News Bites

Did You Know? Michigan Wolf-Dog Ownership Restrictions

Michigan law requires a permit to own a wolf-dog hybrid, and prohibits ownership by anyone who has been convicted of animal cruelty, or who has committed a felony within the last decade. According to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis of the 2000 law regulating wolf-dog hybrids, opponents argued it is unfair to single out one type of dog for special regulations when other breeds including pit bulls, rottweilers, and Dobermans are known to exhibit predatory behavior.

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Michigan Population Rising Again, Still Below 2004 Peak

Michigan’s population saw a net increase of 28,866 from July 2016 to July 2017, according to U.S. Census estimates. There are 9,962,311 people living in Michigan as of July. There’s 86,112 more people living in Michigan than 2011, a 0.9 percent increase. However, the state is still below the peak population level it touched in 2004, which was 10,055,315 residents.

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Detroit: 12 Years And $77k For City To Produce Police Shooting Data

Vice News, a progressive media conglomerate out of New York, recently garnered a lot attention for a far-reaching news story on the number of times since 2010 that members of the 50 largest U.S. police departments reportedly shot at someone while on duty.

Notably missing from the story were key data on the number of Detroit police shootings, fatal and otherwise. According to Vice News, Detroit’s police department said it would take 3,120 business days – equivalent to 12 years – and at least $77,532 to provide records that, in the words of the media outlet, “other departments made available online for free.”

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Go To Jail, Pay $60 Per Night

Michigan law authorizes jails to charge inmates up to $60 per night for the costs of housing them. Many misdemeanors carry a maximum incarceration penalty of 93 days. As a result, inmates could be released into the community owing as much as $5,580 to the county for housing – in addition to any criminal fines, legal fees, or restitution ordered by the judge.

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Half a Million Prevailing Wage Rates For 162,000 Construction Workers

Michigan’s prevailing wage law requires contractors who bid on government construction projects to pay wages based on union pay scales provided by union officials.

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Arcades Owe Detroit Thousands of Quarters Each Year

The city of Detroit requires business owners running an arcade to obtain a license costing $863 — or 3,452 quarters — each year. A search of business and occupational licensing in other cities turns up no other example of licensure mandates for arcades in Michigan.

Detroit requires more licenses than any city in the state, calling for special licenses for at least 60 differentprofessions and nearly 200different types of businesses

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Price of Electricity Up 85 Percent Since 2001

The residential cost of electricity in Michigan has jumped from 8.26 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2001 to 15.3 cents in 2016. That’s largely because Michigan has been shutting down less expensive coal plants and been moving toward renewable forms of energy that are more expensive, specifically solar and wind power.

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East Lansing Loses $350,000 Running 'Aquatic Center'

After the city council’s attempt to implement an income tax was rejected by voters, East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows told the Lansing State Journal the city may close the family “aquatic center” it operates (a swimming pool with a water park-type slide).

According to city records, operating the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center cost the city $351,187 from 2014 to 2017. Should a city that says it can’t balance its books without raising taxes really be in the water park business?

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Michigan Lottery Sees Huge Increase, Meaning Windfall for Schools

Total revenues generated by the state’s lottery increased to $3.1 billion in 2016, up by $505 million from 2014, according to the state budget. That has been a windfall for Michigan’s public schools.

The lottery contribution to the School Aid Fund increased from $746.8 million in 2014 to $892.9 million in 2016, a $146.1 million increase, or enough to pay the average salaries of 2,361 public school teachers that year. The School Aid Fund total revenue was $12.1 billion in 2016.

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Michigan’s Big Electric, Gas Monopoly Hikes Rates, Rakes In Billions

DTE Energy gets a state-mandated monopoly on providing energy in Michigan. They've seen billions in profits in recent years, but still imposed a rate hike of hundreds of millions of dollars. … more

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