John Knappmann: We need real solutions for surprise medical billing

BY: - August 22, 2019

Michiganders need relief when it comes to surprise medical billing.  Fortunately, Congress finally seems to be taking action as it inches toward a legislative solution. As they do so, our elected officials in Washington must ensure the final bill they pass on this matter does not result in any negative, unintended consequences for patients. As […]


Susan J. Demas: Republicans don’t want to give Whitmer a victory on roads. You can blame business lobbyists for that.

BY: - August 21, 2019

For decades, powerful Michigan business groups have led the anti-tax charge, warning that any increase would surely tank the economy. During every downturn, they’ve blamed our tax burden, blithely ignoring reams of evidence that Michigan is not a high-tax state and it’s our continued dependence on the ever-downsizing domestic auto industry that makes our recessions […]


Rick Haglund: What’s behind Patterson’s economic legacy in Oakland County

BY: - August 19, 2019

Within hours of his death on Aug. 3, journalists served up two stark portraits of controversial Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. Some condemned Patterson for his long history of racially charged comments about Detroit and its majority-black population. Others praised him for his deft leadership of wealthy Oakland County. If you haven’t already done […]


Alex Rossman: Public charge rule attacks immigrants and American values

BY: - August 17, 2019

In my 20-year career, I thought I had seen all of the tricks, maneuvers and strategies in the political procedure book.  But President Donald Trump has found something new and has been using it ad nauseam. Exploiting complex and technical rules and regulations, his administration has turned government bureaucracy into a nearly untouchable partisan tool […]


Column: All public universities get private money, but some get much more than the rest

BY: - August 9, 2019

U.S. universities raised nearly $47 billion in the academic fiscal year that ended in mid-2018. This new record haul marked a 7% increase from the prior year. As usual, private universities generally led the way. But public universities are hardly on the sidelines. Some of the most prestigious public universities, such as the University of […]


Emily Durbin: Gun violence is preventable and it’s up to Michigan lawmakers to stop it

BY: - August 8, 2019

Americans have experienced so many mass shootings that we have a familiar ritual of how unspeakable tragedies are reported and how their impacts are processed in the public sphere. This pattern — shock, sadness, outrage, the desire to assign blame, helplessness — can make gun violence feel inevitable and unsolvable.  But gun violence can be […]


After Ohio, Texas mass shootings, here’s the legislation Michigan’s GOP Legislature could take up

BY: - August 5, 2019

After two mass shootings within hours of each other on Saturday at an El Paso Walmart and outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, there’s been a lot of talk about how nothing will be done to reform state and federal gun laws. This fatalism can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. But this passive construction also, however […]


Column: The Supreme Court decision that kept suburban schools segregated

BY: - August 5, 2019

America recently marked the 65-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education – a landmark case intended to abolish the “separate-but-equal” doctrine of racial segregation in schools. But the racial makeup of today’s schools actually owes itself to a series of other court decisions – including one issued 45 years […]


Ken Coleman: When it comes to L. Brooks Patterson’s bigotry, I refuse to be silent

BY: - August 4, 2019

L. Brooks Patterson, the longtime charismatic and curmudgeonly Oakland County executive, died on Saturday at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  Yes, I’m sorry that the disease took his life, but I can’t ignore his bigoted — if not racist — history. Patterson’s life and times are being written and recorded this weekend […]


Column: Michigan must count all kids in 2020 census 

BY: - August 3, 2019

It might be hard to believe, but young people will be trickling into school over the coming weeks for a new year with friends. Teachers will once again have their classrooms filled with bright faces, and the challenge to get to know their students starts anew.  For most, that process begins with a simple but […]


Rick Haglund: Why fixing the damn roads is so damn hard

BY: - August 2, 2019

How in the world are we ever going to fix the damn roads? Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature policy prescription — boosting the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to raise $2.5 billion to repair roads and bridges — is going nowhere in the Legislature. Meanwhile, Republicans who control the House and Senate are […]


Demas: Same-sex marriage has been legal for 4 years. A Michigan Republican still thinks homophobia is a winning ticket to Congress.

BY: - July 29, 2019

It’s been a slow, simmering summer in Lansing. Republicans running the Michigan Legislature, who used to incessantly brag about their impressive fiscal prowess by finishing state budgets by June under a GOP governor, have instead retreated to ever-receding Great Lakes beaches for a little unearned R&R. But one West Michigan Republican is working, sort of. […]