Wayne Schmidt

A northern Michigan state lawmaker is defending legislation that would require able-bodied people to work an average of 29 hours per week to qualify for Medicaid. 

Opponents of the bill say it would unfairly affect African-Americans living in cities. 


Last week was dramatic at the state Capitol. In a late night vote, a dozen GOP House members broke from their Republican colleagues and voted with Democrats against a bill that would have lowered the state income tax to 3.9 percent. 

The legislation failed and never made it to the state Senate. 

Sen. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City had questions about the income tax bill. 

“It was easy to say, ‘let’s lower taxes,’ Schmidt told IPR News Radio in an interview. “But was it the right amount? Is it what working families wanted?” 

“I’m all about giving tax relief but you’ve got to make sure it’s especially targeted for working families,” Schmidt said. 


Schmidt spoke with IPR News Radio about the tax legislation, and about two bills that he has introduced. 

Election Results - November 2014

Nov 5, 2014
Aaron Selbig

CORRECTION: Earlier copy stated Franz victory margin was less than one tenth of a percentage point when it is actually less than one percentage point. We apologize for the error.

UPDATE: 11/05 6:00 AM

Republican Ray Franz has won a third term in Lansing by less than one percent of the vote. Franz had about 320 more votes than Democrat Tom Stobie in the race for Michigan's 101st House District.

Two state House panels have adopted what could be the first part of a comprehensive plan to pay for road repairs. The plan would generate most of the money by re-directing sales and use taxes collected at the pump to transportation. The plan also collects fuel taxes based on a percentage of every sale instead of a fee paid on every gallon. That would allow revenue to rise with gas prices.

State House Transportation Committee Chairman Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) says the bills are a good start.

Peter Payette

Republican lawmakers announced a proposal Thursday to spend more money on Michigan’s roads and bridges.

Everybody agrees Michigan’s roads are in horrendous shape, but the full cost of tackling the problem is large, in the billions of dollars. Addressing such an expensive problem is difficult, especially in an election year.

To see the problem firsthand, drive down Doerr Road in Antrim County. Drive in the middle because the edges are crumbling away.

Disagreements among conservatives will be on display in a northern Michigan primary during the coming year. Two experienced Republican lawmakers are running for the 37th state senate seat. The recent Medicaid vote is already emerging as a central issue in a race that will highlight some of the differences between Governor Snyder and the right wing of his party.