Defending, Declaring, Discussing and Digging…

Spring blossoms - click to enlarge

These four D-words came to mind when thinking about how to summarize all of the amazing content packed into this late spring/early summer edition of IMPACT.


When bad policy forced tens of thousands of home-based caregivers into a union, taking tens of millions of dollars intended for the care of the most vulnerable people in Michigan, the Mackinac Center defended the rights of those who were being cared for and those caring for them. Through news reporting in Michigan Capitol Confidential and legal action by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, the scheme caught the eyes of the public. Today, that union has 80 percent fewer members who do not have their Medicaid checks skimmed.


Right-to-work is right for Michigan, and it’s right for Missouri, too. Since Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state, Labor Policy Director F. Vincent Vernuccio has been on a “You Can, Too” tour showing other states the benefits of worker freedom. Vernuccio testified at a Missouri House hearing in January of this year, showing lawmakers the positive effects of workers having the right to choose whether to financially support a union as a condition of employment. Missouri lawmakers took a bold step in early April. The Missouri House approved right-to-work legislation by a 78 to 68 vote. However, it failed to receive the needed 82 “yes” votes to send the bill to the Senate. This remarkable development shows for the first time in nearly 40 years the Show-Me state is seriously considering right-to-work.


In April, the Michigan Board of Education invited Education Policy Director Audrey Spalding to present findings regarding school funding and performance. Rather than simply increasing spending and expecting better results, there is an effort now to determine whether school spending is related to student outcomes. Spalding presented evidence that there is no pattern relating to school performance and per-pupil instruction expenditures. Efforts continue in Lansing to restrict school choice and preserve only conventional districts. However, Spalding showed families most often choose schools that have better academic outcomes when given the choice.


Michigan Capitol Confidential finds the stories that no other news outlet does. In March, CapCon released a story about a union contract in Ferndale that gave special consideration to those of the “non-Christian faith.” This story of discrimination within public education went viral quickly, getting picked up by state, national and international media. The story was liked on CapCon’s Facebook page more than 2,000 times. In this issue of IMPACT, we show the timeline of events as the news was breaking on this important story.

The Society of Professional Journalists of Detroit honored several reporters from Michigan Capitol Confidential in April for their excellence in news coverage. The awards were for stories on corporate welfare, asset forfeiture laws, government waste, regulation, unions and personal property issues.

Well, that’s about enough of the telling, now it’s time for the showing. Dig into the rest of this issue to find out how the Mackinac Center is advancing liberty and opportunity for all people daily.