Andy Balaskovitz

Andy Balaskovitz

Contributing reporter, covers energy, policy and economic development.
Twitter: @ABalaskovitz
Email: [email protected]

Amid the legislative chaos of this year’s lame-duck session in Lansing, local officials in Grand Rapids and elsewhere are concerned over revenue cuts that could impact local programming while benefiting large telecommunications and cable companies.

Business and clean energy advocates are aligned in support of state legislation that clarifies the tax-exempt status of small-scale renewable energy systems.

Bills to scale back new state laws mandating paid sick leave and increasing the minimum wage are top of mind for local and statewide business groups in this year’s legislative lame duck session.

GRAND HAVEN — Yet another West Michigan coal plant will be laid to rest after officials in Grand Haven adopted a plan to transition the city’s utility to more natural gas and renewable energy.

Proponents of statewide and local ballot initiatives went four-for-four on election night, establishing a new process for drawing legislative districts, increasing access to voting and dedicating funding for early childhood development in Kent County.

Planning for a more electrified transportation future gained steam in Michigan this year with multiple spending plans totaling $85 million, as well as a series of in-depth policy discussions among a cross-section of stakeholders.

As Switch Ltd. planned a new data center in Gaines Township outside Grand Rapids three years ago, the company considered it critical that Consumers Energy could power the facility entirely with renewable energy.

Since opting to allow medical marijuana businesses in July, Grand Rapids has seen a wave of development interest that’s driving up real estate prices and sending city officials scrambling to adapt with new regulations.

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