MIDLAND – The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has launched a new web portal, "Michigan’s Budget Challenge," that offers "one-stop shopping" for those seeking more information about the current budget issues facing the state government. The feature is located in the "Hot Topics" section of the Center’s homepage, at http://mackinac.org/4964.

Mackinac Center Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh said "Michigan’s Budget Challenge" contains "everything a reporter, lawmaker or voter needs to know about our state’s budget, where and how taxpayer dollars are spent, what problems lawmakers face in bringing the state budget into balance, and how they propose to solve those problems."

The site contains links to the following:

  • Budget analysis and studies from the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies

  • Analysis from nonpartisan institutes like the Mackinac Center and the Citizens Research Council

  • Budget bills and related legislation

  • News stories and editorials from Michigan’s leading newspapers

  • Commentary from various sources

  • Spending cut studies

  • Spending cut ideas from citizens

  • Concise, objective, plain-language descriptions of budget bills and related legislation from MichiganVotes.org (http://www.michiganvotes.org)

McHugh said the site is the perfect source for budget-related information from a variety of research, government, and news outlets. "Whether you need a copy of the latest Executive Order, legislative analysis, news coverage or non-governmental budget studies, you can find it all at one location on the web."

He says the site is perfect for busy reporters, legislators and their staffs, local officials, students and taxpayers worried about what the state’s $1.62 billion in overspending or revenue shortfall might mean for them.

"Michigan’s Budget Challenge" is provided free of charge by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institute based in Midland. The new service can be accessed at http://mackinac.org/4964. Appropriations bills and legislators’ votes on each of them are described at MichiganVotes.org (http://www.michiganvotes.org), another free public service of the Mackinac Center.

Contact: Jack McHugh, Legislative Analyst, (517) 749-1129