July 15, 2019
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) talks about why Michigan is so critical to her shot at winning the Democratic presidential nomination. She talks about her thoughts on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.) and more on her campaign bus (apologies on audio quality).
Also, long-time Republican political consultant Steve Linder talks to MIRS about his feelings on potential legal challenges to the new redistricting commission and the changes in how marijuana is regulated in the state.
July 8, 2019
Does U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Twp.) breaking from the Republican Party mean he's looking to play spoiler for a Republican nominee in the 3rd Congressional District or President Donald Trump's re-election chances? Stephanie McLean from GMT Strategies assesses this situation along with her projections on Democrats' chances in this district (14:40) with Dem civil rights attorney Hillary Scholten getting into the race (13:46).
Also, the Democratic presidential debates are coming to Michigan. Who are the contenders and who are the pretenders?
Finally, Republican legislative leaders explore bonding to raise revenue for roads. Is this too gimmicky for the state to pull off (23:17)?
July 1, 2019
Could bonding be part of the final budget picture? Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo), the lead Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee responds to the possibility. Hoadley also talks about his motivation for running in the 6th Congressional District.
Also the Grassroots Midwest team of Adrian Hemond and Brian Began talk about the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's redistricting decision on Michigan and if Democrats have any chance of winning next year in the 3rd Congressional District.
June 24, 2019
House Minority Leader Christine Greig talks in this week's episode about her caucus' road funding bills and if her members support the Governor's 45-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase (22:26). The House leader also talks about her relationship with House Speaker Lee Chatfield after she called him a liar on the House floor (33:53) and if she's rooting for the U.S. Supreme Court to agree that new, redistricted legislative boundaries are needed for the 2020 election (36:53).
The MIRS team is also joined by Ari Adler, the former Senate Republican, House Republican and Gov. Rick Snyder spokesperson, about the budget-making process going forward and whether the debate on Line 5 is a lot of "smoke." (11:32)
June 17, 2019
Rep. James Lower (R-Eureka Twp.) is taking his claim that he's the person to unseat U.S. Rep. Justin Amash to Washington, D.C. this week. What is his pitch? The Ionia County product talks about his roots in the 3rd Congressional district and why he doesn't think a Democrat can win this seat.
Also, Abby Clark from Vanguard Public Affairs joins the MIRS team to talk about the budding 3rd Congressional District race, the potential political fallout from Benton Harbor schools and the Flint prosecutions being dropped.
June 10, 2019
How did the Benton Harbor School District get in the mess it's in? It's $18 million in debt. Its high school is on the verge of being shut down. The state's former consent agreement consultant for Benton Harbor schools, Don Weatherspoon, explains why "the numbers don't work" to keep the district open and how the current situation could have been avoided.
Also, Mikenzie Frost from Sinclair Broadcasting joins the MIRS panel to talk about the political implications of Benton Harbor and the potential of bringing back the idea of expanding the sales tax on services as a revenue source for K-12 schools and local governments if the state gets rid of the sales tax on gasoline.
June 3, 2019
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Twp.) talks about the potential of impeaching President Donald Trump and where he stands on the issue. The most senior member of the Michigan Democratic congressional delegation also talks about possible federal legislation on responding to PFAS contamination.
Also, the MIRS team spitballs what type of gasoline tax increase Michigan voters can expect after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers strike a deal on additional road funding dollars. What is bigger news, potential U.S. Senate candidate John James coming to Delta Township or U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren campaigning at Lansing Community College? This, term limit reform and more in this week's edition of MIRS Monday.
May 30, 2019
The following is unedited audio from the bill signing ceremony of SB 1. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders all make statements from the Grand Hotel's front porch on Mackinac Island prior to Whitmer putting pen to paper.
May 25, 2019
Full coverage of the historical auto insurance reform package coming together this week with comments from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (8:24), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (13:53) and Detroit Rep. Isaac Robinson (18:21).
Also, the MIRS team provides commentary on the deal. Who comes out the winner? How big of a role did developer Dan Gilbert play in the process?
May 20, 2019
Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Lambertville) joins House Republican leadership in calling for the resignation of Rep. Larry Inman in the wake of his criminal indictment last week. He also talks about developer Dan Gilbert preparing for a citizens initiative on the auto no-fault insurance debate (21:01).
Also, should House Speaker Lee Chatfield expel Inman (8:15)? Will the Gilbert proposal push Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to strike a deal on auto no-fault? What now on pushing the ban for D&E abortions and Congressman Justin Amash draws a Rep. James Lower for a primary opponent (18:52). Elizabeth Battiste of Martin Waymire sits in with the MIRS team as we discuss these topics.