Program(s): Department grants
Special Revenue Funds:
This appropriation funds grants to various charitable,
educational, and welfare-to-work programs. The following is a list of those
programs, a brief description, and the amount that could be saved by eliminating
Focus: HOPE. Focus: HOPE is a well known,
Detroit-area civil- and human- rights organization that is dedicated to
improving humanity through multi-cultural charitable and education programs. It
charges nominal fees for some of its work and uses its MDCD grant for job
training. There is no reason to believe that this exemplary organization, and
others like it, would not succeed without government subsidies. The majority of
Focus: HOPE’s revenue comes from private sources, as does that of countless
religious organizations that provide job training and education as part of their
own social services network. This appropriation should be eliminated.
Michigan Community Service Commission
sub-grantees. Sub-grantees are organizations that receive government grants
to help foster volunteerism in Michigan. The work of the MCSC, and the reason
it should be eliminated, is described in "Workforce Development" (section II
above), under the program "employment training services." Savings:
Personal assistance services. This appropriation
funds personal assistance for people with disabilities at their place of
work. As with other social service programs, the intention of this program is
laudable. Such services, however, should be provided and funded by private
charitable organizations, businesses, and individuals, preferably
community-based programs, which best understand local needs. Savings:
Pre-college programs in engineering and the sciences.
This appropriation funds the Detroit and Grand Rapids area Pre-College
Engineering programs, which are designed to prepare and motivate students to
pursue degrees in engineering or the sciences. Assistance, however, should be
provided by private, charitable organizations, businesses, and individuals,
preferably community-based programs which best understand local needs.
Kettering University runs such programs and does so without state aid.
Vocational rehabilitation client services/facilities.
This appropriation funds rehabilitation and independent living services for
workers with disabilities. As discussed elsewhere in this report, job training
or retraining is fundamentally the responsibility of employers, employees, and
private organizations — not the state or federal governments. Savings:
Vocational rehabilitation independent living. This
appropriation funds 10 Centers for Independent Living in Michigan. These
centers work to provide services and resources for people with disabilities. As
with the two line items directly above, there is no question that disabled
individuals require assistance in learning certain skills. Such assistance
should be provided and funded by private charitable organizations, businesses,
and individuals — preferably community-based programs, which best understand
local needs. State support for these sites should be eliminated. Savings:
Welfare-to-work programs. Funding for this
appropriation stems from the federal government’s Personal Responsibility Act of
1996. The program, which is administered by the state’s Michigan Works!
Association, is designed to increase the ability of welfare recipients to become
employed with the help of non-cash assistance, such as transportation, clothing,
and medical examinations. While this system represents an improvement over the
welfare system that preceded it, it still drains communities of resources,
filters them through expensive state and federal bureaucracies, and returns a
portion — with strings attached — to local communities. As a first step toward
making sizeable reductions in Michigan’s own public assistance and service
programs through the Family Independence Agency, the state should refuse federal
funding for this program. (For information on refusing federal funds, see
Appendix I.) The federal government maintains the prerogative of running the
system itself directly in Michigan if it chooses. There is no compelling reason
to pass this money through the state. Savings: $72,698,600.
Recommended Action: All of the programs listed
above should be eliminated for the reasons provided. Savings:
$139,985,500. Governor Granholm’s 2005 proposal increases the gross
appropriation to $357,980,300.