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In this morning's news...

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Brother O'Mara
Morning News Roundup, Thursday, January 5th, 2012

“Right-to-Work” in the Midwest

People who want to end compulsory union membership in Michigan are closely watching Indiana, Rick Pluta reports. That's because, "debate began in that state’s Capitol to make Indiana the first ‘right-to-work’ state in the industrial Midwest. The legislation would ban the requirement that workers pay union dues as a condition of holding a job. Michigan “right-to-work” supporters say the Indiana debate boosts their cause in a state where Republican Governor Rick Snyder has said the issue is too divisive to tackle. Opponents of 'right-to-work' laws say they drive down wages and don’t do much to help a state’s economy," Pluta reports. A “right-to-work” measure could be introduced in the Michigan Legislature as soon as this month.

EM for Highland Park Schools?

The Highland Park School District could soon be appointed an emergency manager. Steve Carmody reports:

A state review panel recommended yesterday that the governor appoint someone to fix the school district’s ‘financial emergency.’ The financial review team has been looking at the Highland Park School District’s books since November. The panel’s report to the governor finds the school district is $11 million in the red. That works out to about $10,000 for every student enrolled. The school district’s deficit has grown by $3 million in just the last year alone. Emergency managers are already running the Detroit public schools, as well as the cities of Flint, Pontiac, Ecorse and Benton Harbor. Financial review teams are also looking at Detroit and Inkster. The state Education Department is also conducting a preliminary review of the financial status of the Muskegon Heights School District.

MI Nuclear Plant Downgraded

Federal regulators say the Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan has been downgraded and will undergo an extra inspection, according to The Associated Press. From the AP:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says faulty maintenance by plant employees caused a water pump shutdown last May. The plant is near Lake Michigan in Van Buren County's Covert Township. Plant spokesman Mark Savage says Palisades and the commission will determine a date for the additional inspection. The commission says it's also investigating two other incidents at the plant in 2011, including an electrical fault during maintenance. That could result in another downgrade.

Zoe Clark is Michigan Public's Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.