Tally of Proposed Government Expansions and Limitations in State of the State Address Will be Available After Speech

Mackinac Center experts can be reached for analysis of budget, tax and policy recommendations

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008

Contact: Michael D. Jahr
Director of Communications
989-631-0900

MIDLAND — The Mackinac Center for Public Policy on Tuesday evening will continue its annual practice of tallying and categorizing new initiatives offered by Michigan governors in State of the State addresses. Center analysts will compare the total number of proposed government expansions and limitations in this year’s address to gubernatorial speeches dating to 1969.

"Our analysis provides a real-time ‘box score’ of proposed government expansions versus contractions," said Michael D. LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative. "This analysis allows for historical comparisons. For example, Gov. Jennifer Granholm holds the four-year record for expansions at 62, while Gov. William Milliken holds the record for the fewest at 18."

The 2008 "scorecard" will be posted on the Center’s Web site within one hour of the completion of Gov. Granholm’s speech Tuesday night. The Center’s budget, education, legislative, and technology and environmental analysts will also be available for comment.

Below is a summary of Gov. Granholm’s expansions and limitations to date.

Gov. Granholm, 2003-2007

Avg.

High

Low

Proposed expansions

16.4

22 (’04)

7 (’05)

Proposed limitations

2.2

6 (’03)

0 (’05)

LaFaive has written his own version of the State of the State address, providing a frank assessment of Michigan’s economic ailments and offering policy prescriptions that can begin to restore the state’s fiscal health.

A published report last weekend indicated that the governor will propose using the Michigan Economic Growth Authority to promote tourism. In 2005, the Mackinac Center published a 121-page review of MEGA and found that the program had no impact on per-capita personal income, employment or the unemployment rate.

"The history of these addresses indicates that there is little new under the public policy sun," said LaFaive. In each of the last two years the Mackinac Center has published essays underscoring how in Lansing past is prologue: http://www.mackinac.org/7568 and http://www.mackinac.org/8218.

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