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Even at Michigan Supreme Court, State Continues to Duck Central Question of Whether Home-Based Day Care Providers Are Government Employees

In Loar v. DHS, state’s meager 12-page Supreme Court brief concedes the main issue by never addressing it, notes Mackinac Center attorney

MIDLAND — In a filing yesterday with the Michigan Supreme Court in the lawsuit Loar v. DHS, Mackinac Center attorney Patrick J. Wright lodged a response to a Department of Human Services brief that he later described as a "thin hodge-podge of technicalities." The filing by Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, called on the Supreme Court to immediately rule in favor of the home day care business owners the Mackinac Center represents in the case.

News Release: Mackinac Center, Michigan Press Association Ask Michigan Supreme Court to Overturn Ruling That Would ‘Gut’ State’s Freedom of Information Act

Public officials could cover up criminal, improper or irresponsible activities by simply claiming communications to be ‘personal’

MIDLAND — A lower court's interpretation of what constitutes a "public record" under Michigan's Freedom of Information Act would shield criminal and other improper government activities from public scrutiny, according to an amicus brief jointly submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court today by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Michigan Press Association.

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Appeals Loar v. DHS to Michigan Supreme Court

Wright, clients hold press conference at the Hall of Justice in Lansing

LANSING — The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation will appeal the case of Loar v. DHS to the Michigan Supreme Court, according to Director Patrick Wright.

The public-interest law firm brought suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services in September on behalf of home-based day care providers who were forced into a government employees union and had dues withheld from state subsidy payments provided to low-income families. In late December, the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the case without explanation.

Sunshine Week 2010 Update: Several Kent County Schools Now Posting Checkbooks Online

Algonac, Meridian and North Branch schools also make spending records available to public

Show Michigan the Money project Director Ken Braun said he is pleased that at least eight Kent County school districts began posting their check registers online in early 2010. In response to a news release issued earlier today, one Kent County school district notified Braun that the district had been posting check registers online. Repeated requests from Braun seeking participation from the region's districts appeared to produce no posted check registers — and even some resistance — in 2009, but a breakthrough appears to have occurred this year in eight Kent County districts.