FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – AutoNation has donated four Chrysler ProMaster passenger vans to cancer research centers, including one to the American Cancer Society in Palm Beach.The donations are part of the dealership’s celebration after selling 11 million vehicles.“When you set an aspirational goal, you stop. You celebrate it. You go to bed that night with a good feeling,” said Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation. “The next day you get up and say ‘OK, how quickly can we get to $12 million? And how quickly can we raise another million for that cause?’ And we want to do it faster than the last million.”AutoNation’s “Drive Pink Initiative” has donated almost $11 million to cancer-related charities around the country.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The greater sage-grouse, whose habitat stretches across 11 western states, does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined. Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell announced this finding Sept. 22 in a video. The agency’s decision means that military installations in western states will not confront restrictions on the size of training lands, scope of training activities and future construction that the bird’s listing would have caused, reported The New York Times. The 327,000-acre Yakima Training Center in central Washington, for example, supports a greater sage grouse population inside a 77,000-acre preserve. Placing the grouse on the endangered species list would have forced 11 gunnery ranges to shut down from Feb. 1 to June 15 each year and imposed other restrictions, an Army report said. The impact on military readiness at the center would have been even more far-ranging, several military officers contended. Listing the bird “could affect up to 19 training areas and 27 gunnery ranges, making the Yakima all but useless for six months of every year. The Army could be required to transfer up to 5,000 soldiers across the country to receive similar training,” retired military officers Joseph Schmitz, Marc Rogers and William Boykin wrote in a Roll Call op-ed.The species numbered in the millions in the 19th century but loss of habitat, a warming climate, invasive species and other factors caused its numbers to plummet to a dangerous degree by 2013. However, efforts by private landowners, states and the federal government — including the military — have helped the population to rebound. Since then, the number of male grouse spotted in mating areas has increased by 63 percent, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies reported. The current population is estimated to have reached as high as 500,000. The U.S. House Armed Services Committee is considering a proposal to stall a listing decision for the bird by a decade and transferring to western states millions of acres of federal land, reported Fox News.
ADC AUTHOR The Trump administration set up another showdown with Congress by confirming Monday that it will move some domestic defense spending to the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund, which is exempt from spending caps.“Fiscal conservatives may feel uncomfortable using OCO in this way,” Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wrote in a Real Clear Politics op-ed. “Yet, as long as Congressional Democrats insist on demanding more social spending in exchange for continuing to fund defense spending, expanding the use of OCO funds remains the administration’s only fiscally responsible option in meeting national security needs while avoiding yet another increase to the spending caps.”House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) called the plan a “gimmick,” according to Military Times.OMB is scheduled to deliver its budget request to Capitol Hill mid-March.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download AudioAlaska House Finance Committee Hearing Public Input On Budget Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – JuneauWith the state facing a deficit of more than $4 billion, the budget is arguably the most important issue facing the Alaska Legislature this session. The House Finance Committee is now hearing from the public on its cuts, in preparation for any changes it might make to the spending proposal.Murkowski Seeks Lease Extensions for Shell Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DCLast summer, Shell asked the government to extend its offshore drilling leases in the Arctic. Today, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski pressed Shell’s case to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a Senate hearing.Sullivan Jousts with EPA’s McCarthy Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DCU.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan today engaged the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy, in a testy exchange. Sullivan’s focus was the EPA’s proposed rule for the Clean Water Act. But first the senator extracted some crow from McCarthy for dissing gifts given to her when she visited Alaska last year.Medicaid Expansion Event Brings Out Lawmakers, Davidson The Associated PressLegislators, aides and others heard an alternate viewpoint on Medicaid expansion from a senior fellow with an organization that has referred to the “dangers” expansion poses in states that opt for it.Budget Cuts Would Eliminate Health Care CommissionAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageThe Alaska Health Care Commission would be eliminated in proposed funding cuts from the House finance committee. The Commission makes policy recommendations to the legislature and the Governor to improve the health of Alaskans and control health care costs.P/V Stimson Likely to Move From Unalaska to Kodiak Annie Ropeik, KUCB – UnalaskaThe state is once again looking to move the Wildlife Trooper patrol vessel Stimson from Unalaska to Kodiak. And this year, the change seems poised to go through.Researcher Investigating Alaska’s Sexual Assault Issues Matt Martin, KDLG – DillinghamA researcher from University of California Irvine is in Dillingham to hear from sexual assault victims about their experiences. The idea is to figure out the cause of the disproportionately high number of sexual crimes in rural Alaska.Mayor, Chief Pitch ‘Community Policing’ At South Fairbanks Meeting Tim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksThe City of Fairbanks is rolling out a new approach to law enforcement. The mayor and police chief introduced the Community Policing Program at a public meeting in Fairbanks crime plagued south side Tuesday night.‘Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail’ Documents Race Stories Lori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageA new book, out just in time for this year’s race, documents stories of the Iditarod. Lew Freedman, a former Anchorage Daily News reporter and author of numerous other books on Iditarod legends, gets people who race or love and support the race, to tell their own stories. The book is called Iditarod Adventures, Tales from Mushers Along the Trail. Freedman starts with Martin Buser. He says he’s had a question he’s wanted to ask Buser since 1991.
The International Whaling Commission recently voted to grant Alaska subsistence hunters a conditional automatic renewal for their bowhead whale quota. Japan’s departure from the IWC could make that automatic renewal less secure in the future. (Creative Commons photo by Kristin Laidre/University of Washington)Last month Japan announced that it is leaving the international group that regulates whaling and will resume commercial whaling in its own coastal waters.That move provoked some criticism. Commercial whaling has been banned by the International Whaling Commission since the 1980s.But separate from that, Japan’s decision may have consequences for Alaska’s legal aboriginal subsistence whaling.Japan’s departure means it will no longer conduct what it calls scientific whaling outside its waters — which was criticized by some as a loophole. Instead, it will hunt commercially in its own territorial waters and 200-mile exclusive economic zone.The announcement comes on the heels of a proposal Japan made to resume commercial whaling at a recent meeting of the IWC — a proposal that failed.Japan’s leaving the commission has potential consequences for Alaska whalers, whose quota for subsistence whaling is set by the IWC.“It would be in our best interest to have Japan remain with the IWC,” said John Hopson Jr., chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and a whaling captain in Wainwright. “They were a strong ally of ours in obtaining our quota.”It’s too soon to know the ultimate impact of Japan’s decision. But the country does play an important role at the IWC, according to Jessica Lefevre, a lawyer for AEWC.“Japan is a key member of the group within the body that refers to themselves as the ‘sustainable use group,’” said Lefevre. Others include Norway and Iceland, as well as some African, Caribbean and Pacific Island countries.She said it’s possible that other countries in the sustainable use group could follow Japan’s example and leave the IWC as well — diminishing support for Alaska whalers.That could make a critical rule change that passed last year less secure. The rule change made the renewal of aboriginal subsistence whaling quotas — including Alaska’s — automatic, provided certain conditions are met.“The main vulnerability for us is that automatic renewal could be challenged at some point in the future if the … balance of power within the IWC, given Japan’s departure, shifts more in the direction of the anti-whaling coalition,” said Lefevre.It would take a three-fourths majority vote of the IWC to change the current quota rule.Hopson said AEWC will work with the United States and other IWC countries to try to find a path forward that preserves Japan’s membership.He said his group will have a better sense of their next steps after AEWC’s next board meeting later this month.
It has been clear for a few years now that smartphones are replacing dedicated handhelds for mobile gaming. Both the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita haven’t sold as well as they were expected to because of this. Clearly convenience is a major driving force.With that in mind, you won’t be surprised to hear that Sony has no plans to develop and launch a PlayStation Vita 2. Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studio president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed this during a Q&A session at EGX 2015 held in the UK last week.Yoshida explained that the ease of gaming on a smartphone, and also the abundance of free games on those platforms, has made for an unhealthy climate when it comes to dedicated handheld gaming hardware. In other words, there is no PS Vita 2 unless there is a massive shift in the market away from smartphones. I can’t see that happening, can you?While this is certainly bad news for anyone who prefers dedicated gaming handhelds with buttons and sticks for much improved control, it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to game that way. The PS Vita remains a very capable device with 720p visuals, a healthy range of existing games, and no end to production of the hardware or new games in sight.For now, the Vita isn’t selling very well outside of Japan, but Sony could try and turn that around with further hardware price cuts and more support for new games aimed at Western audiences. The question is, will it? There’s also the Vita-compatible PlayStation TV, which has always been a strange device even if there are several good reasons to own one.I can’t see Nintendo throwing in the towel on handhelds just yet. Sony’s rival has embraced mobile gaming, but is treating it as a separate market to handheld gaming. I am confident the 3DS will have a successor, but it may come in the form of the console bundle that is the Nintendo NX. You’ll still have a dedicated handheld for gaming, but it will also double as the controller for your NX console.As a Vita owner myself, I hope new games continue to appear for it. Recently we’ve had a welcome influx of RPGs and visual novels from Japan. As long as that flow of games is allowed to head west (even if we do have to suffer digital-only releases) there should be a market for the Vita outside of its home territory.
AllVideo On Demand: Rent or BuyClothing & AccessoriesMajor AppliancesArts, Crafts & SewingAutomotiveBaby & NurseryBeauty & GroomingBooks & TextbooksCollectible CoinsCamera & PhotoCell Phones & AccessoriesClassical MusicComputers, Tablets & ComponentsBlu-Ray & DVDElectronic Components & Home AudioEntertainment CollectiblesVideo GamesOther Gift Card BrandsGrocery & Gourmet FoodPatio, Lawn & GardenHealth & HouseholdBusiness & Industrial SuppliesJewelryKindle StoreKitchen & DiningMagazinesMiscellaneousDigital MusicCDs & VinylMusical InstrumentsOffice & School SuppliesPet Food & SuppliesPatio, Lawn & GardenShoes, Handbags, Wallets, SunglassesSoftwareSports CollectiblesSports & FitnessHome ImprovementToys & GamesVHSVideo GamesWatches Wow facts 3Share this videoCopyPausePlay00:00% Buffered0PreviousPausePlayNextLive00:00 / 00:00UnmuteMuteExit fullscreenFullscreenCopy video urlPlay / PauseMute / UnmuteReport a problemLanguageBackMox PlayerDefaultEnglishEspañolУкраїнськаРусскийadvertisementThey found that at the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, Greenland’s ice sheet would disappear within 1,000 years. This would contribute 17 to 23 feet or about 5 to 7 meters to the global sea level, putting much of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, and other cities underwater.If the greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized by the end of the century, the island would only lose 26 to 57 percent of the ice sheet. If greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced, the ice loss in Greenland can be limited to just 8 to 25 percent. The research also revealed that in 200 years, the melting outlet glaciers will account for up to 40 percent of the ice mass lost from the island. Outlet glaciers play a significant role in how ice sheets melt.Greenland Ice Sheet MeltingThe Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest body of ice in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. It measures roughly 650,000 square miles — about the size of Alaska — and covers 81 percent of Greenland. It also consists of layers of compressed snow from the past hundred thousand years and contains 8 percent of the fresh water on Earth. “If we continue as usual, Greenland will melt,” stated Andy Aschwanden, research associate professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “What we are doing right now in terms of emissions, in the very near future, will have a big long-term impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet, and by extension, if it melts, to sea level and human society.” TAG Climate change, melting ice, Sea Level Rise, Greenhouse gases, Ice sheet Ads by Amazon All DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller Ads by Amazon ENDS IN Close Greenland could be completely iceless by the end of a millennium if greenhouse gas emissions around the world continue to increase.Researchers warned that melting ice sheet in the island alone could contribute up to 24 feet to the global sea level by the year 3000, far greater than previous projections.A Doomsday ScenarioThe study, published in the journal Science Advances, used data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge. The researchers, led by scientists at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, ran the model 500 times out to the year 3000 for each of the three possible future climate scenarios based on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. Search ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Mandarin Oriental hotels have long been renowned for their excellence and innovation in food and beverage, and the Group’s passion for creating memorable dining experiences has once again been recognised, with no fewer than ten restaurants being honoured in the 2012 Michelin Guides.In Asia, Mandarin Oriental has a total of six Michelin stars in Hong Kong alone. The Group’s flagship property, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is now the only hotel in the city to have three Michelin starred restaurants. Man Wah – the hotel’s premier Cantonese dining room, headed by Chef Man-Sing Lee, achieved its first Michelin star in the 2012 Michelin Guide. The restaurant delivers authentic Cantonese dishes with inspired creative touches in surroundings of Imperial splendour. Pierre, which features the bold cuisine of multi award-winning, three Michelin starred chef, Pierre Gagnaire retained its two Michelin star status, while the Mandarin Grill + Bar, a Hong Kong dining institution, where artistic Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky serves a modern interpretation of grill classics and the city’s finest seafood, also retained its one Michelin star. In addition, Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, also maintained its coveted two Michelin star status. The restaurant features the innovative and exhilarating cuisine of talented Chef Richard Ekkebus.At Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Signature (serving contemporary French) and Sense (Cantonese) maintained their single star status: Signature for the fifth time, and Sense for the fourth time. In Europe, Dinner at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London gained its first Michelin star less than a year after opening. This is where Heston Blumenthal and Executive Chef, Ashley Palmer-Watts, serve historic gastronomy with a 21st century twist. Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, which opened in 2009, maintained its one star status at Moments restaurant, headed by the renowned chef Carme Ruscalleda and chef Raül Balam in the Spanish Guía Michelin. At Mandarin Oriental, Geneva Rasoi by Vineet has also maintained its coveted one star status in Michelin’s 2012 Guide for Switzerland. In Munich, Restaurant Mark’s under the direction of Executive Chef Simon Larese, also retained its one Michelin star status. “We are truly delighted to receive these prestigious accolades,” said David Nicholls, the Group’s Corporate Director of Food and Beverage. “It reflects the dedication to fine dining excellence that Mandarin Oriental hotels offer around the world.” The Group continues to appoint globally renowned culinary talent throughout its portfolio. Most recently, Chef Thierry Marx is at the newly opened Mandarin Oriental, Paris. This multi award-winning chef is introducing his sensory cuisine to the hotel’s signature restaurant Sur Mesure, and a modern take on traditional dishes in Camélia. This is Chef Marx’s first gastronomic venture in the city and has been enthusiastically welcomed. Elsewhere in Europe, Bar Boulud, featuring the award-winning French inspired cuisine of Lyon-born chef Daniel Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London continues to receive rave reviews. Source = Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Categories: Hoitenga News,News 15Jun House OKs Rep. Hoitenga bill cutting government regulation A bill introduced by state Rep. Michele Hoitenga related to business monitoring systems passed the Michigan House of Representatives today.Hoitenga’s bill would prohibit local ordinances from requiring a permit for business surveillance systems if a registered provider or licensed system contractor performs the work and the system is less than 50 volts. The work could include installation or maintenance of the system.Some local governments currently require companies to obtain permits or conduct inspections in order for security systems to be installed.“This is a requirement that puts additional red tape on businesses,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “Low-voltage jobs already require licensing through the state of Michigan, and yet local governments are asking businesses to get additional permits and inspections. Surveillance is extremely popular for business owners today and we shouldn’t make them jump through hoops to protect their way of living.”House Bill 4654 will move to the Senate for further consideration.
17Aug Statement from Rep. Lana Theis on Auto No-Fault Reforms Categories: Theis News On Thursday, August 17, 2017 Representative Lana Theis, Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance released the following statement:“I have heard from hundreds of residents throughout Michigan who are outraged about the cost of auto insurance in our state and I want them to know their voices are being heard. It is no secret Michigan has the highest auto insurance premiums in the country. Auto insurance in our state costs almost twice as much as what drivers pay just next door in Ohio.Over 20 percent of drivers in Michigan are driving illegally and do not have a valid Michigan auto no-fault insurance policy. Studies have shown a large percentage of those drivers are driving illegally because they cannot afford the cost of insurance.And it gets worse. Senior citizens in Michigan are literally forced to pay twice for overlapping insurance coverage because of Michigan’s broken no-fault system – once for Medicare and once for the personal injury protection benefits mandated through no-fault.There is no doubt that runaway medical bills, benefit payouts, the massive number of lawsuits, and outright fraud under our state’s auto no-fault system play a key role in why Michigan drivers pay such high premiums.Over the past eight months, I have been working with stakeholders to create reforms which would drastically change Michigan’s no-fault insurance system and would ensure Michigan drivers get relief by guaranteeing they see a reduction in their insurance premiums.I look forward to September when we return to session. I know many of my colleagues throughout the state of Michigan have been hearing what I have been hearing this summer from their residents – that something must be done to help provide Michigan families with relief. For far too long special interest groups have worked hard to protect the windfall they see from our current auto no-fault system: however, when families are having to choose between paying their mortgage or their auto insurance bill something must be done!I cannot stress enough how reforming Michigan’s outrageously expensive auto no-fault system is my highest priority. Special interests that profit from our broken system have fought for decades to protect the status quo. As the Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance I have worked tirelessly to craft a proposal which will make insurance more affordable in Michigan and bring competition back to the insurance marketplace.A recent survey found that 80 percent of Michiganders support some type of reforms in our auto no-fault system to help reduce the cost of premiums in our state. I strongly encourage residents to contact their state officials and encourage them to support reform.”The Michigan House of Representatives will return to session on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. Residents who wish to voice their opinion on auto no-fault insurance are encouraged to contact their legislator and the Office of Representative Lana Theis at (517) 373-1784 or LanaTheis@house.mi.gov.
State Representative Daniela García of Holland today offered support for a resolution making this coming weekend a standalone event in a year-round campaign to promote shopping at local retail businesses.‘Buy Nearby’ is in its fifth year as a promotional commercial slogan and encourages Michigan residents to ensure more shopping dollars stay within local communities through locally purchased goods.“For every purchase that is made when someone buys locally in Michigan, on average, 50 cents of each dollar stays within the community,” said García, who serves as vice-chair for the House Committee on Commerce and Trade. “That money directly supports our local communities. This simple and subtle practice has lasting impacts on our local and state economy.”Retail sales are responsible for 850,000 jobs in Michigan. The project estimates that if Michigan residents made a concerted effort to buy locally, an additional $9 billion in economic activity would follow and nearly 74,000 jobs could be created.“I encourage residents to shop locally this weekend and as often as they can,” García said. “Investing our personal resources into local businesses can strengthen and grow opportunities for entrepreneurs and those looking for a job.”García co-sponsored the resolution, HR 169, which was adopted by the Michigan House on Wednesday. 05Oct Representative García welcomes Oct. 7-8 weekend as time to ‘Buy Nearby’ in Michigan Categories: Garcia News,News
19Dec Reps. Calley and Albert attend town hall hosted by the Michigan Corrections Organization PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Julie Calley met with members of the Michigan Corrections Organization, along with state Rep. Thomas Albert, for a town hall meeting at the Ionia Armory Community Center. The purpose of the town hall was to give the members of the organization the opportunity to talk with their legislators. Issues discussed included drones, professionalism, recruitment and retention, and mental health. Categories: Calley News
Categories: LaSata News,LaSata Photos,News,Photos 09Jan Rep. LaSata hosts local coffee hours State Rep. Kim LaSata today announced plans to meet with residents of Berrien County during her first scheduled office hours of 2018.“As the Legislature starts a new year, I want to hear from residents of Berrien County on issues they would like tackled in 2018,” LaSata said. “Hearing directly from people in the community will help me better serve them in Lansing.”January office hours take place on Monday, Jan. 29 at Martin’s Supermarket, 5637 Cleveland Ave. in Stevensville from 10 to 11 a.m.No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact her Lansing office by phone at 517-373-1403 or via email at KimLaSata@house.mi.gov.
State Rep. Bronna Kahle today voted to accelerate sales tax relief for Michigan families buying motor vehicles by overriding a gubernatorial veto with her House colleagues.The House vote means additional tax relief for people buying cars, trucks and SUVs with a trade-in. Current law calls for phasing in planned sales and use tax deductions on purchases including a trade-in through 2039. With today’s vote, the reductions will be fully implemented a decade earlier.“This will make vehicles significantly more affordable for families in Lenawee County and all across Michigan,” said Kahle, of Adrian, after the House joined the Senate in overriding a veto of legislation from Gov. Rick Snyder. “Families should not have to wait until 2039 to get tax relief on one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. Michigan residents need a break now. This vote ensures they will get it.”The Senate bills overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature were vetoed by the governor in July. Kahle sponsored similar legislation in the House.The new law speeds reforms approved in 2013, allowing buyers to subtract the value of their trade-ins from the purchase price of a vehicle for sales tax purposes. The accelerated sales tax relief also will apply to boats and recreational vehicles bought with a trade-in. 17Jan Kahle: Overriding veto will bring faster vehicle sales tax relief for Michigan families Categories: Kahle News,News ####
05Dec House approves Rep. Noble’s plan to help residents in adult foster care Categories: News,Noble News The Michigan House today approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Jeff Noble to update outdated provisions to help give adult foster care residents the personalized care they need to live an independent life.Rep. Noble said his plan allows private adult foster care homes and facilities with one to four residents to still operate residentially.“We must ensure residents continue to receive personalized care in adult foster care homes and facilities,” said Noble, of Plymouth. “This plan updates Michigan’s current law and provides care to vulnerable adults who may need additional help.”House Bill 6400 now moves to the Senate for consideration.###
03Apr Rep. Schroeder wraps up March is Reading Month tour Categories: Schroeder News,Schroeder Photos During the month of March, State Rep. Andrea Schroeder of Independence Township, visited classrooms throughout Independence and Waterford Townships as part of March is Reading Month. This month is a great way to encourage students to enhance their education by reading daily.“I always look forward to opportunities where I can visit classrooms and get back to my roots as a former teacher,” Rep. Schroeder said. “I was honored to be welcomed by my local schools to meet so many talented and gifted teachers, students, and administrative staff throughout March.”Rep. Schroeder visited eight schools across our community and read to over 1,000 students. She hopes activities like this will help foster a love of books in students that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.State Rep. Andrea Schroeder visited students at Riverside Elementary in Waterford Township to read to them for March is Reading Month.
Categories: Alexander News Historic overhaul will save drivers hundreds of dollars per yearCar insurance reform supported by Rep. Julie Alexander was signed into state law today, guaranteeing significantly lower costs for all drivers in Michigan.The bipartisan reforms – approved by Alexander and the Legislature – give drivers more choice on personal injury protection coverage, combat fraudulent claims and stop price gouging on medical services for car accident victims. Many motorists, including Jackson-area families, will save hundreds of dollars or more each year.Michigan has had the most expensive car insurance in the nation mainly because it was the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance, with no corresponding cap on what medical providers may charge accident victims. The new law will provide more affordable options for drivers while allowing those who currently use the unlimited coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it.“The people of Michigan aren’t interested in talk, they’re interested in results,” said Alexander, of Hanover. “The signing of this historic no-fault overhaul is exactly what the people have been demanding from their elected officials for over 40 years. I commend the governor for her willingness to work with the Legislature on the largest financial issue facing drivers on Michigan roads and joining us in delivering real cost savings to every motorist across the state.”Beginning in July 2020, many drivers will be able to opt out of personal injury protection altogether, including seniors with retiree health coverage such as Medicare and those with health insurance policies that cover car accident-related injuries. Others will be able to continue with unlimited coverage or choose PIP limits of $250,000 or $500,000. A $50,000 option will be available for drivers on Medicaid.Other reforms include:A fee schedule to rein in runaway costs that result from medical care providers charging far more to treat car accident victims than other patients.Non-driving factors, such as ZIP codes, home ownership and educational level, can’t be used to determine rates.An anti-fraud unit will help crack down on those abusing the system, helping to further lower car insurance rates. 30May Rep. Alexander: Auto insurance reforms signed into law, Michigan drivers to be delivered lower rates
Share4TweetShareEmail4 SharesJune 24, 2015; Annie E. Casey Foundation BlogSurrounding Rep. Paul Ryan at the ostensibly nonpartisan TEDx-PennsylvaniaAvenue gathering were a number of luminaries weighing in on the topic. Community-based nonprofits, the kinds of groups on the ground that know what works and what doesn’t concerning the TEDx-talkers’ recommendations, weren’t big on the docket. In fact, among the speakers, the only nonprofits were nationally focused groups such as Communities in Schools, YouthBuild, the Human Rights Coalition, National Public Radio, the Urban Alliance, etc. The IF Project, a collaboration involving inmates in Washington state penitentiaries, might have been the only reasonably authentic community-based nonprofit. As such, it would be worthwhile for the nonprofit sector to weigh in on the substance of the policy-related contributions of the TEDx speakers as reported in the press and in the TEDx newsfeed summaries:Former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary and former Citigroup chairman Robert Rubin delivered remarks on the “moral, social, and economic imperative” of combatting poverty. He conveyed his outrage that one in five children live in poverty in the wealthiest country in the world. To him, addressing poverty is an issue of importance for the national economy; Rubin pointed out, correctly, that, “One major impediment to moving forward on policies to address poverty is the widely-held view that nothing works. That is simply not true.” Examples of what works, he said, are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Social Security, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Much of his presentation focused on the role of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the nation’s largest nonprofit syndicator of housing tax credits, where he has been board chair 16 years. He called on Congress to make the EITC permanent and to support federal funding for “community-led efforts—like those supported by LISC.” His recommendation for action? “We all need to pitch in, by writing letters to the editor or to members of Congress, by getting our friends, neighbors, and colleagues to do the same; by speaking up in town meetings with our elected representatives, and by the many other means available in our democracy to make your voice heard.”Dan Cardinali, the president of Communities in Schools, announced that he is “an unabashed, fully invested believer in public education, [but]…that today’s public schools are simply not designed to serve the majority of their students,” the majority of which are much poorer than in years past. (Just over half of public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.) His solution is to pitch the model that is, in effect, the Communities in Schools model: “Community schools or wraparound services of integrated student supports. In this model, schools become a centralized distribution point for many different community services, and it’s all orchestrated by a high trained, deeply caring adult who’s integrated into the school setting, where they’ll have contact with needy kids every day.”Eshauna Smith of the Urban Alliance told her personal story before leading into a description of the Urban Alliance, an organization she described as “caring adults who came together and decided that they could do something, even if small, to increase positive interventions available to youth in need.” The Urban Alliance program, she said, delivers “five comprehensive and complementary employment-based interventions” for program participants, including “soft skills training,” a paid corporate internship, “two caring adults…who provide workplace guide and wrap-around services,” post-high school planning and support, and post-program career services and “wraparound services to ensure long-term success and connectedness.” Continuing on her own personal story and the story of a girl from TC Williams High School in northern Virginia who became involved in the Urban Alliance, she asked, “How can we create more Eshauna and Jocelyn stories, and less stories like what we can see in Baltimore and in Ferguson?” It’s an odd question, in that both Freddie Gray and Michael Brown were killed not because of their employment or education, but because they were young black men who had the unfortunate luck to encounter out-of-control policing.Amy Finkelstein from MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab described research into the different experiences of people on Medicaid, the Oregon study of its Oregon Medicaid program. Finkelstein’s research showed that the typical Medicaid patient, even if confronted initially with finding doctors who will accept Medicaid, were, “once on Medicaid…more likely to see a doctor…Medicaid increases the number of doctor visits in the first year—by 35 percent.” It also meant that, however, that “in the first few years, Medicaid increases—not decreases—emergency room use,” contrary to expectations that Medicaid coverage would get poor people of out emergency rooms and into treatment by primary-care doctors. She was able to report these findings because of the happenstance of being able to examine the Oregon Medicaid program results through a randomized experimental evaluation. Her presence at TEDx was not to explain the importance or lack of Medicaid coverage, a crucial component of anti-poverty policy, but to pitch an organization she runs at MIT called J-PAL North America, which is “working to connect researchers with a variety of partners—hospitals, insurers, employers, and governments—to design and implement randomized evaluations on important policy questions.”The similarity in the presentations of Rubin, Smith, and Cardinali was this: Their fundamental policy prescription was “fund more of my organization” (Urban Alliance, Communities in Schools, and, for Rubin, LISC in his role as chairman of the board). Other than the organizations’ own ability to deliver, there was little from the three about policy prescriptions that extended beyond their organizational turfs. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Rep. Paul Ryan’s poverty analysis, he was offering a vision for fighting poverty that rearranges the chess pieces on the board. There’s nothing wrong with organization-specific pitches, especially for organizations like CIS and LISC that have had significant impact on poor communities, but one would hope that TEDx talks do more.The only other presentation we encountered of a similar scope to Ryan’s came from the CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Patrick McCarthy, who called on states to close all youth prisons. “I believe it’s long past time to close these inhumane, ineffective, wasteful factories of failure once and for all. Every one of them,” he said in his TEDx talk. “We need to admit that what we’re doing doesn’t work and is making the problem worse while costing billions of dollars and ruining thousands of lives.” Making his point as more than TEDx rhetoric, McCarthy committed the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s support for any state that commits “to close large secure juvenile facilities that resemble adult correction facilities.” Timed for McCarthy’s TEDx presentation, the foundation released a new report documenting the maltreatment of juveniles in correction facilities including “widespread physical abuse,” excessive use of force, and “an epidemic” of sexual abuse. According to a Casey Foundation blog posting, the foundation is recommending three steps for states:“First, decrease the number of youth going into juvenile systems by half; second, improve existing systems by expanding community-based and family-centered programs proven to help kids who have the most serious problems; and third, eliminate all publicly operated and contracted youth prisons and instead use small, treatment-intensive secure care programs.”McCarthy made an offer to “be there” for the states that change their policies on youth incarceration, even though exactly what the foundation might do for those states was left a bit unclear. Ryan pitched a plan for a new approach to anti-poverty programs, though there are gaps in his strategy and questions about his commitment of resources. But they both deserve credit for making policy proposals that merit discussion and debate.—Rick CohenShare4TweetShareEmail4 Shares
Share7TweetShareEmail7 SharesJuli Hansen / Shutterstock.comJanuary 12, 2016; The Hill, “Ballot Box”On Monday, MoveOn.org members endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. MoveOn’s website says that with 340,665 votes cast, 79 percent of members had voted to back Sanders, as opposed to 14.6 percent for Hillary Clinton, and that the activist organization will do its best to turn out voters on his behalf in the primaries. The group has a list of 8 million members, with a roster of 75,000 in Iowa and New Hampshire and those members tend to be active in civil society.Sanders was also reported yesterday to have a 14-point lead on Clinton in New Hampshire according to a recent poll, and a poll from Quinnipiac University showed 49 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers supporting Sanders in Iowa as compared to 44 percent for Clinton. Last month’s Quinnipiac poll had Clinton at 51 percent compared to Sanders’s 40 percent.In 2008, of course, the group endorsed now-president Obama after he won a less impressive 70 percent of the support of its members. Earlier in this election season, the group backed the “Run, Warren, Run” campaign aimed at urging Elizabeth Warren to get in the race.“This is a massive vote in favor of Bernie Sanders, showing that grassroots progressives across the country are excited and inspired by his message and track record of standing up to big money and corporate interests to reclaim our democracy for the American people,” said Ilya Sheyman, MoveOn Political Action’s executive director.“We will mobilize aggressively to add our collective people power to the growing movement behind the Sanders campaign,” he added, “starting with a focus on voter turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire.”Meanwhile, in its first-ever endorsement in a primary, Planned Parenthood Action Fund this week joined NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC in endorsing Clinton.—Ruth McCambridgeShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shares