Local/Michigan Headlines: Predictions that Michigan’s Economy will get even Worse; Grand Rapids Facing $7.1 million Revenue Decline

Here’s some interesting stories covering Michigan and Grand Rapids that were published elsewhere in the past 24 hours:

  • Economist predicts worst is yet to come for Michigan – An economist with the conservative Mackinac Center for Public Policy is predicting that unemployment will be between 17% and 20% by the end of the year.
  • House lawmakers weighing changes to bias crime laws – Lawmakers in the Michigan House of Representatives are hoping to pass legislation that would make it illegal to target a person because of their real or perceived involvement in any of a variety of protected classes, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran’s status, race or religion. Similar legislation passed last year but failed to pass in the Senate.
  • Supreme Court puts off decision on attire rules – The Michigan Supreme Court put off a decision on whether or not judges could force witnesses to show their faces in court. The question stems from a lawsuit brought by a Muslim woman whose case was dismissed because she would not remove her face covering.
  • Drop in state revenue sharing, sharp decline in income tax revenue mean deeper cuts in Grand Rapids – City Commissioners were told yesterday to expect a $7.164 million decline in overall revenue due to falling income taxes and less state revenue sharing money. In 2010, there will be a $7.34 million reduction.
  • Over 2 Million Michigan Families Spend More Than 10% On Health Care – Families USA reports that the number of insured people in families paying 10 or 25 percent of their pre-tax income on health care has climbed dramatically, a symptom of the runaway costs plaguing the U.S. health care system.
  • Grand Rapids joins vigil on anniversary of massive Iowa immigration raid – St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Grand Rapids was part of churches nationwide that held vigils Tuesday night to mark the one-year anniversary of a huge immigration raid in Postville, Iowa. Those commemorating the raid called for immigration reform to prevent more raids and deportation proceedings. Sadly, this article from the Grand Rapids Press has nothing about the specific reforms sought.
  • Pair of rallies in Wyoming call on Americans to save manufacturing jobs, buy U.S. goods – The Grand Rapids Press reports on two rallies in Wyoming calling on elected officials to save manufacturing jobs and revive the middle class. The rallies focused on the closure of the General Motors plant in Wyoming and the need to make changes to the auto industry that protect worker–and union–jobs.
  • West Michigan, statewide foreclosure filings fall in April – Foreclosures are down in West Michigan and the state, but Michigan remains in the top 10 states in the country with some of the highest numbers of foreclosures.
  • Michigan Has Become a Buyer-Beware State – Banks, mortgage brokers, debt collectors, finance companies, home improvement contractors, new and used car dealers, auto repair shops, funeral homes, plumbers and electricians, and builders are all excluded from Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act. According to Blogging for Michigan, the state supreme court’s weakening of the law is driving people out of the state.
  • GOP Plays Politics With Michigan Infrastructure – Even with the release of a new report documenting the poor state of Michigan’s infrastructure, Republicans are unwilling to pursue additional funding for infrastructure because they don’t want to be associated with a “tax increase.” The reason? The 2010 elections.
  • MPA: Newspapers are “alive and well” – This piece on Michigan Liberal features some email correspondence between the Michigan Press Association (MPA) and members of the Michigan House of Representatives. In it, the MPA reminds legislators that many cities and counties are required to print notice of legal proceedings in newspapers. What does this mean when the newspaper business is continuing to decline? Is it just the newspaper industry trying to protect a source of interest that it has the monopoly on?

If we missed anything, please leave a comment.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org