FOX 66 News at Ten
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has revived his support for overhauling Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan after vetoing legislation last month over an anti-abortion rider.
In his State of the State address Wednesday night, the Republican governor repeated his call for easing regulations on the big insurer and requiring it to pay taxes after it transforms from a charitable trust to a customer-owned nonprofit.
He vetoed the measure in late December because of abortion language added to secure support from Republican legislators.
Blue Cross Vice President Andrew Hetzel says he's encouraged Snyder is making the overhaul a priority.
Supporters say the change is necessary to level the playing field for the industry and prepare for the federal health care law. Critics say it's unnecessary deregulation that short-shrifts the elderly.
While the governor gave the State of the State address, several hundred union members gathered outside the Michigan Capitol to protest the passage of right-to-work legislation.
The protesters Wednesday evening carried a banner that said, "You can't trust Snyder."
Governor Snyder outlined another top priority of fixing up Michigan's roads. The Governor says to patch up the state's crumbling roads and bridges, the state will have to raise more than 1 billion dollars a year, over the next 10 years.
Snyder hopes to do that by raising vehicle registration fees and tax motor fuels at the wholesale level. He didn't give ball park figures on how much those registration fees will go up.
The governor decided not to try to raise the per-gallon tax charged at the gas pump. He also wants to let local governments raise vehicle registration fees to pay for local road repairs.
Snyder says Senator Roger Kahn of Saginaw Township will take the lead on his proposal.
Snyder also proposed reforming no-fault insurance, called for more police officers on the streets and reforming the 9-1-1 system.
The Republican governor signed right-to-work measures that cleared the Republican-controlled Legislature in December.
Anti-right-to-work protests drew several thousand people last month. The measures taking effect in March bar unions from requiring people they represent under collective bargaining agreements to pay fees.
The right-to-work law that prohibits requirements that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Meanwhile, Governor Snyder is headlining this year's Midland Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.
The governor is the keynote speaker at this year's annual meeting.
He will talk about what is in store for the year. Also, winners of the chamber's Excellence in Business, J. Kermit Campbell, Athena, Ambassador of the Year and Chairman's awards will be announced at the event.
The event began at 7 a.m. at the Great Hall Banquet and Convention Center off Bay City Road in Midland.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Thursday, January 17 2013, 08:46 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Giffords, husband address graduates at Bard|
|Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says the futures of today's college graduates "shines bright." Giffords spoke only briefly Saturday at the Bard College commencement but urged the graduates to create, lead and innovate.|
|Authorities search for Iowa teen amid rain, wind|
Authorities on Saturday searched amid rainy and windy conditions for an Iowa teenager who was abducted Monday.
|Survivor, rescuer reunite at Maine B-52 crash site|
After surviving a deadly B-52 bomber crash and a night on a frozen mountainside, Gerald Adler, injured and frostbitten, could recall only the red handlebar mustache of his rescuer.
|Survivor, rescuer reunite at Maine B-52 crash site|
|A survivor of a deadly Maine B-52 bomber crash has reunited with the man who rescued him at a somber event marking 50 years since the accident.|
|Woman killed in San Antonio flooding, officials say|
San Antonio firefighters have pulled people from submerged cars and rescued passengers whose bus was swept away in floodwaters.
|Cold start to 1st summer after Sandy at NJ shore|
|The first summer season after Superstorm Sandy is underway at the Jersey shore, parts of which were devastated by the October storm.|
|AP Exclusive: New cause for ex-radical Olson|
|Sara Jane Olson, the Minnesota woman who served seven years in prison for her involvement in high-profile 1970s radicalism, is edging back into public life — this time voluntarily — as she and a friend petition the Obama administration to reduce disparities in prison sentences for crack and powder cocaine.|
|Graduates in tornado-raked Okla. town vow to stay|
|Seven tornadoes have swept through their town since they were born, but as new graduates donned caps and gowns to say goodbye to their high schools Saturday, they vowed they wouldn't say goodbye to Moore.|
|Georgia man stole 195 sticks of deodorant, police say|
Police say a shoplifter in metro Atlanta had particularly sticky fingers for deodorant sticks, stealing 195 of them from a Target store.
|Volunteers help repair homes of Connecticut veterans|
Nearly 100 volunteers are set to help two Connecticut veterans and a military widow repair and renovate their homes in Berlin, New Britain and Plainville.