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MI: 400,000 Michigan workers may lose jobless aid this year

The Detroit Free Press:

For 35,000 jobless Michigan workers, this holiday weekend marks the start of a new set of worries: the sudden end of their unemployment benefits.

MI: Legislature approves restoring some funding to state's schools

The Detroit Free Press:

The Michigan Legislature approved a new $12.8-billion school funding plan on Thursday that boosts state aid by $11 per pupil immediately and through the 2010-11 school year.

WaPo: Advocates for immigrants turn to state legislatures to block Arizona-style law

Advocates demanding stricter rules against illegal immigration -- including those backing Arizona's new law clamping down on undocumented immigrants -- have long argued that state lawmakers have been forced to act because of Congress's reluctance to take the lead.

But with little sign that Congress will act on comprehensive immigration reform this year, advocates for immigrants are also taking matters into their own hands. Like their political opponents, they have turned to their state legislatures to fight back.

In states from Pennsylvania to Utah, a battle of bills has been taking place between those who want to reproduce the Arizona law, which hands police more power to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, and those who want to extend further rights to immigrants.

MI: Job Retraining Efforts Sputter

More than two years after Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched what may be the most ambitious job retraining program in Michigan history, 16,164 workers have found new jobs but nearly twice that many either dropped out or are still unable to find work.

The more-than-$500 million No Worker Left Behind program may be well-intentioned and well-designed, but with Michigan leading the nation in unemployment for most of the past four years, success has been limited.

MI: Lawsuit Over Voter-Purge Ends; State to Stop Voter Purge Programs

Public Employees Earn Substantially Less than Private Sector Counterparts

Refuting right-wing attacks on state workers, a new report by the National Institute for Retirement Security (NIRS) and the Council on State and Local Government Excellence (CSGE), Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years, demonstrates that state and local employees earn an average of 11 and 12 percent less, respectively, than comparable private sector workers.