Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday June 7, 2018

Jun 7, 2018

Work requirements for many people on Medicaid are on their way to the governor. A study says fixing racial disparities would generate billions of dollars in Michigan. A bill that passed the State Senate would allow seniors to get less-expensive car insurance. Another Democrat running for Congress in Michigan is suing over being denied a spot on the ballot. Two WMU players are selected in the Major League Baseball draft. 

A bill passed by the Michigan State Senate would allow seniors to sign up for cheaper auto insurance, but the deal comes with a trade-off. MLive reports that drivers over 65 who signed up for the less expensive insurance would forfeit their no-fault medical coverage beyond the first $50,000. The theory is that those seniors could rely on Medicare to cover the rest of their needs. The bill passed the Senate 23-13 today (on Thursday). It’s part of a package that would make changes to Michigan’s car insurance system.

A recent report finds that eliminating racial disparities in Michigan would generate billions of dollars over the next 30 years. The authors of “The Business Case for Racial Equity in Michigan,” written in partnership with the W K Kellogg Foundation found that eliminating racial disparities in health, education, incarceration, and employment would generate $92 billion in economic output by 2050. The report estimates that 40 percent of Michigan’s workforce will be persons of color by that time.

If you’re able-bodied and on the Healthy Michigan insurance program, you might be required to work 80 hours per month starting in 2020. Experts estimate hundreds of thousands of Michiganders would be affected if Snyder signs the legislation. And in spite of earlier opposition, the governor is now signaling his support for the plan. The bill passed mostly along party lines with Republicans in favor. But Republican Senator Margaret O’Brien broke with her party.

“I still had concerns that unintentionally some Michiganders who are working, who are doing their best, were going to drop off.”

O’Brien says she’s also concerned about the lack of a solid estimate on the cost of implementing the requirement.

A candidate in a northern Michigan congressional district has filed suit against the Board of State Canvassers and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson for not allowing him to appear on the ballot. Matt Morgan is the sole Democrat running against incumbent Jack Bergman in the state’s 1st congressional district. Many of Morgan’s campaign petition signatures were disqualified last week because he listed a P.O Box instead of a street address. A representative for the Secretary of State’s Office says requiring a street address is standard practice. The suit calls the Board of Elections instructions ambiguous and contradictory. A spokesperson for Morgan’s campaign says if the suit fails he will pursue a write-in campaign. A Democratic candidate in Southwest Michigan’s 6th Congressional district is also suing over a spot on the ballot. The board of state Canvassers said last week that Paul Clements was nine valid signatures short of the one-thousand needed. Four other Democrats are on the ballot to challenge long-time Republican Congressman Fred Upton. (WCMU

Two players from Western Michigan University have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft. Junior pitcher Nic Laio was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 20th round Wednesday, the Cleveland Indians selected Bronco shortstop Connor Smith in the 30th round.

In minor league baseball, Kalamazoo won at Kenosha Wednesday night 7-0. Three Growlers pitchers held the Kingfish to three hits. Kalamazoo will wrap up its two game series Thursday in Kenosha.

Battle Creek won at Wisconsin Rapids Wednesday night 8-1. The Bombers and the Rafters conclude their two game series Thursday.