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Road-fix plan goes to voters, DHS cuts jobs, and Dingell still jingles

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This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss a long-awaited plan to fix Michigan’s roads, job cuts to one of the state’s largest agencies, and some holiday cheer from Rep. John Dingell.

Roads deal

After weeks of hemming and hawing over how to fix the state’s roads, Michigan lawmakers have OK'd plans for a sales tax hike.

There’s just one catch.

The state Legislature decided to give Michigan voters the final call on the 1% increase in a special election this May.

Lessenberry said he can see why the state’s politicians like the plan, but he’s got one question.

“Will the voters do it? If they don’t, there’s no fallback proposition, there’s no money for the roads,” Lessenberry said.

Job cuts

The Michigan Department of Human Services plans to eliminate jobs in order to deal with a $7.5 million budget reduction.

The 11,400 employee department said it’s trying not to cut caseworkers, in an effort to minimize the effect on client services.

Lessenberry said a negative impact seems inevitable.

“If they could take such a large budget cut that doesn’t affect services, why’d they have the money in first place?” he said.

“Dingell Jingle”

Rep. John Dingell is still in the hospital, recuperating after suffering a hip fracture last week.

However, that didn’t stop the nation’s longest-serving member of Congress from tweeting his annual holiday “Dingell Jingle.”

Lessenberry said he has a plea for 88-year-old Dingell.

“I’d like to go on the record as saying I really hope John Dingell writes his memoirs,” Lessenberry said. “He’s been present at more history than anybody in history.”

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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