Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 25, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 06/25/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Kids Count says poverty is rising

LANSING — The annual Kids Count survey says Michigan is facing rising child poverty.

The report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation on child well-being says support for families must be addressed by state and federal policies.

Michigan League for Public Policy says the state needs poverty-fighting tax credits, health care for low-income adults, more education and job training for low-skilled workers and an increase in the minimum wage. The report lists Michigan 31st in overall child well-being nationally.

The report ranks states in economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

The report says Michigan ranked high in providing health insurance for children through private insurance and the state Medicaid and MIChild programs.

Vanderbilt casino heads to top court

LANSING — Michigan’s attorney general is welcoming the chance to argue to the U.S. Supreme Court over the legality of an American Indian casino.

Bill Schuette said Monday the high court’s decision to hear his appeal sets the stage for a discussion about all states’ ability to “halt the unrestrained expansion of off-reservation tribal casino gambling.”

The Bay Mills Indian Community opened a casino in Vanderbilt in the northern Lower Peninsula in 2010 about 125 miles south of its reservation in the Upper Peninsula.

Tribal Chairman Kurt Perron says the tribe is “deeply concerned” with the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case because it appears justices may examine the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. Perron says he’s confident the Supreme Court will rule in the tribe’s favor.

Lottery bureau pays big bonuses

LANSING — The Michigan Lottery Bureau has paid 75 employees more than $300,000 in bonuses in the past year in a program that failed to meet its minimum goal in several recent years, according a newspaper’s review of records.

The program was initially set up for about 75 sales representatives who met quarterly goals for instant tickets and certain club games, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday. It was expanded this year to include 16 more employees.

The workers are eligible for up to $6,000 a year in performance bonuses and the lottery cited seven years of documented success.