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COVID-19

Healthcare Initiative

A Response to the New York Times About Charter Schools in Michigan

A Response to the New York Times About Charter Schools in Michigan

Education Policy Initiative

Educational opportunity for all Michigan children

Michigan Local Government Databases

Union contracts for all local school districts in Michigan, as well as district-by-district information on revenue and expenditures, are available online at the Michigan School Databases.

Press Room

Databases

Michigan School Databases

Union contracts for all local school districts in Michigan, as well as district-by-district information on revenue and expenditures, are available online at the Michigan School Databases.

Five Options for Addressing ‘Transition Costs’ When Closing the MPSERS Pension Plan

Michigan Public School Employee Retirement Plans
in Need of Reform

This study considers the supposed ‘transition costs’ that would be effected by a state switch from a defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement system. In it, the “transition costs” are found to be nonbinding and discretionary. In addition, the study offers the state a series of reforms that would diffuse such costs, as well as consideration for the long-term fiscal improvements that would arise from payment of the pension’s unfunded liabilities.

Alcohol Control in Michigan

A Collection of the Mackinac Center's Resources on Liquor, Beer and Wine Regulations in Michigan

Loar v. Michigan Department of Human Services Brief

This booklet contains the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation’s final legal filing in a nationally known case involving the illegal unionization of Michigan’s home-based day care business owners and providers as government employees. Wright argued the case in the Michigan courts on behalf of Sherry Loar, Michelle Berry and Paulette Silverson, who each own home-based day care businesses.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued to end the DHS' illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from state subsidy checks received by home-based day care providers who watch children from low-income families. The "dues" were funneled to a government-employee union that purports to represent more than 40,000 of Michigan's home-based day care providers, who are actually private business owners and independent contractors.

The case was ruled moot by the Michigan Supreme Court after the DHS ceased to collect the dues and the DHS director stated that these home-based day care providers are not public employees.

Right-to-Work Library

Frequently Asked Questions About Right-to-Work

101 Recommendations to Revitalize Michigan

For policymakers and voters serious about restoring freedom and economic vitality in the Great Lakes State, the Mackinac Center presents the following 101 recommendations.

Detailed Analysis of Utica's Teacher Contract

Nearly every aspect of a teacher's job falls under the rules of a union contract. The following are analyses of the current collective bargaining agreements for teachers and a few other employee groups in select Michigan school districts.

The summaries highlight and explain particular noteworthy items from each contract, and the detailed analyses break down each element of the districts' agreements.

An Introduction to the Overton Window of Political Possibility

Michigan is blessed with a wealth of the human and natural resources integral to building vibrant commerce and vigorous communities in the 21st century. At the moment, however, counter-productive public policies have made it harder for our industries to compete nationally and internationally and have reduced our state's attractiveness to investors and entrepreneurs.

In addition, Michigan is not immune to the gradual erosion of equity and basic human freedom that accompanies a steady growth in the power and scope of government.

Related to this, our government's ability to properly perform many critical functions, including education, has been jeopardized by policymakers' attempts to do too many things. This lack of focus has even led to confusion among policymakers over whether government exists to serve the people or vice versa.

There's a lot of work to do to reverse this, but there's good news. Once growth- and freedom-friendly policies are in place, recovery is likely to occur much more quickly than most people imagine.

For policymakers and voters serious about restoring freedom and economic vitality in the Great Lakes State, the Mackinac Center presents the following 101 recommendations.

This report is a compendium of work authored by Mackinac Center policy analysts and compiled by Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh.

"101 Recommendations" Facebook Group

Michigan Privatization Report (MPR)

Michigan Privatization Report was a biannual publication beginning in 1994 and ending in 2009 of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and education organization devoted to analyzing Michigan public policy issues. It was distributed to state senators and representatives and policy staff; department directors and staff; municipal officials and administrators; school superintendents and school board members, as well as media. Total circulation was over 22,000.

MichiganScience

MichiganScience helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers.

Bailout Resources

Right-to-Work FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Right-to-Work

Free Market Moments

Audio Archives

Issues & Campaigns

The Mackinac Center's most pressing issues and campaigns.

Working in Detroit

Open Government Initiative

Encouraging good government by informing citizens.

Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative

Encouraging sound tax, spending and economic development policy.

Teacher Quality

MichiganTransparency.org

Encouraging good government by informing citizens.

Michigan Education Report (MER): www.educationreport.org

View the Michigan Education Report (MER) at www.educationreport.org and/or subscribe for a paper copy.

Matthew Elliott: The Brains Behind Brexit

Matthew Elliott is a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute and one of the United Kingdom’s foremost political campaigners, having recently served as the CEO of Vote Leave, the official Brexit campaign in the 2016 European Union referendum. He led the 2011 NOtoAV campaign against the Alternative Vote, and turned what was a strong majority in favor of changing Britain’s voting system to a strong majority against.

Advancement Internship

Making Common Sense Changes to Government Regulation

Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event

This event will feature Campaign for Common Good's founder Philip K. Howard and the Mackinac Center's director of research Michael Van Beek as they discuss the Campaign, making the case for a government reboot no matter who wins the presidential election. The event will be moderated by Lindsay Killen, the Mackinac Center's vice president for strategic outreach and communications, and opening remarks will be made by Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center. Join us at 11 am EDT / 8 am PDT.

Charter Schools Get Real Short End of Funding Stick

Lawmakers should narrow the funding gap between charter and district schools

Lawmakers should narrow the funding gap between charter and district schools

Those Who Do Not Learn from History…

Years of bad economic development deals haven't prevented politicians from trying again

Years of bad economic development deals haven't prevented politicians from trying again

Conclusion

Electrification

Closing Line 5

Introduction

Assessing the Costs of the U.P. Energy Task Force Committee Recommendations

In response to the findings of the Statewide Energy Assessment and under a further directive by Gov. Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy released the “Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force Committee Recommendations Part I – Propane Supply” in April 2020. This task force was created by Gov. Whitmer in June 2019 and directed to “consider all available information and make recommendations that ensure the U.P.’s energy needs are met in a manner that is reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound.” Their report on propane supply offered 14 recommendations “to better track and anticipate supply and demand, minimize disruption impact, and provide a more cohesive plan for those who are disproportionally impacted by high energy costs in the U.P.”

We analyze the potential impacts and feasibility of these recommendations in this report. We also explore the use of alternative fuels to propane such as natural gas and electricity to provide for winter heating needs in the Upper Peninsula.

EVENT CANCELLATION: Planning for Life Workshop

Grand Haven, Michigan

We regret to inform you that this event has been cancelled.

Michigan Supreme Court Hears Mackinac Center Case

The Court has the opportunity to restore proper representation

The Court has the opportunity to restore proper representation

The Animus Behind Michigan’s Anti-Aid Amendment

When families most need education options, bigoted provision stands in the way

When families most need education options, bigoted provision stands in the way

Giving Credit to the Dog That Didn’t Bark

Legislators deserve praise for refusing to authorize more corporate handouts

Legislators deserve praise for refusing to authorize more corporate handouts

Michigan’s Emergency Powers Law Was Always Controversial

But history shows no governor tried to stretch its use as far as Gov. Whitmer is trying now

The law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is using to justify her unilateral COVID executive orders has historically been used primarily to deal with riots, and when it wasn’t, it stirred controversy.

Government Handouts to Corporations Don’t Work, New Evidence Finds

Do state government efforts to encourage businesses to create jobs do any good? Not when their costs are considered.

Michigan School Funding Deal Chooses Schools Over Schoolchildren

Lawmakers should support parents as they choose the best option for their children

Lawmakers have decided to give money to districts for students they don’t have, an act that slams the door on parents scrambling for options.

Conclusion

Conservation

Funding

Introduction

Private Conservation Working Group Meeting and Public Panel

Summary and Proceedings

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy invited a variety of conservation experts to participate in a policy workshop. During the one-day meeting, workshop participants were each given a block of time to present their views on private conservation in the state of Michigan. Each described the strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results they saw from their personal and sector perspective.

In the meeting, participants were encouraged to leverage individual decision-making, private property rights and voluntary trade to improve conservation in the state. Further discussion and interaction helped to clarify and prioritize incentives involved with conserving natural areas.

This report summarizes the policy recommendations discussed at this workshop.