Poverty rate data released today shows that Michigan fell further in its economic status. The percentage of Michigan residents living in poverty increased from 14 percent to 14.4 percent in 2008, according to the Census Bureau release.

In 2005, Michigan had the 22nd highest poverty rate. Today's release has the state at the 16th highest.

Overall, the nation increased its poverty rate from 13 percent to 13.2 percent, but there were wide variations among the states. Connecticut performed the worst, increasing from 7.9 percent to 9.3 percent. Alabama did the best by dropping its rate from 16.9 to 15.7. Overall, 18 states decreased their poverty.

Meanwhile, Lansing policymakers are discussing further saddling Michigan's job-providers by passing further tax hikes.