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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: The State Of The States

State Capitol - file photo
Melissa Benmark
/
WKAR

The Executive Editor of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline Project says while there may be gridlock in Washington, at the state level, there is a lot of action. 

The State of the States report is being released this week. It follows major issues in several states.

Stateline Executive Editor Scott Greenberger says some states allow for Republicans or Democrats to enact reforms favored by their party. But Greenberger says since most states require a balanced budget, there is usually less gridlock, even if power is divided between the two political parties.

This year the State of the States report is focusing on higher education, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, budgets and housing. Michigan’s problems are similar to many other states. Greenberger says that includes trying to find ways to boost money for transportation. Greenberger says criminal justice reform seems to be getting traction in Michigan, as it is in other states.

The ongoing water crisis in Flint is a main focus in Michigan. But Greenberger says aging water infrastructure is a problem throughout the country. He says it could be an issue that other states take up in the near future.

Greenberger says criminal justice reform is one issue where there is bi-partisan agreement that action is needed in many states. He says there is also growing agreement that something needs to be done about college costs and high student debt. But Greenberger says it’s not year clear whether agreement can be reached on solutions.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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