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After rejecting the proposal this past November, Muskegon County voters once again will be asked to consider an increase in their phone bill to help fund updates to the area’s 911 emergency dispatch center. 

The Muskegon County Commission approved putting the measure on the upcoming ballot in May. Essentially, the ballot proposal would increase county resident’s monthly 911 surcharge by over 500 percent, from 42 cents to nearly $3 a month.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to increase the state’s fuel tax to around 70 cents per gallon by October of 20-20.

       Whitmer presented the idea as part of her first budget proposal.

Governor Whitmer says this plan would raise the amount of money necessary to maintain and improve Michigan’s roads. Along with her fuel tax proposal, Whitmer says the state should also get rid of the pension tax and double the earned income tax credit to help low income people offset the financial strain.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan is at a "crossroads" and must make "bold investments" to turn around roads, schools and provide clean tap water.
 
     The Democrat is proposing her first budget to the Republican-led Legislature Tuesday.
 
     It includes a 45-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax increase and seeks to reverse some tax decisions made by her predecessor. She says people already are paying a "roads tax" because of vehicle repairs caused by potholes and if nothing is done, the roads will get worse.
 

Authorities say one person has died in a series of crashes and pileups on western Michigan roads amid blowing snow and slick pavement.
 
     Michigan State Police say 65-year-old Evert-Jan Ohler of Kalamazoo died Tuesday morning after driving into a school bus that was stopped for an earlier crash on US-131 in Allegan County. One student was hospitalized with minor injuries.
 

Michigan officials say they're stepping up financial support for recycling infrastructure projects. The state Department of Environmental Quality says it's boosting available funding for grants from $500,000 to $3.7 million and is extending the deadline for applications to May 1. The DEQ originally announced the grant opportunity last November in support of the state's goals of increasing the recycling rate and ensuring convenient recycling access by supporting development of infrastructure for the purpose.

Majoring in pot? Don't laugh, its a real thing

Mar 5, 2019

Grace DeNoya is used to getting snickers when people learn she's majoring in marijuana. "My friends make good-natured jokes about getting a degree in weed," said DeNoya, one of the first students in a new four-year degree program in medicinal plant chemistry at Northern Michigan University.

"I say, 'No, it's a serious degree, a chemistry degree first and foremost. It's hard work. Organic chemistry is a bear."'

  

In an effort to serve more of the area’s homeless and low income residents, local non-profit Degage Ministries announced they will be demolishing their building in Grand Rapids Heartside neighborhood and constructing a new $6 million replacement.

asphalt roller photo
pixabay.com

The leaders of Michigan's top companies are calling for a tax increase to improve the condition of the roads.

Business Leaders for Michigan, a group of CEOs and university presidents, released a report Monday emphasizing the need for a big influx of road funding a day before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposes her first budget.

The business group stopped short of backing a specific plan other than to say it is open to increased user fees. BLM President and CEO Doug Rothwell says it could be a gas tax hike.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is slated to include an increase in spending for kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Whitmer will present the plan as part of her budget proposal tomorrow.

Governor Whitmer wants to put more money toward students with additional educational needs. That includes special education, low-income, and career and technical education students. A part of Whitmer’s education spending plan includes a so-called “weighted funding formula.” This model includes an increased across the board per-student payment.

Allison Lutz

At only 22-years old, Allison Lutz says she is ready to make change in her community by running as City Commissioner representing the first ward. The west sider says she will advocate on housing affordability and equity. 

“Making sure people feel like they're actually being heard and the people in my community are being truly represented in their government as well as making the West Side in Grand Rapids as a whole safer, more equitable, and more affordable community to live in.” 

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