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Stateside: Kildee on EPA PFAS plan; first-generation college students; state “promise” scholarship

a side by side of Dan Kildee and then a river with pfas foam on it
dankildee.house.gov / Lester Graham
"It could be two, three, four years before we would see any protection from PFAS in drinking water. That's completely unacceptable," says U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee about the EPA's recently released PFAS action plan.

Today on Stateside, the EPA on Thursday releaseda plan to deal with contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – better known as PFAS. U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee says the plan shows the agency is “dragging their feet.” Plus, what it’s like to straddle two worlds as the first person in your family to go to college.

Listen to the full show above or find individual posts below.

State Senator explains GOP’s opposition to proposed MDEQ reorganization

AUDIO: Stateside’s conversation with Ed McBroom

  • This week the Michigan’s Republican-led legislature “disapproved” an executive order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The order would have reorganized the state's Department of Environmental Quality and eliminated oversight panels created during last year’s lame duck session.
  • We talk to State Senator Ed McBroom, a Republican representing most of the Upper Peninsula, about why he pushed for scrapping the proposed changes. 

Rep. Kildee: EPA is “dragging their feet” on response to PFAS contamination

Stateside’s conversation with Dan Kildee

  • On Thursday, the U.S. EPA released a plan for dealing with drinking water contamination caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – better known as PFAS. The plan includes setting new limits for the level of the chemicals, which have been linked to a number of health issues, allowed in drinking water supplies.
  • U.S. Representative Dan Kildee is part of a recently-launched congressional task force on PFAS contamination. He tells Stateside that the EPA's plan doesn't move quickly enough to address this emerging public health hazard.

First generation college students reflect on challenges, joys of trailblazing

Stateside’s conversation with Samantha Engster and Alana Burke

  • Universities are paying more attention to its “first generation” students, but there’s not much information about how those students fare at four-year colleges. So, we thought we’d talk to a couple of them.
  • Samantha Engster is a Senior at Central Michigan University, and Alana Burke is a freshman at the University of Michigan. They join Stateside to talk about what it is like to be the first in your family to go to college, and the challenges they’ve navigated along the way.

Gov. Whitmer joins other states offering “promise” scholarships. How does her plan stack up?

Stateside’s conversation with Jen Mishory

  • In her first State of the State address, Gov. Whitmer announced the MI Opportunity Scholarship, a program to help Michigan students pay for college. When it launches this spring, Michigan will join a number of other states offering so-called “promise” scholarships.”
  • We talk to Jen Mishory, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, about how Michigan’s plan compares, and what results other states have seen from similar programs.

Artisans of Michigan: Early American custom gunmaking

Listen to Steven Durren and Lester Graham talk about making early American style custom rifles.

  • Guns might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an artisan, but the custom firearms that Steven Durren makes require a mix of both art and technical skill. He mostly makes firearms from the early American era—from the Civil War through WW2. Durren tells Stateside’s Lester Graham about the work and, often pricey, raw materials that go into making a custom firearm.
  • Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

New law toughens “slow down and move over” law with $400 tickets

Stateside’s conversation with Lt. Michael Shaw

  • State police are hoping a new state law will help reduce the number of police officers and other first responders hit by passing motorists. It expands the state’s so-called “move over” law by adding a speed limit (10mph under the posted limit). It also ups the fine for not moving over to $400.
  • Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw tells us what drivers need to know about the new law.

Political roundup: Does rejected executive order on MDEQ endanger bipartisanship in Lansing?

Stateside’s conversation with Vicki Barnett and Ken Sikkema

  • The Michigan Legislature this week rejected Governor Whitmer’s plans to rearrange the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. It’s the first time the legislature has done so since 1977. We talk to our Friday political commentators about what this means for the governor’s pledge for bipartisanship.
  • Vicki Barnett is former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic state legislator. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader.

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