Nate Silver’s 538. Silver’s predictions of election results in the past couple of decades have made him and his blog, “538,” a “go-to” resource for political prediction and analysis. Check here to read the blog.
Janet Yellen argues for gender equality as a critical way to expand economic growth for everyone. Check here to read her article.
Ann Arbor stands in solidarity with its immigrant community, documented and not. This was the sentiment on May 3, to a packed and cheering crowd. Click here for story.
For LCV, Michiganders clean energy policy protecting land, air and water is a nonpartisan priority. Michigan League of Conservation Voters members drove smart energy policy forward with a flood of advocacy. Their work over the past two years resulted in new clean energy standards passing in late 2016 and taking effect in April this year. The new energy law puts Michigan on track to see continued development of clean energy, lower electric bills, and less air pollution. From Bridge Magazine. Click here to learn more.
Stay of execution for office coordinating Great Lakes cleanup projects. To avert a government showdown late last week, Congress passed a stopgap spending plan to keep federal agencies funded through the end of September, including $50 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $300 million program administered by the EPA. Trump budget blueprint remains a threat to all EPA programs. From Bridge Magazine. Click here to learn more.
Here’s one way to keep bigotry on its toes. School Aid Fund budget falls short and decreases funding in West Washtenaw.
May 2, 2017 In a statement from Scio Township’s state Rep. Donna Lasinski (D) says she opposes the budget because it falls short of what Michigan’s students deserve and decreases funding for every school in Western Washtenaw County. Her constituents, regardless of political affiliation, tell her their top funding priorities are schools, roads and infrastructure. From Michigan House Democrats. Click here to learn more.
Bills package passes, extends transparency to governor’s office and state legislature. March 16, 2017 State Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) praised the passage today of a bipartisan legislative package that would extend Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to apply to the governor’s office and would create a similar Legislative Open Records Act to apply to the state Legislature. “I focused my first bill on making our government more transparent and accountable,” Lasinski said. Click here to learn more.
Moderate Republicans can influence policy as well as Freedom Caucus but victories could prove short lived. Their input to the latest budget deal affects the AHCA, the border wall, federal funds for so-called sanctuary cities, funding for the National Institutes of Health, the executive order on “religious liberty”, as well as census funding and renewable-energy policy. The House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act passed but likely that millions would be left uninsured because they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Census bureau receives $100 million increase, far short of $250 million in the current plan which is in line with the previous 4 census spending plans. From FiveThirtyEight. Click here to learn more.
Elected officials sign up for Washtenaw County IDs to raise awareness of county program. “It seemed like a particularly good time to bring elected officials together in solidarity with those who don’t have an ID other than the county ID,” said Keta Cowan, CEO of Synod Community Services in Ypsilanti and chair of the Washtenaw ID task force. These county IDs help many access health care, banking and other public services and extend more protections to undocumented immigrants. They cost $25 and it takes about 15 minutes to have one printed after the proper paperwork is completed. From MLive. Click here to learn more.
Life After Hate was about to expand its operation by launching a program that would proactively seek out violent extremists through the Internet and reach out to them to offer help. But the $400,000 government grant for the program, awarded in the final weeks of the Obama administration, never arrived and no explanation was provided. “Nothing but crickets,” said McAleer, who, like other grantees waiting for their funds, had heard that the Trump administration decided to put a hold on the funds. It is more than a mere bureaucratic mishap. Experts in the field believe that withholding the funds is part of a broader policy of the Trump administration to redefine violent extremism and reshape government policy for dealing with the problem, focusing exclusively on violent Islamic extremism while eliminating programs aimed at violent white nationalists. Read more.
African American residents in Mississippi’s Madison County claim they are subjected to random searches of their homes, cars, and their bodies without warrant and sometimes without any suspicion that a crime was committed, according to a new federal lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of 10 named plaintiffs, all of whom are black and have fallen victim to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, the suit alleges. Read more here.
The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research. A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, has replaced the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire. More here.
The GOP House’s health care bill is estimated to cut taxes by approximately $765 billion. The top 20 percent of earners will get around 64 percent of those savings as health care for the poor is slashed. [NPR]
The Trump administration has taken steps to restrict health insurance coverage for contraceptives, while bullying the House into passing legislation that could send insurance rates for maternal health care soaring. Meanwhile, the president picked a new official to disseminate the administration’s thoughts about public health, and it’s a woman who believes that abortions cause breast cancer. More here.