Southwest Michigan Today: Thursday May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018

Hearings Open in the State House on work requirements for Medicaid recipients. WMU and Kellogg Community College have a new agreement for transfers. A new study estimates large costs for an oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac. 

The state House opened hearings Wednesday on a bill that would require able-bodied people on Medicaid to have a job, be looking for work, or be enrolled in school. Medicaid work requirements got a lot of attention when the Trump administration seemed to invite states to ask for permission to try it out. Three states have already done so and others are getting in line. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce supports the legislation. Gilda Jacobs of the Michigan League for Public Policy says unemployed people have other barriers to employment such as no child care or transportation to a job. Governor Rick Snyder is opposed to the legislation. He says more people with medical coverage is a cost-savings for the health care system and taxpayers.

Western Michigan University and Kellogg Community College have signed an agreement that the two schools say will make for a smoother transfer process. The agreement outlines how credits earned at one school transfer to another. It facilitates the transition of students who complete an associate’s degree at Kellogg into a degree program at Western. Officials from the community college in Battle Creek and WMU say the agreement will help students save time and money, and will minimize the loss of credits and duplication of course work.

The deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida in February spurred walkouts against gun violence in schools across the country. But a walkout Wednesday in suburban Lansing had a different purpose. Grand Ledge High School senior Zach Bell organized the event in support of the Second Amendment. Some 50 students joined him in moments of silence to honor police and military personnel who carry weapons in the name of public safety. (WKAR

A new study estimates a potential oil spill in the Mackinac Straits would cost the Michigan economy more than $6-billion. Michigan State University professor Robert Richardson says an oil spill in the straits would damage Michigan’s tourism industry, commercial fishing in the Great Lakes and even affect property values. Richardson insists his is a conservative estimate. The study was commissioned by an environmental group calling on the state to shut down the Enbridge Line Five pipeline currently carrying crude oil beneath the straits. Richardson insists the group did not influence his study. (Michigan Radio

In baseball, Western Michigan beat Northwestern Wednesday 26-15. The 26 runs scored by the Broncos was two short of the school record set in 1988. Western hosts Miami for a three game series beginning Friday.

In softball, Western Michigan lost at Detroit Wednesday 4-2. It was the Broncos’ final non-conference game of the season. Western will host Eastern Michigan for a three game series beginning Friday.