There’s no limit to the ways in which public policy could be improved in Michigan. But there is a limit to the number of hours in a day. And that’s why the Mackinac Center creates a priority list of policy reforms every year. We analyze our top policy ideas and determine which ones are going to take priority, based on their feasibility and impact, among other things.
Lawmakers acted on several of our policy recommendations last year, such as spending more on roads without increasing taxes, trimming back on corporate handouts, making changes to the criminal justice system and, of course, enacting historic reforms to the state’s auto insurance laws. We’ll be looking for similar positive impacts in 2020, with our policy recommendations guiding our educational and outreach work.
One of our top and overarching priorities is fiscal responsibility: lawmakers making prudent use of our tax dollars. This includes prioritizing road funding without tax hikes or taking on debt. It also means continuing to make full payments on existing debt and reducing spending on gimmicky and one-off special-interest projects, such as corporate handouts.
Transparency is another priority of ours in 2020, and it surfaces in several policy areas. We’ll push to make government unions more accountable to their members, expand Michigan’s FOIA law to include all levels of government, and require state agencies to report every penny in tax breaks, subsidies or other special treatment they provide.
We’ll also be focusing a lot of effort in 2020 on regulatory reforms. The administrative state is out of control, and policymakers need to rein it back in. The most important place to start is with a thorough review of occupational licensing requirements and starting to trim back needless ones. But the rest of the regulatory code needs work as well, and we’ll encourage policymakers to begin modernizing Michigan’s administrative code.
These are but snippets of the work we have planned for the year — there’s no space left for details about our plans for labor, criminal justice and health care policy. You may, if you wish, read more about those in the full guide, available here: www.mackinac.org/policy2020. But, either way, you’ll hear from us again soon on those issues — hopefully because we have success stories to share!