Stateside: Remembering John Dingell; failing stormwater infrastructure; fight over changes at MDEQ

Feb 8, 2019
Originally published on February 11, 2019 11:55 am

Today on Stateside, Congressman John Dingell passed away Thursday. Two of his longtime friends from across the aisle, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley, reflect on the legacy of “the Dean.” Plus, Republicans push back against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s attempts to restructure the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. And we end the week with a cocktail that sounds like spring, but tastes like winter citrus.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Republican friends, colleagues of Congressman John Dingell remember his wit, determination

  • The United State’s longest-serving member of Congress has died. Michigan’s John Dingell passed away yesterday at age 92. Stateside talked to two long-time friends of Dingell, Michigan Congressman Fred Upton and Detroit News columnist and editor Nolan Finley, about what they’ll remember most from their decades of friendship with “the Dean.”

Detroit’s controversial drainage fee and Michigan’s struggles to fund stormwater infrastructure

  • Sure, the roads are bad in Michigan, but the state’s stormwater systems aren’t any better. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave both a D- in their 2018 infrastructure report card. We talk to Greg Kacvinsky, with OHM advisors, about why the state got such low marks for its stormwater infrastructure.  
  • We also hear from Lisa Walinske, an attorney representing Detroit residents protesting a so-called “rain-tax” in Detroit. That’s a new fee implemented by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department that charges homeowners and businesses for every square foot of their property covered by a roof, driveway, or other impervious surface. Walinske tells us why residents are upset with the new fee, and why the Michigan Supreme Court will soon decide whether it qualifies as a tax that would be subject to a vote under state law.

Gov. Whitmer wants changes for MDEQ. Republicans are pushing back. Here’s what to know.

  • Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led legislature are butting heads about Whitmer's plans to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality. Stateside talks to Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, and Jim Malewitz, who reports on environmental issues for Bridge. They tell us about the changes Gov. Whitmer has announced, and what Republicans are trying to do to stop them from taking effect. 

Roundup: Where should Gov. Whitmer focus attention in first State of the State address?

  • Next Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her first State of the State address. We talk to our Friday political commentators about what they are hoping to hear from the new governor.
  • Ken Sikkema is a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader. Vicki Barnett is a former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic state legislator.

Cheers! Savoring the season with Bees and Blossoms

  • Let's raise a toast to the weekend! Today, a cocktail recipe from Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings that sounds like spring, but tastes like winter citrus. Listen above to get the recipe for the Bees and Blossoms cocktail. 

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