Foundation Awards $480,000 to Mackinac Center

New Science, Environment, and Technology Policy Initiative Launched

MIDLAND—The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation of Midland has awarded grants totaling $480,000 to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy to help launch a new public policy initiative and support the Center's general operations.

The Mackinac Center's new Science, Environment, and Technology Initiative will study state laws and regulations regarding the environment and technological infrastructure, and promote policies based on sound science and protection of property rights.

Most of the funds, granted over three years, will support full-time researchers dedicated to science, environment, and technology issues.  The new staff will conduct studies, write commentaries, commission research projects, hold educational events, and provide information to citizens, journalists, and lawmakers.  The Mackinac Center is also seeking long-term grants from other foundations for the initiative, which a spokesman said it plans to launch in early 2002.

The Science, Environment, and Technology Initiative will be added to the Mackinac Center's four existing multi-year policy initiatives.  Full-time policy analysts are already in place to study education reform and labor law, operate a legislative information and analysis web site called MichiganVotes.org, and equip citizens around the state to improve their public schools at the local level.

Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation President Margaret "Ranny" Riecker said, "The Mackinac Center's track record of scholarship, independence, and influence makes us confident that these new grants will help Michigan enact good policies for protecting our environment and fostering a strong economy."

Most of the Mackinac Center's $3.2 million annual budget is supported by foundations, with the balance coming from charitable contributions by individuals and businesses.  The 14-year-old Midland-based policy research institute has a staff of 30 and is the largest state-focused think tank in the nation.

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