvania and Ohio are taking a different approach to keeping their cities strong




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Flint syndrome:

Revenue tools help Toledo survive through tough times

What Michigan can learn from this Ohio border city, which manages to balance its budget and keep cops on the street despite budget challenges.




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Flint syndrome:

Fewer cops, abandoned parks, and why more cities will crumble unless Michigan changes

When cities lose 2,300 police officers, it’s time for Michigan to look in the mirror.




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Flint syndrome:

Database: How many cops has your town lost?

Plenty of Michigan towns and cities lost 30, 40 or even 50 percent of its police force in the past decade.




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Flint syndrome:

In Wayne, passing the hat for a fire hose

Out of money, the city of Wayne depends on public generosity to maintain public safety. Is this any way to run a government?




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Flint syndrome:

In Battle Creek, a starving Cereal City

The “breakfast capital of the world” is having its lunch eaten by a fraying municipal infrastructure.




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Flint syndrome:

In Saginaw, parks and wreck

Saginaw’s recreation department was eliminated following cuts to state revenue sharing money, which used to be the city’s biggest funding source




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Not waiting for government, philanthropy steps up to help Flint

In an echo of Detroit’s “grand bargain,” 10 Michigan foundations, led by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, are combining to inject up to $125 million into Flint’s recovery.




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Are tampons as essential as toilet paper? Menstruation goes mainstream

The Michigan Legislature has yet to hold hearings on a measure that would require that tampons be provided free in public schools and state buildings. Other bills would exempt menstrual products from the state sales tax.




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Why on earth is Candice Miller running for county drain commissioner?

The popular congresswoman is turning from Washington to pursue an obscure post that few people ever cared about. Until Flint.




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Not so fast: A bill to raise state speed limits veers off track

A measure to raise speed limits on Michigan highways is intended to align speed laws with how fast people actually drive. It’s not working out that way.




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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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