Issues and Ideas Luncheon, October 2006

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to host monthly Issues & Ideas Luncheons in Lansing. These luncheons, which feature experts on a diverse array of subjects, offer a forum that enhances and broadens the policy debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals — and suggestions for achieving them.

News media, legislators, policy staff and interested citizens are cordially invited to the


“Proposal 5: Why Colorado Matters to Michigan”

John Andrews
Former president of the Colorado Senate
and chairman of Backbone America


Thursday, October 12, 2006


12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


The Mackinac Room, 5th Floor, House Office Building
124 N. Capitol
Lansing, MI 48933


Lunch is provided at no charge, with reservation.

In light of Michigan’s Proposal 5, which includes a wide variety of state education spending mandates, former Colorado State Sen. John Andrews will discuss the budgetary and educational impact of Colorado’s Amendment 23, which, like Proposal 5, links state primary and secondary education spending increases to inflation.

Amendment 23 was ratified by fewer than 53 percent of Colorado voters in 2000. With an expanding national economy and a particularly robust state prosperity, it was assumed that the boom times would continue, and that Colorado government budgets could easily afford mandatory education spending increases.

However, by the time Amendment 23 was implemented in 2002, Colorado was feeling the national recession even more than most states. By 2005, annual state general revenues declined to $200 million less than they had been in 2001, but Amendment 23 forced annual state K-12 spending to increase by $700 million. Taxpayers and many government programs were ensnared in the ensuing spending squeeze.

As former president of the Colorado Senate, Andrews has a unique perspective on this spending mandate and its impact. Andrews is also founder of the Independence Institute, a public policy research institute in Colorado. He hosts a talk show called “Backbone Radio,” does regular commentary for the Denver Post and Colorado Public Television, and consults for legislative leaders in several states. He is also a faculty member in public affairs at the Colorado School of Mines

The luncheon begins promptly at noon. Please make reservations for yourself and your guests by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10th by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631‑0900.

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Luncheon

The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than by sound principles. By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals — and how to achieve them. The best interests of Michigan citizens can be served only when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral and scientific principles.


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