At the end of each year, MichiganVotes, a project of the Mackinac Center, tallies the number of votes lawmakers missed that year. With some lawmakers needing to quarantine and others becoming sick with COVID-19, there were some understandable reasons for missed votes. Still, the report of missed votes is yet another tool to hold lawmakers accountable. Outlets that featured this year’s report include the Midland Daily News, The Alpena News, Grand Rapids Business Journal, The Monroe News, WSJM and the Sanilac County News.
Celebrating National School Choice Week looked different this year, but the Mackinac Center still featured families who have used a variety of educational options. In an op-ed in The Detroit News, Ben DeGrow shared stories from three families. He wrote, “Those who use school choice to match their child’s needs to an educational setting that works for them receive tangible benefits.” One high-profile advocate for school choice was former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. DeGrow wrote a piece for Real Clear Education that discussed her legacy and efforts to give students greater educational opportunities.
Higher excise taxes for cigarettes and vaping devices have been under discussion in several states. Unfortunately, attempts to use tax increases to curb smoking are misguided and will lead to even more smuggling, a point made in several op-eds written by Michael LaFaive and adjunct scholar Todd Nesbit. These pieces appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill and the Duluth News Tribune.
Other outlets in Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois have mentioned Mackinac Center data in their reporting.
As James Hohman noted in The Hill, the minimum wage debate has been caught in an endless loop. In a separate piece for that outlet, Jarrett Skorup argued multiple points against raising the federal minimum wage. Another op-ed written by Skorup was published in National Review. He cautioned there that a higher minimum wage “will not lift many people out of poverty but instead will make fewer jobs available to the unemployed and those looking for their first jobs.”
Over a decade’s worth of misguided green energy policies wreaked havoc in Texas and the lower Midwest as states suffered blackouts during some unusually severe winter weather. Jason Hayes described what these blackouts show us about the future of energy in the U.S., in a piece published by USA Today. In the piece, he wrote, “As more states mandate unreliable renewables, incidents like this will become more frequent, not less. Every new wind turbine and solar panel means less reliable energy — the energy Americans need to weather the coldest nights and the hottest days.” On radio and TV shows across Michigan, Hayes discussed what the state can do to avoid a similar fate.