Midwest Memo: Mixed economic report, Ohio leaders plot SB5 changes, Michigan airports face cuts

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Economic growth remains below average. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index showed slight improvement in May, but remained below its historical average. It increased to -0.36 in May following a -0.56 mark in April. Production and income categories contributed gains to the index, but employment indicators were negative for the second straight month.

SB5 could be divided into separate ballot questions. In order to weaken fierce opposition to a bill that restricts the collective bargaining rights of public employees, Ohio Gov. John Kasich may divide the measure known as SB5 into multiple ballot questions, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Voters could then cast ballots on each provision. State Republicans are talking to the Ohio Ballot Board on options on how to present the measure(s).

Michigan airports face uncertain future. A federal subsidy that funds commercial service at smaller airports across the nation could be cut by Congress. This week, House lawmakers are targeting the Essential Air Service subsidy, which brings $9 million to Michigan airports, according to the Detroit News. Without the money, airlines may lose money on the routes and curtail service.

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