Results 1 to 20 of 99

Bail Reform: Improving Pretrial Release to Benefit Defendants and Taxpayers

Michigan’s system of bail and pretrial release is ripe for reform, but any changes to this complex structure require a thorough understanding of current practices and how they diverge from best practices. Analysts at the Mackinac Center and the ACLU of Michigan both published papers to inform the public about bail in our state, which they will present jointly. more

The New Face of the FCC: QA with Chairman Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, but his philosophy is a bit different than many regulators. Pai’s regulatory philosophy values consumers, competition and markets over regulation, bureaucrats and central planning. His principles include being aware of “regulatory capture,” a free and fair system without dispensing favors and special treatment, flexible rulemaking, and rules which respect the laws of Congress. more

Smart Regs for Smart Tech: How Government Can Allow Next Gen Internet Networks to Flourish

This panel will discuss issues related to the future of internet networks, including 5G cell service, “net neutrality” and broadband infrastructure. Panelists will also offer guidance on what governments at all levels — local, state and federal — should do (or not do) in relation to the future of internet connectivity and the spinoff technologies it makes possible. more

Beer Glut: The Overregulation of Alcohol in Michigan

Michigan’s rules about alcohol production, distribution and sales are complex. The state has restrictions on what can be produced, a strict monopoly system for distribution and imposes price controls on sellers. Many of these regulations were originally crafted some 80 years ago in the post-Prohibition era.

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Why Prescription Drugs Are So Expensive and What the State Can Do About It

In recent years the price consumers pay for many brand name prescription drugs and even some generics has increased. There are several factors behind these increases. One has to do with the type of the drugs being developed today and the smaller number of patients they target. Another involves middlemen that absorb many of the price discounts provided by drug makers. And a third has to do with the regulations coming from both Washington and the states. more

Pump the Brakes: Michigan Should Rethink Driver's License Suspensions

In 2010, Michigan suspended over 475,000 licenses – one for every 15 drivers. Over 95 percent of those suspensions were for offenses unrelated to driving. Today, 86 percent of Americans use a car or motorcycle to get to work, meaning that a suspended license puts them at serious risk of job loss and other hardships. more

State-led Health Care Reforms

Facing seemingly endless paralysis on health care reform from the federal government, a growing number of states are starting to consider reforms that they could enact to improve the provision of health care for their residents. Although federal laws and rules dominate health care regulations, there are still several worthy reforms that states could pursue that would have the effect of lowering costs and expanding choices for patients.

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Raising the Age: Should 17-Year-Olds be Eligible for Juvenile Justice in Michigan?

Michigan is one of five states where 17-year-olds are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, rather than the juvenile justice system. Following a trend in several other states, some Michigan stakeholders have begun a “raise the age” campaign to adjust the age of adult criminal liability to 18, the age of majority for all other purposes. The Legislature introduced bills to that effect last year, but opponents of the campaign warn that shifting 17-year-olds into the juvenile system will be an expensive burden on resource-strapped counties. Reformers counter that the move will ensure better outcomes for teens in the long run. Join us to hear expert panelists discuss the costs and benefits of raising the age.

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Do Michigan Charter Schools Get More Bang for the Buck?

The past year’s rise of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has brought more attention to the performance of charter schools, both nationally and in her native Michigan. Charter schools are tuition-free, state-funded schools of choice that tend to operate with fewer dollars than other public schools. How well are charter schools doing with the resources they have?

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Is This Working? The Effects of Occupational Licensing on the Workforce

Working a job — any job — is connected to lower poverty, better income mobility, lower crime rates, fewer children born out-of-wedlock and a host of other positive results. But today, the right to earn a living is becoming more difficult. In 1950, only around 5 percent of workers needed an occupational license – today, more than one out of every five workers in Michigan is required to have this special government permission to work. This typically includes mandated educational degrees, hours of training, upfront fees, testing, continuing education, and limits of people with criminal records.

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Laws of Evidence: How Sound Forensic Science Policy Can Help Prevent Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project is a well-known nonprofit organization whose goal is to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Forty-six percent of its cases involved misapplied forensic science — meaning that a method, technique or analysis was conducted incorrectly. There have been 17 exonerations in Michigan involving misapplied forensic science. Now, in partnership with the Reason Foundation, the Innocence Project is calling for improvements to forensic science and for better transparency and quality control in crime labs. Panelists from the Innocence Project and Reason will discuss how the application of forensic science to criminal prosecutions can be improved by policy change and public education.

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Smart Regulations for the Coming Driverless Car Revolution

As you read this, a future that features driverless cars on city streets, interstate highways and maybe in your driveway is steadily unfolding. But before this future fully arrives, policymakers need to think hard about how to properly regulate these new technologies. Regulations, after all, are powerful and often blunt tools — they can be used to foster innovation, competition and economic growth, and they can be used to prevent change, snuff out invention and slow technological advances. The predicted benefits of autonomous vehicles to society are large and widespread, and Michigan needs to be ensure that its residents can take full advantage of these upsides.

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What Can We Learn from Michigan Parents Using School Choice?

An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.

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The New Fight for the Right: Where the Conservative Movement is Going

The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

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Home Sharing: Michigan’s Next Property Rights Battle

Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, but with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by companies like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win.

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Fighting for Free Speech on Michigan University Campuses

Some institutions of higher education have cracked down on free speech. Even in Michigan, universities have speech codes that restrict students’ speech, campus groups have prevented speakers from delivering talks and administrators have stopped individuals from handing outcertain literature.

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From the Model T to Driverless Cars: How Michigan Can Lead in Transportation Innovation

You may not have seen them on the highway yet, but autonomous vehicles are here. The potential benefits of this and related technologies are immense. But they also present new and unique regulatory and infrastructure challenges for state and local governments. Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center has written extensively on these issues and will lay out the principles and practices policymakers should pursue when determining how to regulate these new technologies.

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Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, will make the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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After Obamacare: How Michigan Can Deliver on Patient-Centered Health Care

Michigan’s health care choices in a new political environment

Obamacare repeal-and-replace is underway, and regardless of whether it passes or fails big, changes are coming for Michigan’s medical services and insurance industry, and the state’s social welfare system, especially Medicaid.

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Foot Patrol Policing: Engaging Michigan Communities One Step at a Time

Issues and Ideas Forum

As police departments seek to reduce crime, restore trust in law enforcement and improve the strained relationship between officers and civilians, many have begun shifting to more community-oriented operations.

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