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State-led Health Care Reforms

Facing seemingly endless paralysis on health care reform from the federal government, a growing number of states are starting to consider reforms that they could enact to improve the provision of health care for their residents. Although federal laws and rules dominate health care regulations, there are still several worthy reforms that states could pursue that would have the effect of lowering costs and expanding choices for patients.


Raising the Age: Should 17-Year-Olds be Eligible for Juvenile Justice in Michigan?

Michigan is one of five states where 17-year-olds are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, rather than the juvenile justice system. Following a trend in several other states, some Michigan stakeholders have begun a “raise the age” campaign to adjust the age of adult criminal liability to 18, the age of majority for all other purposes. The Legislature introduced bills to that effect last year, but opponents of the campaign warn that shifting 17-year-olds into the juvenile system will be an expensive burden on resource-strapped counties. Reformers counter that the move will ensure better outcomes for teens in the long run. Join us to hear expert panelists discuss the costs and benefits of raising the age.


Issues and Ideas Forum: Luncheons and Experts

Overview, e-mail notifications, and archives. Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch. more

Do Michigan Charter Schools Get More Bang for the Buck?

The past year’s rise of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has brought more attention to the performance of charter schools, both nationally and in her native Michigan. Charter schools are tuition-free, state-funded schools of choice that tend to operate with fewer dollars than other public schools. How well are charter schools doing with the resources they have?


Is This Working? The Effects of Occupational Licensing on the Workforce

Working a job — any job — is connected to lower poverty, better income mobility, lower crime rates, fewer children born out-of-wedlock and a host of other positive results. But today, the right to earn a living is becoming more difficult. In 1950, only around 5 percent of workers needed an occupational license – today, more than one out of every five workers in Michigan is required to have this special government permission to work. This typically includes mandated educational degrees, hours of training, upfront fees, testing, continuing education, and limits of people with criminal records.


Laws of Evidence: How Sound Forensic Science Policy Can Help Prevent Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project is a well-known nonprofit organization whose goal is to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Forty-six percent of its cases involved misapplied forensic science — meaning that a method, technique or analysis was conducted incorrectly. There have been 17 exonerations in Michigan involving misapplied forensic science. Now, in partnership with the Reason Foundation, the Innocence Project is calling for improvements to forensic science and for better transparency and quality control in crime labs. Panelists from the Innocence Project and Reason will discuss how the application of forensic science to criminal prosecutions can be improved by policy change and public education.


Smart Regulations for the Coming Driverless Car Revolution

As you read this, a future that features driverless cars on city streets, interstate highways and maybe in your driveway is steadily unfolding. But before this future fully arrives, policymakers need to think hard about how to properly regulate these new technologies. Regulations, after all, are powerful and often blunt tools — they can be used to foster innovation, competition and economic growth, and they can be used to prevent change, snuff out invention and slow technological advances. The predicted benefits of autonomous vehicles to society are large and widespread, and Michigan needs to be ensure that its residents can take full advantage of these upsides.


What Can We Learn from Michigan Parents Using School Choice?

An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.


The New Fight for the Right: Where the Conservative Movement is Going

The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?


Home Sharing: Michigan’s Next Property Rights Battle

Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, but with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by companies like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win.