With Michigan legislators not meeting during most of the summer, politics doesn’t get much press coverage. Even so, the environment in which policymakers work is constantly being shaped by popular attitudes and expert opinion. Mackinac Center staff continue to produce new research and commentary to make sure there is a free-market voice in that environment.
Our research on Michigan’s energy infrastructure continues to have a growing impact. For example, The Detroit News recently cited it in an editorial on Line 5 and the perils of depending on renewable energy. Readers of that publication can also read an op-ed by Jason Hayes about how, contrary to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s rhetoric, Michigan’s water quality has improved.
Summer is a big time for tourism, and state and local governments spend millions of taxpayer dollars to attract tourists. Michael LaFaive wrote about this spending in an op-ed for The Hill, saying, “Government tourism promotion efforts are unlikely to be cost-effective when an accurate accounting is made — despite what consultants, slick magazines and other advertisements may suggest.”
Economic development subsidies are a trending topic, and LaFaive’s comments on them were featured in articles in the Michigan Chronicle and the Detroit Metro Times.
Chris Douglas, a member of the Mackinac Center Board of Scholars, wrote a piece for Bridge Magazine on taxpayer-subsidized sports arenas. They are, he said, “an expensive psychological boost.”
June marked the first anniversary of the Janus v. AFSCME decision. The Supreme Court case granted millions of workers across the country the freedom to choose whether they wish to financially support or be represented by a union. Many workers, though, still face barriers to using this freedom. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation has filed a lawsuit to challenge New Jersey’s barrier, an opt-out window. The Washington Times wrote about the suit, which was also featured in The Press of Atlantic City, one of New Jersey’s largest daily papers.
Ben DeGrow wrote a piece on the challenges special-needs kids face in finding the best place to learn. Michigan’s policies harm these students, he said, but two recent court rulings may help. Several newspapers published DeGrow’s commentary, including the Holland Sentinel and the Brown City Banner.