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  1. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Unionization
  2. Mich. 'Green Jobs' Subsidy Winner Evicted from Saginaw Headquarters
  3. Are Michigan's Emergency Financial Managers Overpaid?
  4. IMPACT Winter 2011
  5. GVSU to open five new charter public schools
    "Grand Valley State University will authorize five new charter public schools by next fall ..."
  6. 2011 Roll Call Highlights

    Important Votes from 2011

  7. New Year Resolutions That Need to be Kept
    How to kick off the new year right
  8. While Increased Regulations Shut Down Coal Plants, Energy Costs Skyrocket
  9. 2011 in Review: What the Legislature Didn't Get Done
  10. Happy 96th Birthday, Dr. McCracken!
    Best wishes from the Mackinac Center to an economic supernova.
  11. As Americans Await Obamacare, Canadians Wait Longer for Treatment
    This waiting is no game.
  12. 2011 in Review: A Year of Reforms
  13. Republican State Senate Sits on Union Reform Bills
  14. Flashback: The Health Care Bill Is Full of Stocking Stuffers
  15. Rejecting Obamacare: Why the Legislature Defunded the State Health Exchange
  16. Can Schools Require Students To Purchase Wireless Devices?
  17. Suggested Readings: The Best Books of 2011
  18. A Christmas Wish

    All I really want for Christmas is less government

  19. Lehman Quoted on Recalls
  20. Your Favorites: 2011
  21. Interview With Congressman Dave Camp
  22. Jack McHugh Lists 2011 Accomplishments
    Review of 2011; where to for 2012
  23. Chevy Volt Story Hits Media

    CapCon uncovers generous subsidies to Chevy Volt

  24. Will Unions Take Over Charter Public Schools?
  25. HBO Cancels Taxpayer-Supported 'Hung'
  26. Hohman Discusses Volt Subsidies on Dobbs Show
    Most government-subsidized car since the Trabant?
  27. EPA Turns Out The Christmas Lights
    New MACT rule will cost utilities millions.
  28. Breaking News: Michigan Loses Population Again
    Michigan citizens fleeing the Great Lake State.
  29. Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle
  30. Rescuing "The Motor City"
  31. Lehman Cited in Dome Magazine
    Profile of Doug Rothwell, former MEDC president.
  32. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 20, 2011
  33. TV Reality Check: 'NCIS' Is All Wet on Public-Sector Salaries
  34. End of an Error
    State's corporate welfare "authority" closing Jan. 1.
  35. Teachers in Conventional Public Schools Earn More Than Prison Teachers
  36. Commentary: Governor Should Veto Film Incentive Bills
  37. Dec. 16 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes to end charter school cap and more!
  38. The $100K-Plus Employees in Michigan's Prison System
  39. Motorists Paying for Bike Paths, Museums
    Gas taxes should only go toward roads and bridges.
  40. Don’t Weaken the People’s Power to Recall Lawmakers
  41. Republican-led Legislature Votes Overwhelmingly to Continue 'Big Hollywood' Film Subsidy
  42. Arbitrary Cap on Charter Schools Lifted
    Mackinac Center introduced concept in 1988.
  43. Happy Birthday, Bill of Rights!
    The best "Top 10" list ever compiled.
  44. Obamacare Exchange Money Stripped From Appropriation Bill
  45. Cap on Charter Public Schools Eliminated
  46. School Choice Advocates Cheer Lift of Charter Public School Cap
  47. Politicians Put Recall Rights In Crosshairs
  48. Commentary: Don't Undermine Voters' Right to Recall
  49. Michigan Experiences Largest Drop in Unemployment Rate On Record
  50. A Genuinely Sensible Alternative to Light-Rail
    Jitneys: A free-market solution to government-created problem.
  51. Are the Feds Giving Up on Detroit?
    Light-rail plan scrapped; city's stability questioned.
  52. Skorup Commentary in Crisis Magazine
    Census data gives clear picture of "the poor."
  53. Legislature Reforms Retiree Health Benefits
  54. University of Michigan Grad Students Denied Due Process
  55. Mandating 'Good Samaritans'
  56. U-M Students Shut Out of Court Hearing
    Grad students can't defend themselves against unionization.
  57. Hand Wringing Over Liquor Reforms
    Claims don't mesh with scholarly literature.
  58. Get a Receipt
    School districts shouldn't collect union dues.
  59. Power Hungry
    Government policies increase electricity costs.
  60. Bill Banning the Use of Public Funds to Collect Union Dues Stalls in Senate
  61. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 13, 2011
  62. Township Board Creates New Tax Rather Than Trim 'Ridiculously Generous' Benefits
  63. Michigan Senate Revives Corporate Welfare Scheme Governor Vowed to End
  64. Muskegon Heights school board asks for emergency manager
    "The Muskegon Heights school board, facing a $10 million overspending crisis, recently voted to ask the state to appoint an emergency manager ..."
  65. Michigan Employment Relations Commission Excludes Graduate Student Research Assistants From Judicial Proceedings That Directly Impact Them, Attorney Says
  66. School districts required to create anti-bullying policy
    "Michigan school districts have six months to adopt a policy against bullying ..."
  67. Prison Guards vs. Teachers: Who Is Worth More?
  68. Commentary: Meet the New MEDC, Same as the Old MEDC
  69. Center President Joseph G. Lehman in Freep
    Op-Ed argues against changing recall election law.
  70. Bill banning political payroll deductions heads to House
    "The House Redistricting and Elections Committee approved legislation banning public employers from using payroll deduction to collect political donations ..."
  71. School board elections moved to November in even-numbered years
    "Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed two new laws requiring all school board elections be held on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November in even-numbered years ..."
  72. Dec. 9 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on domestic partnership benefits, union dues to PACs.
  73. House Has Rare Opportunity With Charter Public School Cap Vote
  74. MEAP security was compromised in Hartland
    "A breach of MEAP test security occurred at Creekside Elementary School in the Hartland Consolidated Schools ..."
  75. Parents Pin Hopes on Charter School Lottery
  76. Superintendent Uses School Email List For Politics
  77. Big PAC Attack
    Union PACs should raise their own money.
  78. Are Politicians Smarter Than the Rest of Us?
    Political class should stop trying to plan our lives.
  79. Cherry-Picking Charter School Research

    Broader look at data needed.

  80. SEIU Takes $28M from Medicaid Fund
    Capitol Confidential cited in national story.
  81. Charters Increase Special-Ed Enrollment
    Decrease in special-ed enrollment for conventional schools.
  82. That's Not How We Roll
    Union leader reveals jarring admiration for authoritarianism.
  83. 'Forced Unionization' Brings In $28 Million For SEIU ... And Climbing
  84. Michigan School Privatization Survey 2011

    Majority of Michigan school districts currently contract food, custodial or transportation services

    Despite increased spending in Michigan public schools, districts regularly face tough choices allocating their resources. This study surveys the privatization of the three major noninstructional services: food, custodial and transportation services. The findings are that over half of public schools have privatized at least one of these services; what is more, about 93 percent report satisfaction with the private-sector services they receive, which spells progress towards improving services while spending less.

  85. Internet Copyright Protection Bills Threaten ISPs, Web Sites, Users
  86. Analysis: State Alcohol Control Law Expensive, Unfair, Ineffective
  87. Medical Freedom Zones
    Dysfunctional health care system can be fixed.
  88. MichCapCon Flashback: The Republicans Who Blocked Charter School Choice
  89. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 6, 2011
  90. Detroit Public Schools shows first surplus in four years
    "Detroit Public Schools had a budget surplus of $43 million at the close of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, achieved by spending cuts, debt refinancing and additional federal revenue ..."
  91. Profiting As Nonprofits: Schools Provide 'Lucrative' Pay and Benefits Despite Status
  92. Dangerous Union of Monomaniacs?
    The singular vision of government employee unions.
  93. LaFaive Cited by CBS News on Detroit
    State begins financial audit of struggling city.
  94. Detroit News: Students Shouldn't be Unionized
    Students are not university employees.
  95. Gov. Snyder’s BMI Reporting Mandate Violates Doctors’ Hippocratic Oath
  96. Inaccurate Claims Buoy Attacks On Charter Public Schools
  97. Eight Ideas for Reforming Alcohol Control in Michigan
  98. State of the State: How to Move Michigan Forward
  99. Aviation Academy plans major expansion
    "A $4 to $5 million project that will more than double the size the West Michigan Aviation Academy campus will allow the aviation-themed school to accommodate 600 students ..."
  100. Galien district might close
    "The Galien Township School District might close at the end of 2011, under pressure from declining enrollment and owing the state $500,000 for several years of reportedly miscounting students ..."
  101. Commentary: Obamacare Arrives
  102. House Ready To Move Bills Prohibiting Automatic Union PAC Deductions
  103. Dec. 2 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on state borrowing, unemployment insurance, and more!
  104. The Difference With Charter Schools
    Parents, not politicians, should make the choice.
  105. Governor Picks Bureaucrats Over Business
    Veto of HB 4326 entrenches regulatory regime.
  106. Harding Cited on Battery Maker's Decline
    "Red flag" when subsidies dictate the market.
  107. Hollywood Grinch: Michigan Taxpayers Give 'A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas' Millions
  108. House panel votes yes on lifting charter cap
    "The House Education Committee approved legislation lifting the cap on charter public schools, and the committee chairman said a floor vote by the full House of Representatives could come in December ..."
  109. Two Big Developments at the NLRB
    We've got good news and bad news.
  110. MCLF Cited in Detroit Free Press
    AG joins fight against forced unionization of U-M students.
  111. Free Press Misleads on Charter Schools
    Editorial claims parental choice is "dangerous."
  112. We Have Declared War on Ourselves
    Energy policies weaken America.
  113. Center Experts in Detroit News
    Op-Ed addresses liquor control reforms.
  114. Stealth Unionization One Step Closer to Ending
  115. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Welcomes Attorney General Entry Into U-M Grad Student Unionization Case
  116. The New Progressivity
  117. Democrat Measure Targets Charter Public Schools
  118. Brookings Institution: Expand School Choice
    Michigan should pay attention to study's findings.
  119. Center Credited for Ending Film Subsidy Payment
    Editorial cites Center's work in uncovering $10 million plan.
  120. Center Scholar Featured in Slate
    Lou Schimmel working to save Pontiac.
  121. About That Evil Scheme We're Supposed to Have
    Center analysts have long questioned the high cost and corruptive influence of government union collective bargaining.
  122. Online Learning Revolution 2011: Redux
  123. Raiding State Trust Funds a Bad Idea
    Legislators shouldn't pretend to be venture capitalists.
  124. Commentary: MEA Shock! Mackinac Center and FDR Agree — Ban Government Collective Bargaining
  125. 10 Stories Showing Why Mandatory Government Collective Bargaining Is Counterproductive
  126. Superintendents' Letter About Charter Schools 'Incredibly Misleading'
  127. Why the MEA Attacks the Center — and FDR
  128. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 29, 2011
  129. Gov. Snyder's Second State of the State
    Some suggestions on what he should address.
  130. Center Experts on Education, Labor Issues
    Van Beek, Kersey in Detroit papers.
  131. No contract yet at CMU, strike ban expires Wednesday
    "A judge's ruling prohibiting a strike by faculty at Central Michigan University expires on Wednesday, with no agreement yet between university administration and the faculty union on a new contract ...
  132. Blocking Forced Unionization Dissent?
  133. Why We Shouldn't Revile Success
    Reflections on Fred Meijer's death ... and life.
  134. More districts eye social media policies
    "Muskegon Public Schools employees could be suspended or fired for posting pictures at social media sites of people using alcohol or drugs ..."
  135. Pontiac district found to be $24 million in debt
    "Facing a budget deficit that has swelled to $24 million, the Pontiac School District is considering staffing reductions and health care changes ..."
  136. Scientists Skeptical Of New UN Report
  137. Center Analysts in Oakland Press
  138. Reading Corps planned in Taylor
    "A district judge is spearheading a volunteer Reading Corps in the Taylor School District, saying that helping children become better learners means he will see fewer of them across the bench ..."
  139. NLRB 'Ignores' Rules To Rush Union Elections
  140. Muskegon district seeks to turn over museum to foundation
    "Muskegon Public Schools plans to turn over ownership of the Muskegon Museum of Art to the museum foundation ..."
  141. Teachers Choose Union Health Plan, Now Pay Up To 37.5 Percent Of Premiums
  142. Why the Hurry?
    NLRB in rush to change union election rules.
  143. Holding Legislators Accountable
    HB 4326 promotes transparency, liberty.
  144. A Thanksgiving Proclamation

    In Washington's Words

  145. Moore Wants More: Filmmaker Wants Increased Funds For Flint Schools But District Spends 'More Money Than Ever'
  146. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 22, 2011
  147. Career Opportunities at the Mackinac Center
  148. School Privatization Survey Cited
    Majority of Michigan districts now contract out.
  149. Choice For Me But Not For Thee?
  150. Pay for performance coming to state universities?
    "Pay for performance may be coming to Michigan’s 15 public universities next year, a scenario in which state funding is based in part on graduation rates, number of specialized degrees and other factors ..."
  151. Commentary: Washington Offers Lessons for Michigan Alcohol Law Reform
  152. Education lobby spending more
    "Education reform measures working their way through the Michigan Legislature have prompted increased spending by teachers unions and other groups on lobbying ..."
  153. Michigan professor on NCLB waiver review team
    "A Michigan assessment expert is on the 21-person review team that will recommend which states should receive waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act ..."
  154. Interview With New House Education Committee Chairman, State Rep. Tom McMillin
  155. Berkley School District: Response
  156. Center Expert on Detroit's Financial Crisis
    CNN, Detroit News seek out David Littmann for comment.
  157. Nov. 18 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Several newly introduced bills of note
  158. Detroit Exhausts Its Options
    City needs to take bold steps to avoid bankruptcy.
  159. Kersey Cited in Washington Times
    Right-to-work laws create more jobs.
  160. 31 Gym Teachers Earn More Than Town Police Chief
  161. Ideas to Fix Michigan: Refresher Course
  162. Ferndale wants to extend tax to 2042
    "Residents in Ferndale Public Schools currently pay a 7-mill tax for school improvements that will expire in 2023, and now the school board plans to ask voters to extend that through the year 2042 ..."
  163. Environmentalists Threaten Great Lakes
    Offshore wind turbines too risky; petition should be ignored.
  164. Father, son combo on east Detroit board
    "Jon Gruenberg of Eastpointe will join his father on the East Detroit Board of Education in January after winning one of four open seats in a field of six candidates ..."
  165. Reactions to Forced Unionization
  166. More Precipitation in Grand Rapids Means What?
  167. Senators Admit Obamacare Is Unconstitutional
    But vote for it.
  168. Cost of Benefits Is Sinking Detroit
    City could run out of money in early 2012.
  169. Dues and Don'ts
    No one should be forced to pay dues to any organization.
  170. SEIU Scheme Leads Detroit Newscast
    Center legal analyst explains illegal unionization money grab.
  171. Public School District 'Strikes Out' on Criticism of Charter Public Schools
  172. An Evening With the Mackinac Center
  173. Watch The Online Learning Revolution: Southeastern Michigan
  174. An Evening With the Mackinac Center
  175. The Online Learning Revolution: Southeastern Michigan
  176. Gov. Snyder Discusses Mackinac Center Event
    Says he refers to Center policy recommendations often.
  177. Layoffs at the UAW
    "You really don't expect that from a union employer."
  178. Wasted Talent
    More college grads doesn't mean economic success.
  179. It's for the Children
    Does the MEA only care about certain students?
  180. Majority Rule
    An overwhelming majority of economists side with liberty.
  181. For Immediate Release: Nov. 15, 2011
  182. Analysis: The Puzzling Differences Between Michigan and Indiana in This Recession
  183. Supreme Court Will Decide Obamacare, Legal Experts Split on Predictions
  184. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 15, 2011
  185. Littmann: Congress 'Not Serious' About Spending
    Senior economist spoke at Spring Arbor University event.
  186. Film Incentive Bill Sows Its Own Expansion
    Legislators want to give more of your money to Hollywood.
  187. Digital Learning Growth in Michigan
    Legislators should pay attention to increased enrollment.
  188. Center Analyst: Labor Law in Need of Reform
    Empower workers, remove politics.
  189. An Evening With the Mackinac Center Featuring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels With Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

    Mark your calendars for Nov. 14, 2011, as the Mackinac Center welcomes Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to Lansing for An Evening with the Mackinac Center with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder!

  190. An Evening with the Mackinac Center: $1,200 Table

    An Evening With the Mackinac Center
    Keynote Speaker: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    Special Guest Speaker: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
    Emcee: WJR Radio’s Frank Beckmann
    Date: Monday, November 14, 2011
    Time: Reception 6-7 p.m.; Dinner and Program 7-9 p.m.
    Location: Lansing Center, 333 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan

    RSVP by Monday, November 7.

    Purchasing a table provides eight people with admission to the reception and Preferred Seating for dinner and the program. The price per table is $1,200.

    When you purchase a table, you become an Independence Sponsor of this special event! Independence Sponsors’ names will appear on our event Web page, in the event program and on the event table card. (All three listings are optional; simply indicate where and how you would like the Independence Sponsor’s name to appear in the “Comments” section of the form below.) Independence Sponsors also receive Preferred Seating at the event. (Click here to see how you can obtain Prime Seating!).

    Your registration payment will serve as the “tickets” for you and your guests. Nothing will be mailed to you.

    Please note:
    Registration will not be available at the door.
    Payment will not be accepted at the event.
    Table purchases are not tax-deductible.

    The form below allows you to register both yourself and your guests. If you do not yet know whom you will invite, you can still sponsor a table now. Simply enter the guest names you are sure of, and then provide the remaining names or any other guest-list changes to the Mackinac Center by Monday, November 7, by contacting Event Planner Mindy Simon at 989-631-0900 or

  191. An Evening with the Mackinac Center: $150 Individual

    An Evening With the Mackinac Center
    Keynote Speaker: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    Special Guest Speaker: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
    Emcee: WJR Radio’s Frank Beckmann
    Date: Monday, November 14, 2011
    Time: Reception 6-7 p.m.; Dinner and Program 7-9 p.m.
    Location: Lansing Center, 333 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan

    RSVP by Monday, November 7.

    Attendance at the event is $150 per person and includes both admission to the reception and Reserved Seating for dinner and the program. (Click here to see how you can obtain Preferred Seating or even Prime Seating!).

    Your registration payment will serve as the “tickets” for you and your guests. Nothing will be mailed to you.

    Please note:
    Registration will not be available at the door.
    Payment will not be accepted at the event.
    The event price is not tax-deductible.

    The form below allows you to register both yourself and your guests. If you do not yet know whom you will invite, you can still purchase seats for guests now. Simply enter the guest names you are sure of, and then provide the remaining names or any other guest-list changes to the Mackinac Center by Monday, November 7, by contacting Event Planner Mindy Simon at 989-631-0900 or

  192. Growing Push to End All Energy Subsidies
  193. Illegal Union Scheme Story Hits National TV

    CapCon broke the story picked up by Fox Business.

  194. Nov. 11 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Includes "Obamacare exchange" voting!
  195. Checking the Numbers on Michigan's Auto Jobs
  196. How Much of Michigan's Troubles Can Be Blamed on the Auto Industry?
  197. Smoked Out: Group Says Ban Leads to Continued Drop in Bar, Tavern Business
  198. Whoville Speaks Out
    President Obama's Christmas tree tax put on hold.
  199. Michigan SEIU Story Draws National Attention
    Washington Examiner picks up on CapCon story.
  200. Michigan Pensions Good at Controlling Fraud
    More work needs to be done on controlling costs, though.
  201. Fluoridation of Water Not a Cut and Dried Matter

    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.

  202. Freedom Equals Money: New York State Shows how Freedom in Wine Shipping Benefits Consumers and State Coffers
  203. School Privatization Survey Results Available
    Outsourcing helps public schools save millions of dollars.
  204. Inflated Jobs Numbers Cost Michigan Taxpayers $7.7 Million
  205. 20 schools ‘beating the odds’
    Twenty schools were named as “beating the odds” by the Michigan Department of Education recently, a term used to point out schools whose students are performing better than predicted ..."
  206. On Nov. 9, Attend a Pre-Debate Reception and Townhall in Auburn Hills!
  207. A Toast to Freedom
  208. Parents Forced to Pay Union Dues, Lawmaker Rakes In Health Care Money
  209. Issues & Ideas Forum
  210. Public School Teachers Far From Underpaid

    New study lays waste to age-old myth.

  211. IMPACT Fall 2011
  212. U-M Students Object to Forced Unionization
    Grad students rightly point out they are not employees.
  213. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 8, 2011
  214. Pipeline Protest Belies National Security 'Concerns'
    The "green" movement shows its true colors at the White House.
  215. Ten Reasons to Reject State Obamacare Exchange
    Michigan's lawsuit — and policy independence — are at risk.
  216. Their Time Is Your Money
    Unionized government "leave time" costing taxpayers.
  217. Commentary: Michigan’s Keg Tracking Won’t Stop Underage Drinking
  218. Public-Sector Retiree Health Care Benefits are Unreasonable
  219. Many Michigan Public Employees Among Country's Top Wage Earners
  220. Present Day Prohibition
  221. Government Employee Union Contract Database Now Available
  222. Do We Really Need a Unionized State Government?
  223. Forced Unionization Scheme Still Collecting Cash – Lawmakers Mystified
  224. Nov. 4 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on film subsidies, school bullying and more.

  225. Nation's Report Card
    Bad news for Michigan.
  226. The Rich Are Getting Richer; So Are the Poor
    Data trumps emotion ... again.
  227. Risky Combination: Smoking Ban and Bowling Shoes
  228. Economist: Top 1 Percent Not 'Private Club'
  229. No kindergarten before age 5?
    "Children would have to be 5 years of age by Sept. 1 — rather than Dec. 1 — in the year they begin kindergarten under a bill Michigan lawmakers are considering ..."
  230. CapCon Draws Attention to Teacher Layoffs
    Media fail to accurately report outcomes.
  231. Bureaucracy Trumps Managerial Prowess
    SB272 would increase accountability.
  232. Center Scholar in Washington Times
    Static snapshots don't tell income story.
  233. Poll shows strong support for education choice
    "A recent poll showed strong support for allowing parents of children who attend failing schools to send them to better schools in other districts ..."
  234. 'Crying Wolf' On Teacher Layoffs
  235. Too Loose for Comfort
    The feds' new union reporting standards are hard to justify.
  236. Center Experts Attract National Following
    Recent articles picked up by Drudge, The Blaze, others.
  237. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Files Motion on Behalf of New U-M Campus Group
  238. Fact finder calls CMU offer reasonable
    "Central Michigan University should not “eat its seed corn” by spending too much on faculty pay and benefits, a state fact finder said in a recent report ..."
  239. From Each According to His Ability to Each According to His Need
  240. Election Day Alcohol Tremors?
  241. High-Speed Rail Projects Often Derail
    Michigan needs to pursue a different track.
  242. Michigan Virtual Revolution: WAY Program
    Alternatives to "brick-and-mortar" classrooms via WAY.
  243. WEYI-TV25 Reports on CapCon Story
    Grand Blanc adds teachers as Rep. Scott recall approaches.
  244. Minnesota Governor Should Look to California, Not Michigan, on Unionization of Child Care Providers
  245. Free Lansing Lunch Event: The Future of Oil and Gas Energy in Michigan and the U.S.
  246. Fire marshal now involved in DPS overcrowding
    "The Detroit fire marshal issued a violation for overcrowding in a Detroit Public Schools elementary classroom of more than 50 kindergarteners ..."
  247. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 1, 2011
  248. Occupy ... Government Union Offices?
  249. Michigan Virtual Revolution: WAY Program
  250. Obamacare 'Exchange' Opposite of 'Free Market'
    PPACA not "conservative," either.
  251. Center Analysts Expose Corporate Welfare Failure
    Harding, McHugh Op-Eds in Detroit, Holland.
  252. Attorney: State Officials Should Investigate How Illegal and Defunded State Agency Continues to Operate
  253. The Real Purpose of Recall Elections
  254. GOP Senator Tries to Save SEIU Healthcare ‘Employer’
  255. Candidates scarce in Manistique district
    "School board candidates are scarce in Manistique Area Schools ..."
  256. Physics vs. Phys Ed: Regardless of Need, Schools Pay the Same
  257. Private donors pay start-up costs of statewide district
    "Private funders have contributed some $2 million in start-up costs for the new statewide school district intended to turn around low-performing K-12 schools ..."
  258. Oct. 28 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on microbrewery restrictions, farm taxes and more.

  259. Student loan revisions will reduce students’ monthly payments
    "The Obama administration estimates that 70,000 Michigan students are eligible for a new program that would reduce their monthly student loan payment ..."
  260. Reform Bills Stalled or Just Moving Slowly?
  261. Hide Your Kids! Hide Your Wife!
    The truth about Flint crime and the jobs bill.
  262. 'Green Jobs' Replaced with Blue Collar Jobs?
    Government gambling with taxpayer dollars loses again.
  263. Kersey Discusses Right-to-Work
    Protection should be extended to all workers, not just teachers.
  264. Obamacare: GOP 'Hostage Taker'
    Are Republicans suffering from Stockholm syndrome?
    "An Evening with the Mackinac Center" featuring Governor Mitch Daniels and Governor Rick Snyder

  266. Petoskey to review outside groups’ access to students
    "How much access should outside organizations have to public school students during the school day? The Petoskey Public Schools Board of Education is putting a hiatus on one religious-based organization’s work until it draws up a formal policy on the issue ..."
  267. Hired Guns Getting Scott Recall Gravy
  268. Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Corporate Welfare's Got to Go
    Tea partiers, Occupiers can agree on this chant.
  269. Mythbusted: Overcrowding in Detroit Classrooms
  270. Commentary: Recommendations for Gov. Snyder’s Liquor Control Advisory Rules Committee
  271. Government Unions: Bad for Government Services
  272. The Online Learning Revolution: Grand Rapids
  273. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 25, 2011
  274. The Online Learning Revolution: Grand Rapids
  275. Energy Experts Say EPA Regs Will Shut Down Coal Plants
  276. Online Learning Panel in Grand Rapids
    Watch a recording of Tuesday's event.
  277. Michigan again in Race to the Top competition
    "Michigan is once again vying for a share of Race to the Top federal grant money, this time focusing on early childhood education ..."
  278. Royal Oak Schools: Buses or Cadillac Health Care?
  279. Obamacare 'Mandate' Could Penalize 70,000 Here
    Based on Massachusetts' "Romneycare" experience, thousands of Michigan families could get slammed.
  280. Scott recall on again, poll shows him winning
    "The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for a recall effort against state Rep. Paul Scott to continue ..."
  281. Should Michigan Taxpayers Have Been Forced to Spend $30 Million on 'Iron Man 3'?
  282. New contract in Mount Pleasant
    "A new, one-year contract between unionized maintenance workers and the Mount Pleasant Board of Education does not include pay raises ..."
  283. Oct. 21 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on Detroit River bridge, repealing fireworks ban and more.

  284. Alcohol Myths Persist Beyond Prohibition
    Crossposted from
  285. $500m Subsidy for Finnish Electric Car Maker
    Is this for green energy or foreign aid?
  286. Pot, Meet Kettle
    Subsidized solar firms decry solar subsidies ... in China.
  287. Center Scholar Testifies on Cigarette Taxes
    Increased taxes bring increased crime.
  288. Bills would expand dual enrollment
    "Legislation that would extend dual enrollment opportunities to home-school and private school students and expand dual enrollment for public school students passed the Senate Education Committee recently ..."
  289. Scott Recall Election: On or Off?
  290. Conservative Scorecard Doesn’t Grade on a Curve
  291. Center Right-to-Work Research Cited in Bloomberg
  292. NFIB: 'No Rush' on Creating Obamacare Exchange
    NFIB chief says to go slow on Obamacare exchange.
  293. Path to 'Light Freedom' Bill Passage Still Unclear
  294. ALEC: 'No' to Exchanges, 'Yes' to Health Compact
    "(I)t is not in the best interest of the state for any state official to participate in planning or establishing health insurance exchanges as provided for in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
  295. The Occupiers vs. Detroit's Recovery
    The results might be different if people tried a different approach.
  296. McHugh Discusses Obamacare on Beckmann
    Legislators shouldn't be in a hurry to create an "exchange."
  297. Sen. Harry Reid Misreads Facts on Public/Private Job Losses
  298. Center Co-founder, Chairman Featured
  299. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 18, 2011
  300. Sun Not Shining on State Solar Subsidies
  301. From the Department of You Can't Be Serious ...
    MSU gets federal grant to study economic development subsidies.
  302. Center Expert in Detroit Free Press
    McHugh: Michigan should wait on Obamacare exchange.
  303. Detroit Bridge: Political Patronage, or Power to the People?
  304. Amtrak Subsidies vs. Megabus Private Enterprise
  305. Will Teacher Right-to-Work Die With The Recall Election of Rep. Paul Scott?
  306. Farm Bureau: Climate change book misleading
    "The Battle Creek Area Math & Science Center is removing a book about climate change from its seventh-grade science kits after the Michigan Farm Bureau said that the volume is inaccurate and lacks solid science ..."
  307. Occupy Detroit? Why Not Take Responsibility?
    Paul Kersey blog post picked up by Drudge Report.
  308. Tea Party Uses MichiganVotes to Rank Legislators
    Scorecard tool can track bill votes of your choice.
  309. Al Gore Now a Great Lakes Expert
    Climate alarmism deserves skeptical view.
  310. Enviros to Walberg: '139,500 Could Die From EPA Reg Delay'
  311. State board divided on charter schools
    "The State Board of Education is divided on whether or how to increase the number of public charter schools in Michigan, and the split showed up recently when members could not reach agreement on what to tell the state Legislature on the issue ..."
  312. Oct. 14 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on wild animal importation, youth employment.

  313. Obamacare 'Bending the Cost Curve' UP
    Estimated 14 percent increase with, 3.5 percent without.
  314. Proposal Would Make State More Accountable
    Gubernatorial appointees would help reduce administrative state.
  315. Harding Cited on Regulatory Reform
    "Michigan is a hard place to do business."
  316. Unionized Government Takes and Spends More
    How unions impact Michigan's overspending problem.
  317. Center Analyst Cited on Welfare Reforms
    Asset limit for recipients proposed.
  318. Pennsylvania considers school vouchers
    "Pennsylvania has become the latest state to consider a school voucher program to serve low-income children who now attend failing public schools ..."
  319. Debate: Could Union Costs Be Pricing Michigan Out of Auto Jobs?
  320. School closings saved $1.7M in Midland
    "Midland Public Schools has saved about $1.7 million per year by closing five elementary schools, and selling the buildings would mean more savings ..."
  321. Status Of Scott Recall Election Unclear
  322. Commentary: Another Small Step Toward Benefits in Balance
  323. 'Green Jobs' Smackdown Worth Repeating
    New study shows dismal return on millions in subsidies.
  324. Center President on Recalls in Grand Rapids Press
    Voters must safeguard ability to recall politicians.
  325. Bloomberg Cites Center Study
    Pension reform has saved taxpayers billions.
  326. Prediction of 'Unprecedented' School Cuts Results in Fewer than 5 Teacher Layoffs
  327. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 11, 2011
  328. Commentary: Governor Snyder’s BMI Reporting Violates Our Hippocratic Oath
  329. Gov. Snyder and Legislature Must Address Regulatory Regime
  330. Senate: Charters yes, teacher privatization no
    "The state Senate passed legislation to allow more charter schools in Michigan, but nixed a provision in the same bill that would have allowed school districts to privately contract for teachers ..."
  331. Cash Can’t Be King in Face of Michigan’s ‘Massive’ Job Loss
  332. Mackinac Minute: Why We Do What We Do
  333. Democratic Proposal: Charter Public Schools Must Outperform Conventional School Test Scores by 20 Percent
  334. Flint nixes two administrative pay hikes
    "The Flint Community Schools Board of Education rejected proposed pay raises for two administrative staff members recently, citing other employee groups that have made contract concessions ..."
  335. CMU professors go to court over delayed pay hikes
    "A new state law is standing between Central Michigan University professors and their previously scheduled pay raises, and they are going to court to resolve it..."
  336. Legislature Finally Repeals Health Care Benefits for 'Retired' Lawmakers After a Decade of Disagreement
    Senators appear to get the best deal in "compromise."
  337. Electric Cars Nonstarter With Consumers
    New survey shows disinterest in electric cars.
  338. Money for Nothing?
    Legislator fails to abide by age-old myth regarding school funding.
  339. End 'Continuing Ed' Teacher Certification
    Teaching mandates don't mean teacher quality.
  340. Obamacare Exchange: The People or the Insurers?

    Insurers' desire for clarity is trumped by people's need for repeal.

  341. Should Schools Across the State Have a Uniform Pay Scale?
  342. Enrollment up in many West Michigan districts
    "West Michigan school districts largely reported higher enrollment this fall, with school officials saying the growth reflects an improved housing and jobs market ..."
  343. Commentary: Eliminate the Personal Property Tax Without Replacement
  344. Oct. 7 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on eliminating charter school cap, retired legislator health benefits.

  345. Initial 'Right-to-Teach' Bill Has Problems
    Singling out the MEA may even let the union escape.

  346. Kersey Discusses Labor Policy Forum
    Radio interviews, video of Oct. 5 panel discussion.

  347. Teacher reverses lecture/homework format
    "In a reversal of the classroom lecture approach to teaching history, a Michigan educator is requiring students to watch her lectures on video and then spend class time on homework ..."
  348. School District Seeking Tax Hike Challenged on Dollar Figures
  349. Lawmaker Faces Recall in Region Adding Teachers and Losing Kids
  350. Debating the Cost of Parents' Picking Schools
  351. Issues & Ideas Forum

    “The Future of Unionized Government” featuring Paul Kersey, Mackinac Center Labor Policy Director, David Masud, Managing Partner Masud Labor Law Group, Tom Eaton, Deputy Director of Human Resources, County of Oakland, and Barbara Ruga, Labor Lawyer, member of the Clark Hill Law Firm.

  352. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 4, 2011
  353. From Solyndra to Nevada Geothermal?
    Another federally backed green energy company may go under.
  354. ISD Denies Special Ed Services to Northern Michigan School District
  355. The Future of Unionized Government
  356. Walled Lake District Tells Parents That Parental Choice Proposal Threatens Funding
  357. Careful What You Wish for on Health 'Exchange'
    "Exchange" opens a bigger can of worms than lawmakers realize.

  358. Rose Beats Tarkenton to the Post
    NFL and NBA pros battle teaching cons.

  359. Hall of Fame Quarterback Connects With CapCon
    Fran Tarkenton contrasts the NFL and public schools.
  360. Real Steel or Reel Steal? New Film Costs $4.26 Per Michigan Taxpayer
  361. A2 Schools’ Union Prez and Board Member Add Up Wrong Costs for Teachers
  362. Back Toward Liquor Control
  363. Ladies for Liberty

    Please join Northwood University and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy on Monday, October 3, 2011 as we welcome author John Blundell and "Ladies for Liberty" at the Doan History Center in Midland.

  364. Michigan $1 Billion Closer to ‘Benefits in Balance’
  365. Michigan Should Lower Its Renewable Portfolio Standard Requirements to Zero
  366. Liquored Up: Michigan Government Should Exit Its Liquor Wholesale Business
  367. Jalen Rose on Teacher Tenure

    Jalen Rose discusses teacher tenure as it compares to his time in sports

  368. Michigan’s ‘Hollywood Welfare’ Plan: Stylish Stars Trumping Taxpayers
  369. No More 'Factory Worker' Model for Teacher Pay in Suttons Bay
  370. Sept. 23 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on partial-birth abortion, law enforcement funding and more.

  371. The Solyndra Lesson
    More subsidies not the answer to job creation.

  372. Center Co-Sponsoring 'Ladies of Liberty' Talk
    Author of Thatcher bio will discuss outstanding American women.

  373. U-M Deans: Unionization Scares Off ‘Best and Brightest’ Research Talent
  374. Health Care Workers Vote to Bolt from 'Corrupt' SEIU
  375. Transit Authority: $1 Million Deficit, Highest Paid Executives
  376. Poll: Voters like school choice, not teacher privatization
    "Nearly 60 percent of Michigan voters said in a recent poll that they support Michigan’s current charter school law, while 45 percent said they would oppose lifting the cap on the number of charter schools and 40 percent would not oppose it ..."
  377. Sept. 30 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Votes on high-speed rail revenues, prison relocation.

  378. Ann Arbor Transit Authority Response
  379. Michigan's 'Very Best' Schools Only 'Above Average'
    Global report card paints stark picture.

  380. State Admits Compensation Problem
    State employment down 21 percent, compensation up 52 percent.

  381. Paying Teachers Not to Teach
    Money spent on union activity should be spent in the classroom.

  382. School Adding Teachers on Home Turf of Lawmaker Facing Recall
  383. Grant aimed at preschool science teaching
    "Michigan State University has received a $2.6 million federal research grant intended to help preschool teachers become better science instructors ..."
  384. Present Day Prohibition
  385. Michigan Charter School Wars

    Charter schools subject to "cap" restriction in state of Michigan.

  386. Ark. Dem. Gov. Says 'No' to Obamacare Grant
    Gov. Snyder says yes to same.

  387. Study: Obamacare's Negative Effect on Ohio
    An additional 1 million on medical welfare, higher insurance costs.

  388. Education Panel, Op-Ed Tout School Reform
    The online learning revolution gains momentum.

  389. Arkansas Dem Governor Says 'No' to Obamacare Exchange Grant; Michigan Administration Says 'Yes'
  390. Headlines Screamed Mass School Layoffs, Reality Tells a Different Story
  391. NEWS RELEASE: Government Unions 'Not Coming to the Table'; Budget Office Preparing for Furlough Days
  392. LaFaive Cited in Wall Street Journal
    Column about Gov. Granholm a scathing rebuke of her claims.

  393. Kersey Discusses UAW, Detroit on National Program
    "To the Point" heard from LA to DC.

  394. Politicians Pursue 'Green Jobs' at Their Peril
    Propping up bad policy could cost them their jobs.

  395. Live Simulcast of Education Panel at Noon
    The online learning revolution.

  396. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 27, 2011
  397. Michigan Amazon Tax Can’t ‘Level Playing Field’
  398. Beat the Clock: Government Union ‘Cadillac’ Health Plans Preserved Before Tighter Controls Take Effect
  399. Obama outlines NCLB waiver rules
    "Michigan and other states can get a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law if they improve failing schools, strengthen teacher and administrator evaluations and be transparent on college readiness, President Barack Obama said Friday ..."
  400. Tea Parties Search for U.S. Senate Candidate
  401. Sky Not Falling on Saginaw Schools: Fewer Kids, More Teachers After Snyder’s First Budget
  402. The Online Learning Revolution - Grand Traverse
  403. Van Beek: Offer Parents More School Options
    Michigan needs to keep pace on school choice.

  404. Center Cited on Internet Sales Tax
    "Use caution," on new tax, News warns.

  405. Gov. Snyder’s 'Exchange' an Obamacare Trojan Horse?

    Gov. Rick Snyder is using the reassuring language of a limited health insurance exchange favored by the conservative Heritage Foundation, but his administration working to create a full blown Obamacare exchange.

  406. The Online Learning Revolution: Traverse City
  407. FOIA dispute in East Jordan
    "A former art teacher says that East Jordan Public Schools responded too quickly to a newspaper’s request to view her personnel files, while the district says it acted properly ..."
  408. Mackinac Minute: Recent Education Reform

    Director of Education Policy Michael Van Beek talks about recent bills that have been introduced to reform education.

  409. 200-Proof Readings to Accompany Ken Burns’ ‘Prohibition’
  410. Bill would take back aid from MSU, WSU
    "Four state lawmakers want to take back millions in state aid from Michigan State University and Wayne State University, saying they never should have received it ..."
  411. Bloomfield Township Kicks the Public Pension Spending Habit
  412. Creating Health 'Exchange' Entrenches Obamacare
    Exchange supporters risk Obamacare "collaborationism."

  413. No agreement yet at CMU
    "Faculty and administration at Central Michigan University remain far apart in contract talks, with faculty union officials saying the university can well afford to provide raises and university officials saying the union claims are misleading ..."
  414. Walker: Nix the 'Amazon Tax'
    Internet sales tax push a bad idea.

  415. Preparing for a Unicorn Stampede
    Likelihood of Obamacare exchanges "close to zero."

  416. Commentary: Research Shows Parental Choice Works
  417. Summertime Off and Large Class Sizes: Saginaw Teacher Takes on Gov. Snyder
  418. Tax $$$ for Gov't Union Ban Stuck in GOP Senate
    Law would ban public pay for union work.

  419. Michigan to help draft science standards
    "Michigan is one of 20 states that will help craft new national standards for what students should learn and be able to do in science from kindergarten through high school ..."
  420. New Push for E-Tax on E-Commerce in Michigan
  421. Bill Would Enforce 'Intent' Of Tuition Hike Reform Law
  422. GOP Combines Corporate Welfare & 'Cool Cities'
    Do Senate Republican politicians get the Tea Party?

  423. Ideas for Regulatory Reform
    Now is the time for bold action to help create jobs.

  424. SEIU Healthcare Michigan Lives on Without 'Employer'
  425. Three new Detroit high schools announced
    "Michigan Future Inc., the organization that plans to open 35 high-performance high schools in Detroit, has announced three new schools opening in 2012 ..."
  426. The Republicans Who Blocked Charter School Choice
  427. Occam's Razor and Right-to-Work
    EPI paper hides benefits of RTW with rationalizations.

  428. EPA Rules Could Impact Electricity Reliability
    Congress should demand that FERC study EPA rules.

  429. MEA, Recalls and the ‘Grassroots’: Who is the Tail and Who is the Dog?
  430. Return of the Internet Sales Tax
  431. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 20, 2011
  432. More right-to-teach controversy
    "The new head of the Michigan Education Association says  the union became involved in a recall effort against a sitting legislator because voters are frustrated with public school funding and taxes, while a teacher and former local union president says teachers are frustrated with union spending on recalls ..."
  433. Letter in Freep is Spurious, Misleading
    Response on beer and wine wholesaler monopoly easily rebutted.

  434. Flint Journal Covers CapCon Story
    MEA, Chamber battle in recall effort.

  435. Michigan Could Lose Jobs Under Obamacare
    Romneycare: 18k fewer jobs in Massachusetts.

  436. Kersey Cited on Right-to-Work for Teachers
    Says such freedom should be extended to all employees.

  437. Film Subsidy Bucks Buy Video Games: Does Hollywood Glitz Still Shine?
  438. Jalen Rose: ‘We have to up the ante’
    "Former NBA player Jalen Rose told the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday that his new charter public school will help kids catch up academically ..."
  439. New contract in Spring Lake
    "The new, two-year contract between Spring Lake Public Schools and its support staff calls for no increase in base pay and delays in pay hikes for years of service ..."
  440. House Votes to Ban Automatic Dues Deductions For School Unions
  441. Some question Obama plan to spend more on Detroit schools
    "Detroit could get up to $348 million for public school makeovers if President Barack Obama’s jobs plan — already controversial — is adopted ..."
  442. It's Not Easy Subsidizing Green
    Goverment should stop wasting money on green jobs.

  443. September 16 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes votes on union dues, domestic partner benefits, a "bioreactor landfill" regulation and more.

  444. Kersey Featured in Dome Magazine
    How civil society can help save Detroit.

  445. Where Are All the Green Jobs?
  446. Recall Battlefield Report: Michigan Chamber Taking on 'Greedy Teachers Union'
  447. Howell says MDOT bid on school land is too low
    "The Michigan Department of Transportation wants to buy six acres of land from Howell Public Schools for a new freeway exchange off Interstate 96, but the district says the $237,000 the state is offering is far less than market value ..."
  448. Where Are All the Green Jobs?
    Green jobs subsidies lead to red ink.

  449. Tea Party Taking on Prez Primary: How Much Will it Matter and How Much Will it Cost?
  450. State board raises the bar on MEAP, MME
    "Students will have to answer far more questions correctly in order to pass the next round of standardized tests in Michigan ..."
  451. Jalen Rose: An Education Entrepreneur
    Former basketball star opens charter public school.

  452. Jimmy Hoffa's Revealing Choice of an Enemy
  453. Former MEA Local Prez: Union May Lose 40% of Members – Including Him – if Teacher Right to Work Passes
  454. Jalen Rose, Education Entrepreneur
  455. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Spend $25 Billion to Fix It
    Virtual learning should mean less money, not more, spent on schools buildings.

  456. Michigan Virtual University – The Online Learning Revolution Continues
  457. Big D Gets a 'C-' for Transparency
    New website grades municipalities' online transparency.

  458. How to Kill Jobs in Urban Areas
    "Environmental justice" sends wrong message to businesses.

  459. Defined-Contribution Retirement Reform Introduced in Michigan
  460. School District Exaggerates Funding Loss by $66 Million
  461. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 13, 2011
  462. More GOP Backlash Against Recall-Happy MEA?
    State Senate pushing deeper school reforms lately.

  463. Performance Review
    Statistics show it's almost impossible to fire a bad teacher.

  464. NY GOP Blocking State 'Obamacare' Exchange
    Michigan Republicans moving ahead with one here.

  465. Teacher Right-to-Work Looking Like a Done Deal
  466. "Right-to-teach" headed to Legislature?
    "Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, would support a “right-to-teach” law in Michigan, under which educators wouldn’t be required to join a union in order to get or keep a job ..."
  467. Mich. GOP Lawmakers More Intimidated by Government Unions?
  468. Top Spending School Districts Not Necessarily in Wealthiest Areas
  469. Thousands using Indiana school voucher program
    "Indiana’s new school voucher program has enabled more than 3,200 students to attend religious or private schools this year ..."
  470. Charter expansion, schools of choice among reform bills
    "A wide-ranging set of education reform bills is now up for debate in the Senate Education Committee, including measures that would expand charter schools and cyber schools, allow public school districts to privatize teaching jobs, and require public schools to enroll nonresident students as long as they have space available ..."
  471. Remembering 9/11
    Despite the fear, anger and disarray, Americans responded in their unique fashion. In contrast to those bent on horror and death, Americans exhibited extraordinary heroism, immeasurable kindness. Strangers helped one another at their own peril, hundreds of them making the ultimate sacrifice.

  472. Freedom to Teach
    Ending forced union dues for teachers: a good idea that should be taken further.
  473. Professionalizing the Teaching Profession
    Right-to-work law for teachers on the horizon.

  474. Center Scholar Appointed Emergency Manager in Pontiac
    Municipal finance expert Lou Schimmel starts Monday.

  475. Corporate Environmental Indoctrination
    Subsidized companies dabbling in school curriculum.

  476. September 9 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes votes on illegal animal fighting, youth employment limits, "volunteer" firefighter pay and more.

  477. Center Expert Cited on President Obama's Speech
    Paul Kersey in today's Detroit Free Press.

  478. Senate Leader Supports Right to Work For Teachers
  479. Obama: Another $30 billion for teaching jobs
    "Thirty billion dollars to protect teaching jobs and $30 billion to modernize school buildings are part of the $447 billion “jobs bill” package that President Obama unveiled Thursday ..."
  480. Michigan Should Lower its Renewable Portfolio Standard Requirements to Zero
  481. Sierra Club’s War on Coal Blamed for 53k Lost Jobs in Michigan
  482. Debate Rages About the Truth of the President’s ‘Middle Class Tax Cut’
  483. Group says university tuition is affordable
    "A lobbying group for state universities says that “sticker” prices for a college education in Michigan are misleading because they don’t take into consideration the amount of financial aid that many students receive ..."
  484. What if Employers Provided Housing?
    Would an ObamaCare "housing exchange" improve it?

  485. Michigan Health Care Workers Seeking Exit from Scandal-Ridden SEIU Affiliate
  486. Recall Retaliation? Senate Pushes Charter School Cap Repeal & 'Union-Unfriendly' Reforms
  487. New school year brings 19 new charters
    "Nineteen new charter public schools are opening this fall, including eight in Detroit, two in Ypsilanti and one each in nine other Michigan cities ..."
  488. Take Who Out?
    Jimmy Hoffa's revealing choice of an enemy.

  489. Government Inaction on Air Rule Saves Jobs
    More work is necessary to dismantle job-killing regulations.

  490. Detroit News Editorial Cites Center President
    Joseph G. Lehman on school choice.

  491. Harding Appointed to State Panel
    Committee will review occupational licensing.

  492. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 6, 2011
  493. Teacher privatization among reform ideas
    "Teacher privatization is one part of an education reform package expected to be taken up by state lawmakers this fall, and while the Michigan Education Association has already criticized the idea, the Michigan Association of School Boards said it could be a good option for districts ..."
  494. Less Than 0.001 Percent of Tenured Teachers Fired Over Past Five Years
  495. Local Government Employee Union Contracts for Every Michigan County and 28 Largest Municipalities Available Online
  496. Alcohol Wholesalers Squeeze Consumers Dry
  497. Privatization Still Growing in Michigan Schools
  498. Legislature Should End Abusive Public-Sector Unionizations
  499. Teachers Union Health Insurer Paying Big Raises
  500. All “ Weekly Roll Call Report” Votes for 2011
  501. Accountability 101: How’s Your Legislator Performing?
    Comparing your lawmaker's deeds vs. words is the essential first step.

  502. Command Cops in Sterling Heights: $119k Average Pay — Demand Labor Arbitration in Dispute with City
  503. Reaction mixed on mandatory schools of choice
    "Harbor Springs Public Schools wants to have the “right size” enrollment for its budget and programs ..."
  504. Feds ease special education spending rules
    "School districts may have more leeway to cut special education budgets now than in the past ..."
  505. No State Favors For Fastest Growing Companies
    No state corporate welfare went to these fastest growers.

  506. September 2 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes bills of interest concerning regulations on dog and cat sales, dead body reporting, gardening and more.

  507. A Smaller Cadillac Is Still a Cadillac
    New government employee insurance cap is still 46 percent higher than private-sector average.

  508. Lamons Law
    NLRB ruling benefits unions and undermines workers' rights.

  509. Michigan Democrat: Teacher Union Leaders Are 'Disconnected'
  510. Should Teachers Be Treated Less Professionally Than Linebackers?
  511. Highland Park under financial review
    "Michigan’s top education official has asked Gov. Rick Snyder to assign a financial review team to the Highland Park School District, saying the district is in financial distress ..."
  512. Townships Blow Off Residents Over Wind Farms
    Property rights endangered by push for alternative energy.

  513. Think Tank President Advocates Center's Analysis
    State's profit on liquor is a "hidden tax."

  514. Editorial Cites Center on School Employee Benefits
    Michigan could save $5.7 billion annually with proper changes.

  516. Melton joining StudentsFirst
    "State Rep. Tim Melton, D-Pontiac, is leaving the Legislature to take a position with the education reform group StudentsFirst ..."
  517. Michigan Worst in Nation for Adding High-Income Earners from 1999 to 2009
  518. Political Power, Central Planning & 'Stimulus' vs. the People
    Stimulus and corporate welfare serve politicians but hurt people.

  519. Over Par, Over Priced
    Lansing loses money on golf while laying off police officers.

  520. Going in Circles
    Subsidies for NASCAR track questioned.

  521. Green Energy Mandates and Cap on Competition Blamed for Michigan's High Energy Costs
  522. Michigan $1 Billion Closer to Bringing Benefits In Balance
  523. Higher Energy Costs Mean Fewer Jobs
    Will politicians stand up to the EPA?

  524. Grosse Pointe State Rep: Public Schools Must Control 'Who Is Allowed to Attend'
    "Local control" more important than students' education.

  525. Detroit News Cites Center Analysis on Liquor Laws
    State should end role as "middleman."

  526. Unemployment: US vs. European Models
  527. Madison contract includes schedule freeze
    "Madison School District teachers have agreed to a new contract that includes a wage freeze and higher health care contributions ..."
  528. Unionized Government Gets Poor Reviews
    Local officials believe government employee unions are more a liability than an asset.

  529. The Green Jobs Myth

    Paying more to get the same thing does not improve the well-being of families, businesses, the economy or the nation.

  530. Schools Privatize Because They Must
    Savings better spent on education.

  531. Government Golf Gobbles Up Lansing City Budget
  532. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 30, 2011
  533. Would ‘Family Leave’ boost school involvement?
    "Grand Rapids school officials like the idea of allowing parents unpaid time off work so they can attend school conferences or their children’s tutoring sessions ..."
  534. Mount Pleasant trims pay schedule by 1.5 percent, retains steps
    "A new contract between Mount Pleasant Public Schools and its teachers reduces the educators’ salary schedule by 1.5 percent across the board, but retains step increases for eligible teachers and sets aside money for merit pay ..."
  535. Train Station with 78 Daily Riders Gets $1 Million in Stimulus Renovations
  536. GOP Lawmaker Recall: 95 Percent of Reported Spending Thus Far Goes to Lansing-Area Consultants
  537. Health care spending limits sent to Snyder
    "A new bill intended to rein in government spending on public employee health care plans is headed to Gov. Rick Snyder following House and Senate approval on Wednesday ..."
  538. August 26 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's MichiganVotes report includes votes on health benefit contributions, Medicaid money, school board elections and more.

  539. Trimming bus service divisive issue in St. Johns
    "St. Johns Public Schools is considering reducing bus service in a way that affects mostly Catholic school students and day care centers, a scenario that some parents say is unfair ..."
  540. Global Warming Will Lead to Alien Invasions?
    Climate change alarmists grasping at straws.

  541. School Charges Illegal Registration Fee
  542. Bill Looks to Require Districts to Seek Bids on Support Services
  543. Feds: 'Never Mind' on State Obamacare Exchanges?
    The department says just 11 states have "embraced" the exchange idea, which is a core component of Obamacare.

  544. Victims of Smoking Ban Cut Off Politicians
  545. As New State Committee Meets on Liquor Control, Mackinac Center Statistical Analysis Finds Liquor Prices Higher in Wholesale Control States Like Michigan
  546. Liquored Up: Michigan Government Should Exit Its Liquor Wholesale Business
  547. Back-to-School Shopping
    Schools, not parents, responsible for school supplies.

  548. Kersey Cited on CMU Strike
    PERA reforms overdue.

  549. Back-to-School Daze
  550. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 23, 2011
  551. Teacher Total Tricky to Nail Down
  552. Granholm the Tax Cutter?
  553. Why Health Care in Michigan Is Expensive
    "Certificate of need" law drives competition down, costs up.

  554. CMU Strike: Standing Firm Is Not Bad Faith
    Does PERA create unrealistic expectations?

  555. Reagan Fires CMU Faculty PATCO Strikers
    Dealing with illegal strikes.

  556. Questions Abound Over Liquor Laws
    What the state's new advisory committee should address.

  557. Michigan Taxpayers Fork Over $912K for Video Game
  558. ‘Back to school’ comes late for many Detroit children
    "A surprising number of children do not show up for the first day or even the first few weeks of classes in Detroit Public Schools, so the district is now sending staffers door to door in an effort to boost enrollment ..."
  559. Privatization numbers are up
    "More than half of Michigan's public school districts now hire private companies for all or part of their custodial, food or transportation services, a new survey shows ...
  560. Center Experts Featured in Oakland Press

    Op-Eds cover pensions, PERA and school choice.

  561. Why Is Regulatory Reform Legislation Stalled?
    Gov. Snyder should insist bills be completed.

  562. Great Myths About the Great Depression Still Abound
  563. Super Speedway Perks Live On: State Tax Credits to MIS Total $18.1 Million
  564. National Debt More About How We Will Live than How Much We Owe
  565. August 19 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes proposed bills on state employee pay, legislator salary caps, restrictions on School Aid Fund uses and more.

  566. International High School opening in Ypsilanti
    "The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is opening an International Baccalaureate high school this fall that will enroll students from seven area districts and reach enrollment of 600 students within four years ..."
  567. Migration and Tax Rates
    More evidence for the relationship between high tax burdens and people showing their preference by voting with their feet.

  568. Read All About It
    State laws redistribute wealth to beer and wine distributors.

  569. CMU faculty authorize ‘job action’
    "Fall classes may or may not start Monday at Central Michigan University, depending on whether the faculty union follows through on a strike vote ..."
  570. Michigan Film Subsidy Winner Costs 10x More to Make Than It Earns
  571. Michigan School Exporting Education to China
  572. Taxes and the Life and Death of Great American Cities
    Low-tax metropolitan areas experience much greater growth than high-tax ones.

  573. State Regulations Suffocate Hospitality Industry
    Rep. Doug Geiss (D-Taylor) wants to ease some of the regulatory burdens on Michigan’s hospitality industry.

  574. More Schools Save by Ditching Unionized Insurance, Busing, Food and Janitors
    Money saved can be devoted to educating students.

  575. Kent County School District Abandons Illegal Contract Language, Embraces Privatization
    Byron Center will save up to $850,000 with custodial contract.

  576. 'Free' Meals for DPS Students
    New program covers students who don't qualify for subsidy.

  577. 'Petoskey Stone': Michigan’s State Stone

    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.

  578. Bankrupt Solar Company Stimulus Money Missing From Federal Records
  579. Lifting charter cap on Senate education agenda
    "State universities would be allowed to sponsor more charter public schools under the terms of a reform package that the Senate Education Committee is expected to consider in September ..."
  580. Ann Arbor Considering Fines for Normal Operation of Cars
    America is quickly changing from the land of the free and the brave to the land of the regulated and fined.

  581. Another MEGA Loser
    In the latest government economic development failure in Michigan, Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy.

  582. Michigan Schools Districts Embrace Privatization
    More than half now outsource at least one noninstructional service.

  583. August in Michigan Is Teacher Freedom Month

    How teachers can resign from their union.

  584. Center Scholars Cited in Obama-FDR Comparison
    Reed, Folsom in FrontPage Magazine.

  585. No Cutting and Complaining Here: Oxford Schools Bucks the Trend
    One school district in Michigan is expanding learning opportunities for kids through online learning.

  586. U-M Public Employee Union Still Seeking to Unionize Non-Employee Students
  587. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 16, 2011
  588. State launches school performance website
    "The State of Michigan launched a school information website on Monday that allows users to look up test scores, enrollment and school “report cards,” and that eventually will report on how well high schools prepare students for college ..."
  589. Ann Arbor Cuts Cops With $1.5 Million Surplus Sitting in Arts Budget
  590. Privatization Still a Growing Trend in Michigan Schools
  591. Center’s 2011 School Privatization Survey Shows That for First Time, Majority of Michigan Districts Contract Out for Noninstructional Services
  592. Political List Guru Tells How He Would Recall Gov. Snyder
  593. How Will ObamaCare Mess Up My Life and Livelihood?
    Useful information as Michigan prepares for an ObamaCare “exchange.”

  594. MERC Makes Right Call on U-M Students
    Legislature must act to clarify public-sector unionizing.

  595. School accommodates young travelers
    "Parents are concerned for the future of a popular elementary school program in Zeeland that is described as a public-private hybrid ..."
  596. August 12 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes proposed bills on reporting missing children, school resources used for lobbying, corporate subsidies and more.

  597. Michigan School District Virtually Bucks Spending Cuts Trend
  598. Smoking's Bottom Line
  599. Box Office Bombs: Made in Michigan
  600. Former home-schoolers open private school
    "Sandra Gonzales received so many requests to teach children in her Saginaw home that she and her husband decided to open a small, private school ..."
  601. Hazel Park launches Promise program
    "Hazel Park Schools has joined the list of public school districts seeking to attract new students by offering to pay for their first two years of college ..."
  602. Law school grads sue over jobs, salary data
    "Four graduates of Thomas M. Cooley Law School are suing the college for $250 million, claiming it uses misleading statistics on post-graduate employment and salaries as a way to attract students ..."
  603. Why True Conservationists Should Cheer “Fracking”
  604. President Sees Bright Green Future for Battery Jobs; Details Show Reality Still Very Cloudy
  605. Michigan Legislature Micromanage? Ahem ...
    The political system’s urge to regulate everything under the sun.

  606. EPA: It's For Your Own Good
    Elected representatives must stop an excessive administrative state.

  607. How Federal Money Doesn't Translate Into Jobs
    Who spends money better, the government or private individuals?

  608. Obamacare Triples Health Insurance Cost Increases
    Premium increases almost double.

  609. Court rejects Lansing teachers’ lawsuit
    "For the second time, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled against Lansing teachers who sued the district for not expelling students who the teachers said attacked them ..."
  610. Who Is Really Trying to Recall a Michigan GOP Lawmaker, and Will They Win?
  611. Oakland Officials Squabble Over Credit for County's Credit Rating
  612. David Littmann on WJR
    Economist discusses debt, interest rates and leadership.

  613. Morning in America: Obamacare Repealed
    A multi-state health care compact could replace Obamacare with state-federal power sharing.

  614. Superintendent Says Best Teachers Leaving Michigan – But Is It True?
  615. Kansas Rejects Obamacare Exchange
    Michigan would benefit by following the Sunflower State’s principled lead.

  616. Liquor Panel Formalized

    Time to change liquor laws to finally favor consumers.

  617. Former Governor Gets it Wrong Again
    Gov. Granholm in Newsweek.

  618. U of M Students Saved from Illegal Unionization
    State follows Center recommendation in making decision.

  619. Center Expert Cited on Education
    Legislature must act on virtual learning.

  620. 'Michigan Wind Is Less Costly Than Coal' Claim Blown Away by Federal Stats
  621. Transit Agency Demands $300 to Reveal CEO's Salary
  622. Teacher Union Recall Target Responds to K-12 Budget Critics
  624. Michigan has oversupply of new teachers
    "An oversupply of new teachers combined with fewer students has created a tough job market for education graduates in Michigan, and some are leaving the state to look for work ..."
  625. Public University Students Not Public Employees
    Detroit News editorializes against illegal unionization at U-M.

  626. Government Math: Always Round Up
    Redecorating at the state Capitol.

  627. Detroit unions sue over pay cut
    "The unions representing Detroit teachers, office workers and paraprofessionals have filed suit over a 10 percent pay cut imposed by Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Roy Roberts ..."
  628. The Michigan Employment Relations Commission Unanimously Rejects Unionization of U of M Graduate Student Research Assistants
  629. Five Questions for New Liquor Advisory Committee
  630. Time to Take School Choice in Michigan to the Next Level
  631. How to Defuse PERA’s Ticking Time Bomb
  632. Study: College degree not always ticket to higher pay
    "A college degree generally ? but not always ? means a higher income, according to a new Georgetown University study cited in Education Week. ..."
  633. Small Biz Advocates: Teacher Union Wrong about “Tax Break for Rich CEOs”
  634. Heritage Foundation Opposes Obamacare "Exchanges"
    The conservative Heritage Foundation does not support Obamacare exchanges.

  635. Parents angry over report on union tactics
    "Lawmakers and parents are outraged over a report detailing how the American Federation of Teachers successfully pressured Connecticut legislators to water down a bill intended to give parents more power over failing schools ..."
  636. Medicaid - the Monster that Ate Michigan's Budget
  637. Most school millages defeated
    "School millages fared poorly in voting across the state, as ballot proposals in Macomb, Kent, Jackson, Van Buren and Manistee counties all were turned down ..."
  638. August 5 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's MichiganVotes report includes proposed bills on film subsidies, spam texting, liquor price controls and more.

  639. Professor: Skeptics of Man-made Climate Change Aren't a Fringe Group
  640. Wright Discusses U-M Illegal Unionization
    Students are just that, not public employees.

  641. Commentary: Rethink Michigan's Liquor Distribution System
  642. Despite Recall Attempts, School Funding About the Same
  643. Municipal Consolidation: Saving Money or Growing Government?
  644. Plymouth-Canton, Livonia consider food service merger
    "Plymouth-Canton Community Schools may take over food service operations in Livonia Public Schools, a move that officials said could help the districts save money through combined purchases and might mean extra funding from the state ..."
  645. CAFE Standard Won't Stand
    Public shrugs shoulders over unreasonable demand.

  646. Center Scholar, Study Cited
    Benefits of right-to-work laws outlined.

  647. Average Lansing Teacher Missed 3.5 Weeks of School Last Year
  648. Michigan Creeps Closer to Obamacare 'Exchange'
  649. Flint Journal Writes About Cap Con Story
    Cap Con breaks story on MEDC-bus company problems.

  650. Evidence of Granholm’s Mysterious Climate Pact With Britain Missing From State Records
  651. St. Andrews Golf Replica Possible After Snyder’s DNR Ends Granholm Landlock on Building Site
  653. Saginaw Transit Chief: Extra Route, More Overtime, Fewer Riders
  654. Union Claims About RTW Flawed
    Michigan would benefit from a right-to-work law.

  655. Alcohol (Monopoly) Addiction
    State should revise three-tier system.

  656. Center Chairman Honored
    Olson elected to insurance hall of fame.

  657. Detroit Imposes 10 Percent Wage Cuts, Unions Promise Lawsuit
    "Union leaders in Detroit Public Schools say they will go to court over emergency manager Roy Roberts’ order to impose $81 million in wage concessions beginning this month ..."
  658. China’s Celebrated 'Green' Energy Tomorrow Looks Like Its Old Energy Yesterday
  659. Green Bus Biz Fails: Government Planners Pick a Loser … and Stick With It
  660. WMU buys private bookstore
    "Western Michigan University will pay nearly $2 million to buy the privately owned University Bookstore operation, a textbook competitor. ..."
  661. Cop Union Boss Boasts of Beating Lawmakers With Flashlights: If Soldiers Don’t Have Unions, Why Do Police and Teachers?
  662. Media Loves 'Green Jobs' Report; Fine Print Shows 'Green' Means the Garbage Man
  663. Otsego teachers get pay raise, leave MESSA
    "Otsego Public Schools teachers will receive a 2 percent salary increase in the coming year after agreeing to a health insurance switch that will save the school district $500,000. ..."
  664. EPA ‘Guidance’ on Wetlands Defies Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court
  665. A Storm in Washington: David Littmann Discusses the Debt Ceiling
  666. Teachers visit Grand Rapids jobsites
    "West Michigan teachers are spending time on area jobsites in August to gain firsthand knowledge of skills their students will need to succeed in the workforce. ..."
  667. Commentary: Public Sector Pay Overshadows the Private Sector
  668. Remembering Dr. Milton Friedman
  669. July 29 Weekly Roll Call Report
    Includes bills introduced on cigarette taxes, incandescent lightbulbs, health coverage mandates and more.

  670. Saginaw Buses: Fewer Riders, More Overtime
  671. Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day

    High school and college students are invited to join Students for a Free Economy on July 29 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Milton Friedman.

  672. MCLF Fights More Illegal Unionization
    U of M now trying to unionize students.

  673. Muslim school backers ask federal oversight
    "Pittsfield Township planners have denied the Michigan Islamic Academy’s request to rezone property where the school wants to locate, prompting a Muslim civil rights organization to ask federal officials to investigate. ..."
  674. Teachers Telling Students 'Political Talk That Shouldn't Have Been Said' About Lawmaker Recall
  675. Commentary: How Unions Run Government … And Democrats
  676. U of M Graduate Students Target of Union Grab
  677. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Seeks to Prevent Illegal Unionization of U of M Graduate Student Research Assistants
  678. MCLF Protects Grad Students from Forced Unionism
  679. Case Backgrounder: Prevent Illegal Unionization of U of M Graduate Student Research Assistants
  680. Crash and Burn
    Government subsidy boondoggle that Center expert warned against falls flat.

  681. Friedman: The Influence of Ideas
    As an intern at a think tank, I am inspired by Milton Friedman.

  682. Help Wanted
    Common sense need not apply.

  683. Michigan Government Leads the Nation in Part-Time Workers
  684. Are Reluctant Reformers in Republican Ranks Seeking Cover Behind Social Issues?
  685. Parent Says Daughter’s Class Cut for Lawmaker Recall Effort
  686. EPA's Attack on Coal Could be Deadly
    EPA decision could increase risk during heat waves.

  688. The (Government-Free) Pursuit of Artsy-ness
  689. Commentary: Michigan Liquor Control Code Too Controlling
  690. Michigan Is Tops on National Teacher Union Media Blitz List
  691. Model Resolution Opposing Obamacare Exchange

    The American Legislative Exchange Council will take up draft legislation next week.

  692. Editorial Cites CapCon
    Beer and wine wholesalers' political spending questioned.

  693. Then and Now: Northville Teacher Contract Talks Catch Up with Financial Reality
  694. Report: Number of high school graduates will shrink
    "The number of high school graduates will remain fairly flat nationwide through 2020, a new report predicts, but Michigan can expect a 12 percent decline. ..."
  695. Shared bus service draws complaint
    "A national transportation group has filed a federal complaint against a partnership between Suttons Bay Public Schools and the Bay Area Transportation Authority under which BATA provides busing for students. ..."
  696. When Will Snyder’s Focus on Jobs Pay Off for Michigan?
  697. State Compensation Problem Bigger Than Advertised
    The state’s negotiators should be on solid footing when asking for concessions.

  698. Will Schools Keep Ignoring Teacher Effectiveness When Setting Pay?
    Make student learning and teacher effectiveness count more than than mere longevity.

  699. July 22 Weekly Roll Call Report
    This week's MichiganVotes report includes bills introduced on airport security "groping," liquor licenses, school computers, and more.

  700. Commission will develop evaluation tool
    "A state-level commission of education experts, teachers and policymakers will draft a new tool for evaluating teachers under Michigan’s new teacher tenure law. ..."
  701. MSU Tuition Restraint Debate Reaches Committee
  702. Affirmative Action for Ineffective Teachers
  703. Snyder Shedding No Light on Bulb Issue
  704. Brighton public, private schools agree to shared electives
    "Brighton Area Schools educators will teach music, foreign language and other elective courses in area private schools beginning this fall. ..."
  705. State’s Average Spending Per Pupil Nearly $12K
  706. Not So Fast on 'Government Employees Earn Less'

    Reality challenges the one-size-fits-all narrative of private-sector wages exceeding public-sector wages.

  707. Ill Wind in New Jersey Is Bad News for Michigan
    Cost-benefit analysis shows off-shore wind development is a perfect storm.

  708. Alpena moves ahead on teacher evaluation process
    "Teachers and administrators in Alpena Public Schools have jointly developed a new teacher evaluation tool. ..."
  709. Beer and Wine Wholesalers Deliver Themselves Regulatory Privileges
  710. Disinformation Revolution
  711. Government Does Not Create Jobs — But It Can Help or Hurt
    Government officials at all levels should take a pledge to “do no more harm” to the economy and job creation.

  712. Run From the Border(s)
    One of MEGA's first "winners" ends up a loser.

  713. A Call to End Forced Unionization
    Union scheme puts thousands at risk.

  715. Binding Arbitration Bill Mostly Preserves the Status Quo
  716. Four School Districts Spend $525K in Attorney Fees Trying to Remove Four Tenured Teachers
  717. Green Jobs Mostly Invisible
    Time to end state's renewable energy portfolio.

  718. Benefits in Balance: Saving $5.7 Billion Annually
  719. And Now for Something Completely Different
  720. Urban Sprawl, RIP?
  721. An Ounce of Prevention
  722. Teacher Performance to Determine Layoffs
  723. Insurance switch OK’d in Ovid-Elsie
    "Switching to a new insurance carrier will shave up to $338,000 from the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools budget and help avoid teacher layoffs. ..."
  724. Ann Arbor to ask voters for technology millage
    "Ann Arbor Public Schools will ask district voters to approve a new 0.5 mill tax in November for technology upgrades."
  725. Detroit names charter schools chief
    "Detroit Public Schools has named a charter school company CEO to head the district’s own charter operations."
  726. 'Ryan Budget' A Litmus Test for Michigan Politicians
  727. Case Ends; Forced Unionization Still a Threat
  728. July 15 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's MichiganVotes report includes votes on welfare loopholes and road tax revenue allocation.

  729. ObamaCare Arrives in Michigan

    Physicians group receives $23.4 million.

  730. Pay-to-play moves beyond sports
    "Pay-to-play is becoming popular not just in school sports, but in K-12 academic programs."
  731. State Spending From State Sources Going Up Next Year
  732. Who Is the Real Target?
    Government union involvement in recalls is a dangerous trend.

  733. Van Beek at School Choice Forum
    Suburban parents fear Detroit students under Gov. Snyder's plan.

  734. Waterford Schools Needed to Pay Teacher With ‘Anger Management’ Issues $100K to Leave Job
  735. Supreme Court: Schools can’t collect PAC money for MEA
    "Reversing an earlier decision, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled recently that Michigan public school districts may not administer payroll deduction plans that funnel money to the Michigan Education Association political action committee."
  736. The Detroitification of Detroit
    Decades of population implosion have left Detroit with crippling legacy expenditures, Steve Malanga writes.

  737. Secure Property Rights Good for the Environment
    New study confirms value of property rights.

  738. Editorial Cites Center on Tobacco Taxes
    Higher taxes lead to smuggling, crime.

  739. Commentary: A Sad Day for Michigan School Union Bosses
  740. School District Admits 'Big Mistake' Over 'Get Rid of Snyder' Phone Alert
  741. Feds seek to undo Detroit control of Head Start money
    "The federal government wants Wayne County to take partial control of Head Start programs in the city of Detroit in a bid to clean up years of mismanagement in the early education program there."
  742. They Can Be Taught!
    The Legislature learns from its mistakes, heads off the union veto on tenure reform.

  743. Another $2 Billion Bad Idea From Washington
    The government must get its fiscal house in order by massive cuts, not by taking money from one pocket to put in another.

  744. 401(K) System Saves the State $4 Billion

    A Business Insider article cites recent Center findings.

  745. Michigan Teacher Union vs. Success of Right-to-Work in N.C. and Oklahoma
  747. Politicians: Stop Blocking the Online Charter School Door!
    Just one group benefits from state caps on online charter school enrollment.

  748. NCLB showdown heats up in Montana
    "The states of Montana, Idaho and South Dakota have informed the U.S. Department of Education that they plan to defy major parts of the No Child Left Behind Act this year, and now the federal government has told Montana to reconsider by Aug. 15 or face the loss of  Title I funds for disadvantaged children."
  749. GOP Politicians Love the Spending, Reserve Right to Criticize the Revenue
  750. Stimulus Giveaways and Higher Electric Bills Pay for ‘Green Energy’ in Michigan
  751. Many Detroit charter school scores no better than DPS’
    "Standardized test scores show that many Detroit area charter public high schools are not performing any better academically than the district’s own high schools."
  752. Without contract, CMU faculty paying more for MESSA
    "The head of the Central Michigan University faculty union says that not only can the university well afford to give all employees a raise this year, but that it has an obligation to stimulate the local economy by doing so."
  753. Inconvenient Truths Disappear Down Government ‘Memory Holes’
  754. Michigan Trading Well With Korea; Critics Blasting Congressman Camp for Wanting More of Same
  755. Measuring Charter Public School Performance
    Measuring charter school performance is fundamentally different than measuring conventional school performance.

  756. House Tries, GOP Senate Denies, Prevention of Poor-Teacher 'Rubber Rooms'
  757. Grand Traverse County Commission Poised to Pass Freedom to Work Resolution
  758. Atlanta test scandal erupts
    "A testing scandal in Atlanta Public Schools could result in criminal charges in a public school district once lauded for its soaring scores."
  759. A Larger Perspective on Unions
    Contrasting the oppression that unions face in Iran with the privileged position they have in the United States.

  760. Labor Talks
    Paul Kersey discusses the labor issues of the day.

  761. The SEIU in Michigan: Home Health Aides
  762. Testing Tuition Restraint: MSU Could Lose $18.3 Million
  763. Breaking Bad: Dearborn Gives Four Problem Teachers $197K to Go Away
  764. Peter Glaser's Testimony on Energy Policy
  765. MEA, DFT will push recalls
    "Unable to thwart teacher tenure reform during the legislative process, the Michigan Education Association and the Detroit Federation of Teachers now will work to recall lawmakers who supported the changes."
  766. Time to Abolish Project Labor Agreements
  767. ‘Upper Hand’ Michigan Economy Not Enough to Help Jeff Daniels’ Theatre
  768. FOIA Decision Bad for Taxpayers
    Editorial questions high court's decision.

  769. MEDC Accountability a Step in the Right Direction
    Subsidy recipients should face consequences if claims aren't met.

  770. Van Beek Part of July 13 School Choice Forum

    Grosse Pointe lawmaker opposes school choice plan.

  771. Power Failure

    Flint's bus problems persist.

  772. The Cost of K-12 Custodians
  774. Freedom to Work: A New Right-To-Work Effort in Michigan
  775. State Pours Interference on Liquor Business
  776. A Good Start, Policymakers. Now for the Heavy Lifting
  777. State Pension Underfunding Liability Jumps $6.6 Billion, Confirming Need for Reform
  778. Michigan ACT scores stable, DPS lags
    "High school tests scores showed mild gains statewide in 2011, but Detroit Public Schools continues to lag significantly."
  779. New Voucher Question: Are There Enough Seats?
    "In a twist on the typical school voucher debate, academics now wonder if there is enough room in private schools for all the students whose parents want to take advantage of expanding voucher and tax credit programs."
  780. The Debt Ceiling ‘Fiction’
  781. Insurance Switch Saves Teacher Jobs
    "Teachers in Carsonville-Port Sanilac Schools have agreed to switch to lower-cost insurance carrier Health Plus, allowing the district to reinstate two elementary teachers."
  782. Florida Couple Sues, Says Private School Too Easy

    "A lawsuit seeking to undo Michigan’s emergency financial manager law has been filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, the fourth challenge to the measure since it was passed in March."

  783. July 1 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's MichiganVotes report includes votes on making it easier to fire ineffective teachers, repealing "bad driver taxes," limiting "minimum staffing" requirements, and capping public employee health benefits.

  784. Michigan Freedom to Work Kicks Off

    A new civil rights campaign is launched in Michigan.

  785. PLAs: Some Good News for Taxpayers

    No more directing government construction work to union companies.

  786. Saline Schools’ ‘Last in, First out’ Victims

    Union's interests trumps those of teachers, students and parents.

  787. Reasons to Celebrate in Michigan

    We have a few more reasons to celebrate with passion and verve this holiday weekend: Michigan is a little bit freer.

  788. Is Europe's Attack on the Car Coming Here?

    The mobility provided by the car is one of the greatest freedoms enjoyed by Americans.

  789. New Transformers Flick Costs Each Michigan Taxpayer $1.36
  790. The Dog Census
  791. EPA: It's For Your Own Good
  792. Supreme Court Won’t Review Teacher Email Case
    "The Michigan Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that email messages sent on public school computers are not public records and therefore not subject to open records requests."
  793. Time to Kill the Michigan Alcohol Monopoly
  794. Misplaced Priorities

    Political careerists serve the system, not the people.

  795. State Supreme Court Failure to Rectify Disastrous FOIA Ruling ‘Must Be Fixed,’ Says Center Attorney
  796. State Law Requires the Killing of Unlicensed Dogs
  797. Commentary: Five Questions for New Liquor Advisory Committee
  798. Environmental Group Wrong About Coal Plants

    Technology, not ideology, should drive energy policy.

  800. Oddball State Agency Micromanages Liquor Retailing

    Michigan's state liquor agency regulates holiday retail promotions.

  801. Working on the Wrong Problem

    Everything else must be fixed already.

  802. Faith and Hope in Charity

    New state law shouldn't impact giving, Center analyst says.

  803. School Super Takes Pay Cut — Teachers Take Big Raises
  804. Court removes injunction against privatization
    "The Woodhaven-Brownstown School District was expected to move forward with privatizing custodial and maintenance services after the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s granting of an injunction against the plan."
  806. Side-by-Side Comparison

    New database provides 'context and performance' details.

  807. Warning: Increase Film Subsides Now and Risk Regrets Later
  808. Teacher Kissing Students Is Paid to Leave; Tenure Makes Him Too Hard to Fire
  809. New Online Database Provides Unique ‘Context and Performance’ Information for Every Standard Michigan Public High School
  810. A Good Start, Policymakers. Now Time for the Heavy Lifting
  811. Charter saves on pensions, retains jobs
    "White Pine Academy has saved money and jobs by opting out of the state retirement plan for school employees."
  812. EMU faculty: No work in DPS without union safeguards
    "Faculty leaders at Eastern Michigan University say they won’t join in the newest reform plan for Detroit Public Schools if it would affect union contracts."
  813. Analyst: Firefighter Overtime Reform ‘Watered Down’
  814. Commentary: Legislative Republicans Get Rolled by Unions on Binding Arbitration
  815. School Earmark Proposal: California Here We Come?
  816. State’s Economic Central Planning Agency Behaving Differently Under New Leadership
  817. June 24 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report includes votes on watered-down versions of bills reforming the MEA's insurance arm, government health benefit spending caps, and reforming police and fire employee binding arbitration procedures.

  818. Group sues over emergency manager law
    "A lawsuit seeking to undo Michigan’s emergency financial manager law has been filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, the fourth challenge to the measure since it was passed in March."
  819. Energy Policy Should be Above Politics

    Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for times of crisis.

  820. Michigan Pension Reform Saves Billions

    New Center study details state employee pension changes.

  821. School Revenues, Spending

    New study breaks down per-pupil spending.

  822. Engler-Era Pension Reforms Saved Billions; Teacher Pensions Not Part of Deal
  823. Good News From Marathon

    Extra refinery capacity in Detroit will not only bring jobs and revenue, but also protect against gas price spikes and allow utilization of oil sands.

  824. Just Shut It

    The Obama administration moves to silence employers.

  825. Michigan State Senator Offers Cigarette Tax Cut to Cut Smuggling

    Lowering the cigarette tax would reduce smuggling and smuggling-related violence.

  826. Estimated Savings From Michigan’s 1997 State Employees Pension Plan Reform

    Since March 31, 1997, new state employees who qualify for the Michigan State Employees’ Retirement System have been placed in a 401(k)-style “defined-contribution” retirement plan, rather than MSERS’ traditional “defined-benefit” pension plan. Under the new arrangement, state government makes mandatory contributions to employees’ individual retirement savings accounts, but does not guarantee employees a defined retirement income, as it did under the traditional plan.

    In this Policy Brief, the author analyzes state pension data to determine whether state taxpayers have saved money as a result of the switch.

  827. Study: State Employee Pension Reform Has Saved Taxpayers Estimated $2.3 Billion to $4.3 Billion in Unfunded Pension Liability
  828. Just One Michigan Republican Votes for Labor Union Monopoly Over Government Construction Work
  829. Press Release: National Debt Relief Amendment Gains Momentum
  830. Teachers to pay more toward insurance
    "Teachers in Homer and East Jackson have agreed to pay more toward their health insurance in a move likely related to the state’s offer to give districts $100 more per student if they meet certain fiscal “best practices.”:
  831. The 32 Percent Teacher Pay Hikes at Birmingham Schools
  832. Board can’t agree on filling vacant seat
    "The regional school board may be tapped to fill a vacancy on the Wayne-Westland Board of Education after the local board could not agree on a candidate."
  833. When Regulatory Agencies Cross the Line

    Regulators should uphold the law, not go beyond it and act as environmental advocates.

  834. Can Ethanol Survive?

    Cutting subsidies will let market forces work.

  835. Latest DPS reform hinges on principals
    "Gov. Rick Snyder wants to remove the worst-performing schools in Detroit from district control and put them into an “Education Achievement System.”"
  836. Godfrey-Lee gets $2.5M in improvement grants
    "Godfrey-Lee Public Schools will receive two additional federal grants on top of an earlier School Improvement Grant, putting the total at more than $2.5 million."
  837. Super Speedway Notches Second State Subsidy
  839. Center Commentary to be Featured in Freep

    First installment: Gov. Snyder vs. political careerists.

  840. Transit Authority Moves to Lower Costs

    MichCapCon story spurs public agency to action.

  841. IMPACT Summer 2011
  842. State Taxpayers May Eat $1.6 Million Loan for Defunct Green Bus Company
  843. Flint Loses Out On $1.1 Million ‘Green Energy’ Buses — Now Wants $2.5 Million Version
  844. Losing Control of Government?
  845. Holly Academy making room for more students
    "A major expansion will allow Holly Academy to add 100 more students to its roster."
  846. Stimulus funds buffered Allegan budget
    "Federal stimulus money worked to buffer the Allegan Public Schools budget in the past year."
  847. When School Fee Hikes Count as ‘Budget Cuts’
  848. Commentary: Liquor Distribution Monopolies Rob Consumers, Taxpayers and Job Providers
  849. Lawmaker Seeks More Transparency for SWAT Team Raids
  850. School for pregnant teens to stay open — as charter
    "A high school for pregnant teens and teen-age parents in Detroit will remain open, but as a public charter school rather than a Detroit Public Schools operation."
  851. Distilling the Truth

    Beer and wine monopoly "valiant" in fight against competition.

  852. Strange Brew

    Legislators to craft brewers: You don't count, but here's a cookie.

  853. Farmington Teacher Contract Raises Salaries in Tenth Year by $16-20k; Super Says Teachers Not Feeling Valued
  854. Second lawsuit in Wisconsin
    "Wisconsin public employees will begin paying more for their health care and pension benefits in August, while unions there filed a second legal challenge to a new law amending collective bargaining privileges of public workers."
  855. Should Michigan Create a Health Insurance Exchange?
  856. June 17 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report includes votes on project labor agreements, pension taxes, film subsidies and regulatory reform.

  857. Obamacare: "Final Report of Stakeholder Work Group Recommendations"
  858. High-Speed Rail? Not So Fast

    Hundreds of millions of dollars for just 60 mph?

  859. Meridian considers joining New Tech
    "Meridian Public Schools is considering joining the New Tech Network and implementing a project-based approach to high school education that is heavy on technology."
  860. Big Coaching Salary Bumps at Schools Hiking 'Pay-to-Play' Fees
  861. Michigan Senator Calls Notion of 'Stealth' Film Subsidy Effort 'Absurd'
  862. Fact Check: Michigan Government Employees ‘Under Attack?’
  863. Introducing the New Labor Movement

    "Union Conservatives" enter the fray.

  864. Bonuses After Tuition Hike at Delta College

    Decision questionable, according to Center analyst.

  865. Critics of HB 4326 Miss the Point

    Regulation without representation is unacceptable.

  866. The 'Control' of the Liquor Control Commission

    Detroit News cites Center research on outdated system.

  867. School Board Member (and Teacher) Votes Down Teacher Union Contract
  868. Addressing Michigan's 'Shadow Government'

    Interlocal agreements, stealth unionization get attention.

  869. State Faces Decision in Electricity Grid Upgrade

    Is Michigan being treated fairly in plan to upgrade power grid?

  870. Commentary: State Pours Interference on Liquor Business
  871. NEA to Buy More Votes with Video Game Grants
  872. Commentary: Republican Legislators Try to Resurrect Film Subsidies
  874. Veteran Lansing Reporter Jack Spencer Joins Michigan Capitol Confidential
  875. Do 'Stealthy' Michigan Senators Want to Spend $100 Million on Film Subsidies?
  876. Pontiac Should Have Listened to Center Experts

    Will Detroit pay attention to Pontiac's example?

  877. Employees Pay for 21.5 Percent of Health Care at U of M
  878. Breaking Up is Hard to Do for Michigan Brewers
  879. George Soros and the Plot to Take Judicial Selections Away from Voters
  880. Tenure, seniority reform pass House
    "Tenure and seniority would no longer shield ineffective teachers if legislation that passed the Michigan House on Thursday becomes law, supporters of the reform measures said."
  881. Troy Third Graders Get Chevy Volt Marketing Lesson
  882. Hydraulic Fracturing
  883. Private Colleges

    Center scholars cited on U of M privatization.

  884. June 10 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report includes votes on teacher layoff criteria, forced unionization and Detroit taxes.

  885. Michigan State Parks Stuck in a Rut

    How to improve state parks.

  886. A New Perspective

    Gov. Snyder vs. political careerists.

  887. Convoluted Distribution Laws Hurt Local Craft Brewers
  888. Commentary: Government Collective Bargaining Inherently Corrupting, Should Be Outlawed
  889. Ineligible Dependents on Ann Arbor Schools’ Health Plan Cost District $766K in 2010
  890. U-M launches charter school study
    "University of Michigan researchers will become the latest group to study Michigan charter public schools, saying they want to learn how effective the schools are compared to conventional schools, and what makes them effective."
  891. Adrian looks to reserves, cuts to fill $5.2M gap
    "Adrian Public Schools hopes to close an anticipated $5.2 million budget gap in 2011-2012 with $1.4 million in reserve funds and $2.5 million in position, pay and benefit cuts."
  892. Michigan’s Government-Mandated Beer Contracts: Harder to Escape Than Marriage?
  893. It's in the Contract. What Contract?

    Bill proposes no automatic pay hikes without contract.

  894. U-M center studies school bus crash data
    "New research on fatal crashes involving school buses shows that about half of the collisions occurred between 6 and 9 a.m. and that about half involved another vehicle striking the bus from the front, side or rear."
  895. GM CEO: Customers Don't Pay High Enough Gas Tax
  896. Tort Reform in Michigan: Luncheon and Online

    Presented by the Heritage Foundation and Mackinac Center and held at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich.

  897. MichiganScience No. 16
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
  898. Teachers' Unions vs. Schoolchildren

    The NAACP teams up with a New York City teachers' union to shut down charter schools for low-income students.

  899. Some Good GDP News for Michigan

    Michigan’s 2009-2010 state GDP growth rate was 2.9 percent, its best since 2002.

  900. Lansing Township Action Puts Taxpayers at Risk

    Government shouldn't be in the real estate business.

  902. EMU Asks Unions to Give Up Raises
    "Eastern Michigan University may cut up to 70 positions — none of them faculty — depending on whether unionized employees agree to give up planned pay raises in the coming year."
  903. Automatic Raises for Teachers With No Union Contract in Linden Schools
  904. Selective Economics

    Some argue that taxpayer bailouts of favored corporations create jobs, but that business tax cuts do not.

  905. Wisconsin considers ‘parent petition’ voucher
    "Residents could petition to create a new school voucher program in Green Bay, Wis., under legislation passed by a committee of the Wisconsin Legislature."
  906. Detroit Pols: No Political Loot, No Bridge
  907. Does the NLRB Really Expect Businesses to Ignore Strikes?
  908. Political Careerists Threaten Freedom, Prosperity
  909. Which Republicans Can Snyder Count on for K-12 Reform?
  910. Commentary: Courage, Cuts, K-12 and the Snyder Business Tax
  911. Natural Resources Trust Fund Needs a Makeover
  912. The Battle for Michigan
  913. Washtenaw County Pays Michigan's Highest Home Taxes
  914. Armada keeps MESSA, freezes salary schedule
    "Teachers in Armada Area Schools have ratified a two-year contract that calls for freezing the salary schedule in both years and temporarily halting automatic “step” increases."
  915. Agassi backs charter school facilities fund
    "Tennis champion Andre Agassi has helped create a real estate fund intended to pump $500 million into building charter public schools across the United States."
  916. Michigan Business Owner: Tax Reform Means 'Our Company Will Create Jobs'
  917. EPA’s War on Energy Hitting Pocketbooks

    The market is starting to speak, and the news is not good.

  918. June 3 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report includes votes on film subsidy limits, a liquor tax repeal and allowing Detroit to impose higher taxes.

  919. DPS won’t release draft budget
    "Two school board members want Detroit Public Schools to publicly release the 2011-2012 draft budget it submitted to the state, saying taxpayers have a right to know the details."
  920. Reject a Tax Hike? It'll Be Back
  921. School Tax Votes: When ‘No!’ Means … ‘Maybe Later?’
  922. End Energy Subsidies to Reduce National Debt

    Time to stop corporate welfare for energy producers.

  923. Bill would cap superintendent pay
    "A second proposal to cap Michigan public school superintendent pay has been introduced in the state Legislature."
  924. State Employee Public Pension Liability Jumps $900 Million in One Year
  925. Are You Kinda Republican, Really Republican or Really, Really Republican?

    The SEIU's in-depth survey.

  926. No Auto Resurgence Yet

    While the Detroit 3 are now profitable and optimistic, clear job gains have yet to be prevalent.

  927. Report: Single Parenthood Unaffordable in Michigan

    Wealth redistribution vs. reality.

  928. 'The Single Most Important Thing'

    Stephen Moore on RTW in Michigan

  929. School Revenues and Spending

    New study examines per-pupil spending in Michigan.


  930. Editorial: The Money Isn't Coming

    Center research on teacher health care cited.

  931. PETA wants to place ads on lockers
    "The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is willing to pay Montrose Community Schools for the opportunity to post an anti-dissection advertisement on some school lockers."
  932. Superintendent Praises Proposed School Pay Raise Reform — Bill Awaits Snyder Signature or Veto
  933. Revenues and Spending of Michigan's Urban, Suburban, Town and Rural School Districts

    In the passionate debates over providing equal educational opportunity for all children, it’s frequently argued that large financial inequities create challenges for many public schools, particularly those in lower-income urban areas. This study compares the revenues and operating expenditures of Michigan’s urban, suburban, town and rural school districts. The study’s findings provide a new and unique perspective on Michigan’s school districts.

  934. Green-Labor Alliance Bad for Workers

    Union workers should reject the political agenda of their leaders.

  935. Nearly $4 Million in Savings Possible

    Flint schools considering privatization.

  936. News Cites Center Research

    Editorial: Schools aren't hurting for money.

  937. How Social Security Digits Could Decide an Ann Arbor Teacher Layoff
  938. Center Study Compares Financial Data for Michigan’s Urban, Suburban, Town and Rural School Districts
  940. Commentary: Fairness Arguments on the Pension Tax
  941. Did the Engler Tax Cuts Work?
  942. Tecumseh adopts insurance ‘best practice’
    "Tecumseh Public Schools trustees have named the district as its own insurance policyholder, a move intended to help it gain an additional $100 per pupil in state funding in 2011-2012."
  943. Religious school enrollment down
    "Enrollment in most religious schools declined along with the economy in 2009-2010, while public schools saw enrollment growth and independent and nonreligious private schools held steady."
  944. Senate GOP Says Three Unpaid Parking Tickets is Valid Reason to Hold Up Driver License Renewal
  945. 'A "Crisis" That Never Ends'
  946. MichCapCon Cited by CNN

    Breakdown of prison and school spending.

  947. May 27 Weekly Roll Call Report

    Budgets, youth hunting and driver license bans.

  948. Tax Cuts vs. School Spending

    Spending more on schools doesn't guarantee better results.

  949. Michigone

    Michigan among tops in population loss again.

  950. Union Claims New Tenure Rules Will Lead to Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation and Pregnancy
  951. Professor dismissed for plagiarism in school consolidation study
    "A Michigan State University professor has been dismissed for plagiarizing in a 2010 report on K-12 school consolidation in Michigan."
  952. Shedding Light on Michigan's Administrative State

    Tracking interlocal agreements.

  953. MSU Professor Dismissed for Plagiarism

    Center analyst was first to spot discrepancy.

  954. Michigan Tax Reform Signed

    The Michigan Business Tax will soon be no more.

  955. New ‘Race’ focuses on early education
    "The latest version of Race to the Top is the federal government’s $500 million Early Learning Challenge."
  956. Superintendent to Governor: 'Make My School a Prison'
  957. And Now for Something Completely Different

    Tennessee tries a new approach to teacher unions: “collaborative conferencing.”

  958. Flood Insurance May Leave You High and Dry

    Property owners should question floodplain maps.

  959. Michigan Budget and Economic Facts

    An organization called Public Notice has assembled state fact sheets that outline budget and economic facts for all 50 states.

  960. Movie Fiction

    Mike LaFaive on film subsidy failure.

  961. ‘My House Was Placed in a Union!’
  962. Stage Doors and Broken Windows
  963. Health Care Compact Myths, Busted

    Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester) will introduce a bill to enroll Michigan in a multistate Health Care Compact.

  964. Michigan Teacher Salaries and the Highest-Paid College Graduates in America
  965. Beyond the Classroom
  967. The Truth About School Funding

    Per-pupil school cut is about 1 percent of entire budget.

  968. Pain at the Pump

    Center experts address gas prices.

  969. Step Increases: The Big Teacher Raises That Don’t Make the News
  970. College Reconsiders Senior Tuition Waivers
    "Glen Oaks Community College may rethink its practice of offering free tuition to students age 60 or older, an offer that has led some seniors to enroll full-time in the college’s nursing program."
  971. Win an iPad with MichiganScience!
  972. Extra K-12 Cash to Be Tied to Mandatory Health Care Cost Sharing and Other Reforms
  973. Do 90 Percent of Scientists Really Buy Into Global Warming Alarmism?
  974. Flint considers outsourcing services
    "Flint Community Schools will enter talks with private companies on providing transportation and maintenance services as school trustees look for ways to reduce spending by $9.5 million and balance the coming year’s budget."
  975. Tax Proponents Wrong to Deny Job Creation

    It's undeniable that tax cuts play a role in job creation.

  976. Environmentalists Object to Following the Law

    DEQ right to give Wolverine Power a permit hearing.

  977. Senate OKs 80/20 plan on health insurance
    "Public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance premiums under legislation approved by the state Senate, while a separate bill would curtail automatic teacher wage increases once a contract has expired."
  978. Politicians May Prop Up – But Not Reform – ‘One of the Best Public Pensions Around’
  979. May 20 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report includes votes on school employee health benefit contributions, mandatory collective bargaining for all employers and property tax hikes.

  980. Dependent 'Care'

    CapCon breaks story on Ann Arbor schools' illegitimate benefits.

  981. A Little Graft Can Do A Lot of Damage

    The real price tag of Carpenters union corruption.

  982. Righting a Wrong

    Lawsuit seeks return of illegally taken union "dues" money.

  983. Ann Arbor Schools Find and Oust 200 Ineligible Dependents from District Health Plan
  984. Contract ties wages to inflation rate
    "North Central Michigan College faculty have agreed to a three-year contract that freezes salaries in year one and benchmarks them to the inflation rate in the next two years."
  985. Health Care Compact Shifts Choices from D.C. to Michigan
  986. Freep Columnist Cites Center Research

    Public-sector employees need to pay their fair share of benefits.

  987. Don't Confuse Estimates With Data

    Center analyst explains job growth estimates to reporter.

  988. Garden Variety Bureaucracy

    Detroit gardening permits a tough row to hoe.

  989. MEDC Admits Truth About Jobs Claims

    Center analysts have long questioned agency's practice.

  990. School Funding Myths Forum Today

    Watch a live simulcast of the discussion here.

  991. GM Asks for More Tax Incentives
  992. Lansing’s Littlest Lobbyists and the Official State Fruit
  993. Issues & Ideas Forum, May 18, 2011

    “School Funding in Michigan: Common Myths” featuring Michael Van Beek, Mackinac Center Education Policy Director and Mike Reno, Former School Board Member in Michigan

  994. Michigan School Spending Hits All-Time High

    Per-pupil public school spending set a new record in 2010.

  995. Do Privatized Bus Drivers Drive Up the Cost of “One of the Best Public Pensions Around”?
  996. Michigan’s Massive Job Creation and Loss
  997. District Considering Year-Round Schooling
  999. Strike Back Harder

    The Michigan Legislature can put an end to teacher strikes if it really wants to.

  1000. Center Analyst: State Needs Privatization

    The Michigan Legislature should consider privatization in order to correct the state’s overspending crisis.

  1001. Center Receives FOIA Bills

    The Mackinac Center is weighing its options regarding a bill for more than $5,600 for a Freedom of Information Act request filed with Michigan State University.

  1002. Howell School Board Bucks MEA Advice: Saves $2.9 Million and Avoids Program Cuts
  1003. Sierra Club in Legal War to Stop All Expansion of Coal Power Plants
  1004. Farmington agrees to concessions over outsourcing
    "Farmington Public Schools trustees voted 5-2 to accept concessionary contracts from unionized support staff rather than outsource non-instructional services."
  1005. NEA chiefs propose teacher evaluation changes
    "National Education Association delegates will decide in July whether to put the union stamp of approval on the use of standardized tests to evaluate teachers."
  1006. Anatomy of How to Kill a Tax Hike
  1007. Prison Sentence

    Spending reform is overdue in state prisons.

  1008. 120K Jobs if Granholm Tax Hike Is Repealed

    Business tax repeal will create jobs.

  1009. Tobacco Smuggling and Taxes

    Tobacco smuggling in Illinois will increase if taxes go up.

  1010. May 13 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report highlights votes on the governor's tax overhaul, education budgets, restrictions on purchase of pseudoephedrine and closing loopholes in welfare limits.

  1011. Eau Claire considers self-funded health insurance
    "Eau Claire Public Schools is considering moving to self-funded health insurance, a switch that could save up to $200,000 next year depending on future costs."
  1012. Clarkston Average Teacher Salary Beats Inflation by $10K Over Last Decade
  1013. Editorial: Regulatory Reform Long Overdue

    Center cited in wetland dispute.

  1014. Michigan Stands Out in Tax Redistribution

    Michigan's EITC among most generous in the country.

  1015. West Bloomfield union sues over pay cuts
    "The West Bloomfield School District teachers union is suing the school district over recent 10 percent pay cuts."
  1016. L’Anse Creuse: Cuts Claimed While Spending Is Up; Teachers Pay Zero for Health Benefits
  1017. Gov. Snyder vs. the Political Careerists
  1018. Careful There, Bob

    Can the UAW benefit from Japan's problems?

  1019. Kathy Hoekstra Guest-Hosts on 'Beckmann'

    Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra was the guest-host on “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR 760AM Monday.

  1020. Online high school will expand
    "The Jackson Learning Lab online high school hopes to triple enrollment to 100 students by fall, now that it has state permission to expand."
  1021. Debate Rages On: Did Uncle Sam's $50 Billion Bailout of GM Work?
  1022. A New Right-to-Work State?

    New Hampshire could become the 23rd right-to-work state.

  1023. Michigan Punches Rail Ticket

    When will Michigan leaders learn that federal money is expensive and always comes with strings attached?

  1024. Coleman Schools: 23 Percent Fewer Kids, 23 Percent More Spending Per Kid and One-Ninth the Average Health Co-Pay
  1026. Commentary: Five Easy Questions to Ask School Officials
  1027. Does the NLRB Really Expect Businesses to Ignore Strikes?
  1028. Michigan Budget Helps the Afflicted

    The governor's budget proposal would relieve the afflicted at the expense of the protected.

  1029. Legacy Costs

    Michigan's unfunded liability for retiree health care.

  1030. Political Careerists Threaten Freedom, Prosperity

    Serving the system instead of the people.

  1031. Michigan teachers join spate of ‘grade-ins’
    "Unionized teachers in Michigan and Wisconsin are conducting “grade-ins” at malls and hotels in the latest round of fighting over public education funding."
  1032. Ten Total Fires and $30K in Average Overtime
  1033. Interlocal Agreements — Good Intent, Bad Practice
  1034. The Benefits of Prison Spending Reform
  1035. Schools Use Creative Accounting to Exaggerate Fiscal Challenges
  1036. Wayne State Removes Questionable Website After Mackinac Center FOIA Requests
  1037. Madison voters OK bond for performing arts center
    "Madison School District voters this month approved a millage extension to pay for a $3.6 million performing arts center."
  1038. Confectionery Job Growth Trumps Green Energy Job Growth in Michigan
  1039. Lansing struggles to reduce spending
    "Chided by the city mayor for appearing to be in “chaos,” Lansing School District trustees say they will find a way to cut $25 million from the district budget, though their chief financial officer is skeptical."
  1040. On the Clock for the Government
  1041. Hoekstra to Guest-Host 'Beckmann' on WJR

    Mackinac Center Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra will guest-host “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR 760AM on Monday, May 9.

  1042. May 6 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's report offers highlights of the House-passed state and education budgets, Also, a bill would limit bureaucracy rulemaking authority.

  1043. Regulatory Reform vs. Fluff

    A ministry of silly legislation?

  1044. Leelanau area schools do the math on health insurance
    "Teachers who now contribute nothing toward their own health insurance premiums would have to pay between $3,600 and $4,500 a year to keep their current benefit levels if the state Legislature adopts legislation requiring a 20 percent contribution."
  1045. MIRS: Where's Tea Party On K-12?
  1046. The $39 Billion Bill for 'One of the Best Public Pensions Around'
  1047. Brownfield Credits Are No Level Playing Field

    There is nothing “fair” about unelected boards deciding which companies pay higher taxes and which companies pay less.

  1048. 'MEA Republicans' Grind Down Tea Party Reforms

    MEA-backed Republicans "on the fence" about school cuts.

  1049. Michigan Job Gains Jump for Second Straight Quarter
  1050. DPS receives bids from 18 charter operators
    "Eighteen charter school organizations have submitted bids to turn current Detroit Public Schools buildings into charter schools."
  1051. Trust Fund Baby

    Time for the Natural Resources Trust Fund to pay its own way.

  1052. 'MEA Republicans' Grind Down Tea Party Reformers
  1053. How $10 Million Spending Increases Become K-12 Budget Cuts
  1054. Dearborn teachers union will manage own health care
    "Control of teacher health care would shift from the school district to the teachers union in Dearborn pending final approval of a tentative agreement that teachers OK’d this week."
  1055. Right-to-Work Dashboard
  1056. 'Love Boat?'

    Officials actually think cruise ships will visit Detroit.

  1058. Michigan’s Most Expensive Mass Transit Agencies
  1059. Poached Goose Eggs

    Public policy has largely become an exercise in cleaning up the messes that the unions have made.

  1060. School Districts Ignoring Labor Market Signals

    Schools need to apply law of supply and demand to teachers.

  1061. Pittsfield Township to Vote on Millage for Core Services
  1062. Small insurers gaining school customers
    "More public schools and municipalities are switching to smaller health insurance companies to save money on employee health care."
  1063. Local Police/Fire Millage Votes Show Local Politicians’ Bait and Switch

    Public safety is not an “optional extra.”

  1064. Study: Observation can identify effective teachers
    "Classroom observation is a valid way to identify effective teachers, a study in Cincinnati concluded, although the method may not capture the full range of differences among teachers."
  1065. Historic Levels of Government Employment in Michigan
  1066. DPS will appeal order to repay teachers
    "An administrative law judge has ordered Detroit Public Schools to repay four teachers $8,500 each in deferred pay, plus interest, a move that the district will appeal in Wayne County Circuit Court."
  1067. Minor Environmental Violation Turns Business Owner Into Criminal
  1068. Should Education Money Only be for K-12?

    The truth behind the School Aid Fund.

  1069. April 29 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Legislature voted on education and corrections budget cuts, a debt exemption and a bill to allow pension "double dipping."

  1070. Bill would decertify unions that back illegal strikes
    "A House committee adopted legislation Wednesday that would decertify teacher unions that encourage their members to strike."
  1071. Mackinac Center Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Michigan Case That Could Become a Watershed in State Environmental Law
  1072. Districts weigh spending cuts
    "School boards across Michigan are making plans to reduce spending in view of potential per-pupil funding reductions next year."
  1073. Hartland Teachers to Share in Belt-Tightening
  1074. GOP Senate Votes for More K-12 Money Than Governor's Proposal
  1075. Massachusetts House Passes Labor Law Reform

    A new bill would take health care off the bargaining table smorgasbord.

  1076. Government Action Could Lower Gas Prices

    Federal government policies are partially responsible for the pain that Americans are feeling at the gas pump.

  1077. Economist Cites Center Work

    Economist Walter Williams, in a column in The Washington Examiner, cites a study by Mackinac Center analysts on the connection between cigarette taxes and smuggling.

  1078. Town Rescinds 'Unconstitutional' Tea Party Sign Ban
  1079. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 26, 2011
  1080. ‘Big Oil’ Props Up Michigan’s Teacher Pensions
  1081. National Education Standards Will Stifle Innovation
  1082. UN Treaty Would Give Rights to 'Mother Earth'

    It's not just the silly ramblings of a Bolivian socialist leader — a pervasive environmental worldview pushes a religion, not stewardship.

  1083. Center Staff on 'Off the Record'

    Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra and Michigan Capitol Confidential Managing Editor Ken Braun were both guests on WKAR’s “Off the Record,” shown statewide on public television stations over the weekend.

  1084. Carman-Ainsworth Schools: Multi-Million-Dollar Deficits and 6.7 Percent Raises
  1085. A Meritorious Idea
  1086. School District Saves $60K by Being More Transparent
  1087. State Debt Alert! Beware Massive Borrowing Disguised As “Lottery Privatization”
  1088. Why We Should Be Cat People
  1089. House Aims to Add Teeth to Teacher Strike Penalties
  1090. April 22 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Legislature takes up work on the state budget. Also, newly introduced bills explore higher taxes, public pools, guns, cigarettes, and subsidies for "entrepreneurship class" students.

  1091. Penalties for Illegal Teacher Strikes

    Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, testified before the Michigan House Education Committee April 20 on legislation involving penalties for illegal teacher strikes, according to the Gongwer Michigan Report.

  1092. Editorial Cites Center on K-12 Spending

    An editorial in today’s Detroit News on education funding as compared to performance cites this research by Michael Van Beek, director of education policy.

  1093. Inside the Teachers Union ‘Work Stoppage’ Vote: A Teacher Speaks Out
  1094. Acts of God

    Don't like the emergency financial manager law? There's an alternative: Rein in government employee unions.

  1095. Big FOIA Bills from Michigan State Police

    A recent bill of more than $544,000 the Michigan State Police wants to charge the ACLU for documents regarding the use of devices that can extract information from cell phones during traffic stops is not an isolated incident, according to Michigan Public Radio.

  1096. Feds Keeping Subsidized Phones on Hold for Homes in Remote Corners of Michigan
  1097. Recall group denies MEA backing
    "Charges that a group working to recall Gov. Rick Snyder is a front for the Michigan Education Association were levied by the Michigan Republican Party on Monday, after the recall organizers provided a union fax number in documents filed with the state."
  1098. Center Vindicated in MSU Plagiarism Case

    Suspicions of plagiarism by a Michigan State University professor uncovered last August by Michael Van Beek, the Center’s director of education policy, have been proven true, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

  1099. Plagiarizing Professor to Be Slapped by MSU
  1100. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 19, 2011
  1101. IMPACT Spring 2011
  1102. Meridian Township Rules Against American Flag

    The Stars and Stripes have been proudly flying over a Belle Tire store since its recent opening on Grand River Avenue in Meridian Township near Lansing. Not so fast, says the Meridian Township Zoning Board of Appeals, which ruled by a 5-0 vote that the flag must be taken down according to a report in the Lansing State Journal.

  1103. Lehman: FOIA Requests Vindicated

    An Op-Ed in today’s Lansing State Journal by Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman explains that the fact Wayne State University altered the website of its labor studies department after the Center filed a FOIA request with the school “vindicates my organization,” that Wayne State “was perhaps engaging in politics and not just academics.”

  1104. USA Today Cites Cigarette Tax Studies

    A USA Today story on cigarette smuggling cites research by Mackinac Center analysts regarding the “unintended consequences” — namely criminal activity — of higher tobacco taxes.

  1105. Four Reasons Why the Tea Party Should Ignore Detroit Bridge Controversy

    Details or circumstances could change in the future, but for now there are good reasons why grass roots reformers should steer clear of the controversy surrounding various proposals for a new Detroit-Windsor bridge.

  1106. Beware Legislators Posturing on 20 Percent Co-pay Proposal
  1107. Filmmaker Tax Subsidy Also Pays for Out-of-State Spending
  1108. Lansing tries to head off $25M deficit
    "Facing a $25 million projected deficit in 2011-2012, Lansing School District officials are considering school closures, a 10 percent wage reduction and elimination of some jobs, while a union official says administration also should be trimmed."
  1109. Intervention said to lower special education count
    "School districts in the Alpena area are seeing a decline in the number of students identified as eligible for special education services, which officials attribute to intervention programs."
  1110. Cap the Film Incentives and Kill the Film Industry in Michigan? Not Yet

    Since the announcement of a $25 million film incentive cap, the Michigan Film Office has approved nearly $10 million in film credits.

  1111. House Votes to End Taxpayer-Financed Union Negotiators
  1112. Bobb ready to modify union contracts
    "The layoff notices that went out in Detroit Public Schools this week were no surprise, but a letter announcing changes in the collective bargaining agreement between the district and its teachers is a first under a new state law."
  1113. Who Benefits From Lower Business Taxes?

    Just as individuals respond to changes in their personal financial situations, businesses, too, are affected. And taxing business will surely give us less of it.

  1114. Van Beek: MEA 'Posturing' Over Illegal Strike

    Votes by local Michigan Education Association affiliates on whether or not to conduct illegal teacher strikes is “posturing,” Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

  1115. Why Film Subsidies Must Go

    Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, explains in a recent Port Huron Times-Herald Op-Ed why the Michigan film subsidy program needs to be eliminated.

  1116. April 15 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Legislature votes on bills on public pay for union stewards, health benefits for state workers' live-in partners, school appropriations, and welfare "bridge card" use in casinos. Noteworthy committee action and introduced bills of interest are also included.

  1117. Rochester Schools Reduce 6.5 to 7.5 Percent Raises by Half-Point – Declares Budget Cut
  1118. Tax and Union Battles Show Importance of Mackinac Center
  1119. Bill would require health cost sharing by public workers
    "A Senate committee has approved legislation that would require public employees to pay at least 20 percent of their health care premiums."
  1120. DEQ Fee Increases for 'Business as Usual'

    The Department of Environmental Quality is requesting fee increases for air quality and solid waste permitting programs. The Legislature should not grant the agency’s request without requiring that the DEQ change the way it does business.

  1121. Average Teacher Salary in Michigan Rises Again

    According to new data just released by the Michigan Department of Education for the 2009-2010 school year, the average teacher salary in Michigan has risen for the 13th consecutive year. This most recent data puts the figure at $63,024.

  1122. Bangor Township supports possible MEA job action
    "Unionized teachers in Bangor Township Schools have voted in favor of authorizing the Michigan Education Association to initiate “crisis activities,” including a possible statewide teacher strike."
  1123. Senate Set to Help Schools Save Health Care Dollars
  1124. Big Labor, Partisan Politics and Academic Independence
  1125. Schools Spending More, Claiming Cuts

    Bay City Public Schools claims to have cut spending by more than $24 million since 2000, but research by Michael Van Beek, director of education policy, actually shows the district will spend $5 million more this year than it did in 2000, according to The Bay City Times.

  1126. What Does the Average Teacher in Ann Arbor Really Make?
  1127. EPA Budget Cut

    As budget details from the last-minute effort to keep the federal government operating are being released, it is clear that the Environmental Protection Agency is the big loser.

  1128. Schools Use Creative Accounting to Exaggerate Fiscal Challenges
  1129. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 12, 2011
  1130. Coldwater Clarifies Tea Party Sign Ban
  1131. Mackinac Center Vindicated on FOIA Requests

    Freedom of Information Act requests the Mackinac Center filed against labor studies departments at three Michigan universities were a fair use of the law and the Center was ultimately vindicated, according to an Op-Ed in The Washington Post written by President Joseph G. Lehman and Senior Editor Thomas A. Shull.

  1132. Interlocal Agreements – Good Intent, Bad Practice
  1133. Town Bans Tea Party Signs in Public Park
  1134. Exclusive Interview With Gov. Rick Snyder
  1135. Few happy with proposed school lunch rules
    "Nobody in the school cafeteria business is happy with the federal government’s proposed new rules on school lunches."
  1136. Analysis: The Obvious Need for Government Employment Benefit Reform
  1137. Commentary: Bringing Local Government Benefits in Balance
  1138. Wayne State Puts Labor Center Website Back Up, Controversial Material Removed
  1139. School choice programs gain ground
    "School choice programs are gaining ground in at least three states and in the nation’s capital."
  1140. Budget Impasse Over EPA Worth Having

    At the time of this writing it remains to be seen if the federal government will be subject to a partial shutdown due to budget wrangling in Congress. The difference in budget reduction dollar amounts has become almost meaningless as reductions in the $30 billion range are tiny compared to the trillions of dollars of red ink the federal government is piling up.

  1141. Bay City Public Schools Claims $24 Million Cut,
    Budget Continues to Grow

  1142. DPS: Here’s what we want in a charter operator
    "Charter public school operators must have a proven track record before they will be allowed to take over a Detroit Public School building."
  1143. Michigan Taking Steps in the Right Direction
  1144. Other Than the Gratuitous Insults, Columnist Gets FOIA Story Right

    Today, a columnist for a Michigan newspaper sarcastically characterized the Mackinac Center's Freedom of Information Act request to the labor policy departments of three government universities as follows:

    "The right wing Mackinac Center for Public Policy has embraced the concept of turning to Big Government for assistance."

  1145. Teachers Union Mocks FOIA Law

    The American Federation of Teachers filed what WNEM-TV5 is calling a “mock” Freedom of Information Act request against the Mackinac Center today. Only government entities are subject to FOIA requests.

  1146. Wayne State Pulls Down Website

    Wayne State University has taken down the Web pages of its Labor Studies Center in the wake of a Mackinac Center investigation into improper political content on the website, according to MIRS Capitol Capsule.

  1147. Arizona moves to increase tuition tax credits
    "One day after a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding tuition tax credits in Arizona, state lawmakers there passed a bill to increase donation limits to the program by 50 percent."
  1148. Wayne State Shuts Down Website to Investigate Campaign Finance Concerns Raised by FOIA Debate
  1149. Judge Giddings Upholds Mackinac Center on Government Retiree Health Bennies

    Earlier this week, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Richard Giddings ruled that post-retirement health benefits provided by the state, public schools and local governments are not enforceable obligations, and so politicians therefore have no duty to impose the cost of providing them on taxpayers. Future Michigan taxpayers could save literally billions of dollars.

  1150. Virtual Learning Meets Reality

    Virtual learning can increase student performance and save taxpayer dollars, according to an Op-Ed by Michael Van Beek, the Center’s director of education policy, which appears in the Detroit Free Press today.

  1151. Is the DEQ Harassing Hart Enterprises?
  1152. Unusual: For 30 Years Teachers Share Almost Half of Health Care Cost in Grand Ledge
  1153. 'Mackinac Center Is Partisan' Charges More Revealing of Accusers Than Center

    In recent weeks the Mackinac Center has been accused of being “partisan” because of inquiries it made about the apparently pro-union activities of government university labor studies programs. What the accusers specifically mean by the charge is that the Center’s actions are motivated by a desire to help Republican politicians win elections. Anyone familiar with the organization’s work over the past two decades will instantly recognize how off-base this is, and that the “partisan” charge says much more about the accusers’ worldview than the Mackinac Center.

  1154. Schools Comment on FOIA Requests

    Michigan State University and the University of Michigan will comply with recent Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Mackinac Center, according to media reports.

  1155. State Has to Live Within its Means

    Rallies Monday in support of public-sector benefits that are out of balance were held as teachers are considering whether or not to hold illegal strikes, according to WEYI-TV25.

  1156. Judge: Retiree health care law unconstitutional
    "A judge ruled Monday that a new law requiring public school employees to pay 3 percent of their wages into their retirement health care is unconstitutional."
  1157. Mitch Albom and Michigan Budget Director on Different Sides of Film Subsidy Ledger
  1159. Government Policies Contribute to Higher Gas Prices
  1160. Center FOIA Requests Explained

    Ken Braun, managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential, was a guest on “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR AM760 this morning, discussing Freedom of Information Act requests the Mackinac Center filed last week at Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University, as well as the ensuing death threats the Center received.

  1161. 'Controlling' School Health Insurance Costs, Local Style

    Four days after Gov. Rick Snyder recommended a 2011-2012 budget that would reduce state aid for schools by $300 per pupil from this year’s levels, the Petoskey school board proposed a plan to reduce the district’s teacher and support staff health insurance costs. Its timidity reveals why the public school establishment finds even the prospect of modest state funding reductions so traumatic.

  1162. Center Receives Death Threats After FOIA Request

    National and state media are reporting on several death threats made against the Mackinac Center after the Center drew attention for filing Freedom of Information Act requests at three public universities last week.

  1163. The Snyder K-12 Plan: Will It Really Cause 40-Student Classrooms In Novi?
  1164. School Funding Debate: Dollars vs. Performance
    "Gov. Rick Snyder wants the public school funding debate in Michigan to focus on school performance, not just dollars."
  1165. Marquette to Study Later High School Start Time
    "Marquette Area Public Schools will study the idea of a later start time for high school students, after several school board trustees said they might support such a plan depending on the economic effect on the district."
  1166. The Public Purpose of Our
    'Professors' Email' FOIA Request

  1167. Film Incentive Drama May Upset Reforms
  1168. It Shouldn’t Take a Hurricane to Revitalize Detroit Public Schools
  1169. Law Regarding Prohibited Subjects of Collective Bargaining Needs Updated
  1170. MEAP: Math up, reading down
    "Reading scores were down and math scores were up on state test results released Thursday, but this might be the last good news about the Michigan Education Assessment Program for the near future."
  1171. China and Saudi Arabia – Two of Michigan’s Best Customers
  1172. Do Pricing Guns Create Jobs?
  1173. Charter school, other development at Tiger Stadium nixed
    "Citing financial concerns, the Detroit Economic Development Corp. rejected a group's $65.3 million plan to redevelop Tiger Stadium as the site of a charter school, retail shops, nonprofit organizations and housing."
  1174. Michigan Schools Still Well-Funded Under Governor's Plan

    Even if Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed spending reductions on K-12 schools passes the Republcian Legislature, Michigan taxpayers will still supply schools with more money per pupil than taxpayers in 28 other states.

  1175. Eternal Vigilance Required: Politicians' Persistent Threats to Popular Democracy
    Michigan has seen its share of attacks by politicians on the people's right to take charge through popular ballot initiatives, referendums and recall campaigns. Among these, there have been efforts — some successful — to restrict recalls, make it harder to gather petition signatures, and to take away the right of referendum on controversial new laws. Citizens in Charge, a national organization created to protect these rights, has created a humorous "Don't Be Fooled" video to dramatize the threats.
  1176. April 1 Weekly Roll Call Report

    The House and Senate are taking a two-week spring break, so rather than votes, this report instead contains several new proposals to amend the state constitution.

  1177. Spending Mysteries at Utica Schools
  1178. MDE wants change on school takeover law
    "Asked to cut its departmental budget, the Michigan Department of Education told lawmakers that it would rather not take over low-performing public schools as a new state law requires."
  1179. Mackinac Center Received Bomb Threats and Death Threats Over FOIA Request
  1180. Opposing FOIA Is Opposing Open Government

    Jack Shafer at, writing about Freedom of Information Act requests, including those recently filed by the Mackinac Center, calls those who object “enemies of open government.”

  1181. ObamaCare 'Litmus Test' for Legislators

    Given the potential “serving the Lansing system” rewards for those who play ball with ObamaCare’s special interest beneficiaries, it’s also likely that some GOP lawmakers would rather not have to take that vote, and will urge the leadership not to hold it. For many lawmakers, each step along this path will depend on whether voters and grass roots groups in their own districts, especially Tea Party groups, exert pressure by communicating that “this will be on the test.”

  1182. Kersey: Punish Illegal Strikers

    Labor Policy Director Paul Kersey addresses illegal teacher strikes in an Op-Ed in today’s Detroit News.

  1183. Costly Union Worker Special Favor Barely Survives With Help of Two Michigan Republicans
  1184. D.C. scholarship program approved by House
    "The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to reauthorize the SOAR Act, which grants federal scholarships to children enrolled in the lowest-ranked public schools in the nation’s capital so they may attend the school of their choice."
  1185. FOIA Law Enhances Center's Research and Reporting

    Freedom of Information Act requests tend to be fairly routine and innocuous, in a procedural sense. A recent Mackinac Center FOIA request, however, has drawn some media attention. The Center has a long history of using this important tool for monitoring our government and has no intention of curtailing that use in the future.

  1186. Center FOIA Requests Draw Media Attention

    Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Mackinac Center was covered by The Detroit News, The New York Times, Slate, The Michigan View and MSNBC talk show personality Rachel Maddow.

  1187. Cool Cities Warmed Over

    Gov. Rick Snyder has issued the first in a series of special messages on policy issues to the Michigan Legislature. In his first policy message, he chose to address community development and local government reforms. The local government reform policy recommendations are good, the community development recommendations not so much.

  1188. Rep. O'Brien Says No Tax Hike Behind Transit Bill

    Last week Michigan Capitol Confidential ran a commentary by me describing an unusual Kalamazoo Transit Authority bill just approved by the Michigan House. In the article I insinuated that the legislation suggested the prospect of a future Kalamazoo transit millage increase.

  1189. 'TeaParty' Scores Against ObamaCare in Several States (But Michigan Takes the Money)

    Several staes have taken effective measures to prevent ObamaCare. Meanwhile in Michigan, the Legislature has taken no actions to block collaboration with ObamaCare, and the Department of Community Health has accepted $1 million from the federal government toward creating a state “exchange,” one of the key elements of the new federal law whose major provisions go into effect in January 2014.

  1190. I, Pencil Appreciation Day

    Today is “Pencil Appreciation Day.” To truly appreciate pencils, check out this essay.

  1191. Gold Standard Debate Tonight at Northwood

    The Mackinac Center is co-hosting a debate at 7 p.m. tonight on the campus of Northwood University on the merits of the gold standard, according to the Midland Daily News.

    Richard Ebeling, an adjunct scholar with the Center and professor of economics at Northwood, will argue in favor of the gold standard. He has written about that issue here. Robert Barsky, professor of economics at the University of Michigan, will argue against it.

  1192. Congressman Cites Center Research as Reason for His Change of Heart Over Film Subsidies

    Congressman Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, who as a state legislator supported Michigan’s film subsidy program, cited research by Mackinac Center analysts as one reason he now says he “won’t second guess” plans to roll back the program, according to WZZM-TV13 in Grand Rapids.

  1193. Minor Flaw in Huffington Post's 'Coming Water Shortage Will Repopulate Detroit' Argument

    A contributor to the left-leaning Huffington Post argued last week that, despite its current demographic meltdown, Detroit faces a rosy future in the long run because of "the specter of thirst and hunger arising from a shortage of the world's most basic source of survival, H2O." Alas, before stocking up on some of those $1 Detroit houses, water-mogul wannabes should take note of two relevant factoids.

  1194. Public Universities Spending More on Administrators
    "State universities in Michigan increased spending on administrators by 30 percent, on average, over the past five years, while faculty compensation went up an average of 22 percent."
  1195. Taxpayers’ K-12 Money Diverted to Union Business
  1196. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 29, 2011
  1197. MEA Deletes 'Satanic Snyder' Photo from Union Facebook Page
  1198. LaFaive, Albom on Film Subsidies

    Michael LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, appeared on Detroit television station WDIV’s “FlashPoint” program Sunday morning as part of a panel discussion on Michigan’s film subsidy program. Author Mitch Albom also appeared on the program.

  1199. LaFaive Discusses How to Fix Detroit

    Michal LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, was a guest March 25 on “The Brian Wilson Show” on WSPD AM-1370 in Toledo. He discussed the tax and financial reforms Gov. Rick Snyder is pursuing, as well as what needs to be done to correct the fiscal, regulatory and educational problems facing the city of Detroit.

  1200. MichiganScience No. 15
    MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals.
  1201. The ‘Real World’ vs. Public School Budget Cuts
  1202. Michigan Business Tax Discourages Economic Growth
  1203. Some Worry that Portage Buyout Will Affect Tax Vote
    "Portage Public Schools is paying $272,500 to buy out the last year of Superintendent Marsha Wells's contract, a financial decision that has some officials worried that voters there won't want to renew a 1.5-mill school tax."
  1204. MEA to Members: Save Money for Layoffs, Job Action
    "The Michigan Education Association is advising members to save money as a hedge against future layoffs or a possible job action."
  1205. Rochester Schools Raise Pay, Report Cuts, and Blame Governor
  1206. Commentary: What's the Deal With K-zoo Transit Tax Bills?
  1207. Does the Lansing School District Really Pay ‘Below the Poverty Line’ for Teachers?
  1208. Bloomfield Hills Eyes Consolidated High Schools
    "Bloomfield Hills Public Schools has hired a design firm to draw up plans for combining two high schools."
  1209. Schools Can Save Money if They Try

    Addressing health care costs and privatizing noninstructional services could help public school districts more than make up for minor per-pupil funding cuts, Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told the Detroit Free Press.

  1210. March 25 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Legislature gives job providers a huge dose of relief on unemployment benefits, the House removes some union-friendly obstacles to government service consolidation, a bill authorizes yet more special corporate subsidies, and more.

  1211. Film Incentive Drama May Upset Reforms
  1212. Teachers Union Seeks to Hide Strike Talk in School Emails from Public Eyes
  1213. Louisiana Pushes Back on ObamaCare, but Michigan Takes the Money

    Michigan should reject a nearly $1 million federal health care exchange planning grant.

  1214. 'Brutal' MSU Budget Cut: Just 4.5 Percent

    Michigan State University President Lou Ann Simon has characterized proposed state aid cuts as "brutal," although she gamely acknowledges "We can make this work."

  1215. Gov. Granholm to Tour Country for Green Energy

    The best way to encourage the creation of more energy-related jobs in Michigan is to encourage natural gas and oil development, not by implementing policies that unduly restrict access to those resources.

  1216. Another Way to Deal With Illegal Strikes

    Illegal strikes represent the ultimate abuse, and the ultimate failure, of collective bargaining in government. The Legislature should not flinch from taking privileges away from unions that abuse them.

  1217. How Is Gov. Snyder Doing So Far?
  1218. Transparency Not Rapid for Kent Co. Transit Agency
  1219. Mandatory Phone Books and Filmmaker Welfare in the 'Harrison Bergeron' State
  1220. Mackinac Center and Michigan Press Association to File Documents With Michigan Supreme Court in Key FOIA Case
  1221. The MEA's Mob Mentality: If We All Strike, You Probably Won't Be Fired

    In contemplating a statewide teacher strike, the Michigan Education Association appeals to peer pressure in advising its members on whether to approve an illegal strike.

  1222. Number of ObamaCare 'Noncollaborationist' Governors Growing; Gov. Snyder Should Join Ranks

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has made his the third state to unambiguously reject the ObamaCare mandate to create a state insurance “exchange.” Gov. Rick Snyder should do the same for Michigan.

  1223. I Have Seen Your Automotive Future ...

    I've just been to Rome and seen your automotive future.

  1224. How Much State Land Is Enough?

    How much land should the Michigan Department of Natural Resources own or control?

  1225. 'Commercial-free' Radio

    Bruce Walker, former managing editor of MichiganScience and currently the managing editor of the Heartland Institute’s InfoTech and Telecom News, writes in Tuesday’s Washington Times that true fans of National Public Radio would be more than happy to pay for the service in order to replace government subsidies.

  1226. Bills would stiffen penalties for teacher strikes
    "Legislation to fine the Michigan Education Association $5,000 for every participating teacher, per day, in the event of a teacher strike, and to suspend or revoke each striking educator’s license was introduced in the state House of Representatives Tuesday."
  1227. 'Budget Cut' Doesn't Mean the Same Thing to Public and Private Sectors
  1228. Four Reasons State Policymakers Should Stop Collaborating with ObamaCare

    From Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute.

  1229. Missed Opportunity for Regulatory Reform

    Gov. Rick Snyder took a step in the right direction by separating environmental and natural resource functions into two agencies. The reorganization, however, falls short of what is needed to reform Michigan’s dysfunctional environmental permitting system.

  1230. Fighting the Wrong War

    Michigan residents opposed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget reforms are looking at the situation from the wrong angle, a Mackinac Center analyst told The Wall Street Journal.

  1231. UAW Could Return to 'Bad Habits'

    A push by the UAW to regain perks it gave up to help Ford avoid bankruptcy could mean the American automotive industry is “drifting toward the habits” that pushed it toward bankruptcy in the first place, according to Fox News.

    Senior Economist David Littmann told Fox, “All the bad habits are going to be on the table for restoration,” including the cost of health care benefits. Littmann also addressed this issue here.

  1232. West Michigan School Super Claims Budget Cuts — But Do the Numbers Add Up?
  1233. Rallies at the Michigan Capitol
  1234. Senator Can’t Stop Tide … or Poor Bond Ratings
  1235. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 22, 2011
  1236. Assessing Gov. Snyder Thus Far

    Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman in a column for Dome Magazine said that Gov. Rick Snyder thus far has had a “promising debut,” especially on matters of fiscal policy and taxes, but must be “equally strong on regulatory and union matters” for Michigan to succeed.

  1237. Teacher Strikes, Prevailing Wage

    Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, was cited in two national publications over the weekend.

  1238. DPS Emergency Manager Faces Difficulties

    Robert Bobb has faced a multitude of challenges in his two years as emergency financial manager of Detroit Public Schools, a Mackinac Center analyst told the Associated Press.

  1239. Snyder K-12 Cuts Embellished by Critics
  1240. MEA letter generates strike talk
    "The Michigan Education Association says it is not necessarily calling for a teacher strike in Michigan, but a state legislator says that’s exactly what the union meant in a recent letter to its local presidents."
  1241. Analyst: Bargaining doesn’t boost wages
    "Collective bargaining does not make a big difference in teacher wages, but may influence benefit levels."
  1242. A Transparency Fight in the Village of Armada
  1243. Analysis: Schools Health Insurance and Corporate Welfare
  1244. The Compensation of An “Unappreciated” and “Devalued” Spanish Teacher
  1245. Harper Creek names itself policyholder
    "Harper Creek Community Schools is now the policyholder of the district’s health insurance plan for teachers, a move that won’t change benefits but that educators are calling a power grab."
  1246. Union Corruption — The Latest from DOL

    The latest news on the union corruption front.

  1247. Proposed Bill Moves Michigan Closer to Landline Reform
  1248. Emergency manager bill draws protestors
    "The point of Michigan’s new emergency financial manager law is to keep school districts and cities out of bankruptcy, and to move quickly when they’re on the verge."
  1249. Is Shooting a Film in Detroit Like 'Being in Prison'?
  1250. March 18 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Legislature takes up bills on the powers of emergency financial managers, item pricing mandates and automatic pay hikes for certain government employees.

  1251. Flaws in Union-Supported Paper Claiming Michigan Government Employees Not ‘Overcompensated’
  1252. DEQ Accused of Harassing Sparta Company

    Apparently, the DEQ has enough employees to make unannounced inspection visits to companies that aren’t even required to have the applicable permits. State appropriators may want to examine the DEQ’s budget to indentify cost savings. Taxpayers should not be expected to foot the bill to keep excess employees on the payroll.  

  1253. Good Day, Sunshine

    The laws that govern the freedom of information and the openness of government proceedings in Michigan “makes the process more fair,” Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, told the Port Huron Times-Herald for a story celebrating Sunshine Week 2011.

  1254. Illegal Teacher Strike Rumored After Union’s ‘Job Action’ Letter
  1255. Mackinac Center Recommendations Found in New Financial Emergency Legislation
  1256. Bill would move school board elections to November
    "School districts would have to conduct all school board elections in November starting in 2012 if the state Legislature approves a bill now under consideration."
  1257. Teacher Union Employee Exaggerates Snyder Budget Cuts and More in Email to Rally Members
  1258. Michigan Demonstrator Compares Gov. Snyder to Hitler
  1259. Outstanding in Their Field?

    New federal statistics call into question the long-held claim that agriculture is Michigan’s second-largest industry.

  1260. Parent group wants contract settled
    "Parents and others in the West Bloomfield School District have formed West Bloomfield Families Stand United to collectively address the stalemated contract negotiations between the district and its teachers."
  1261. Natural Disasters Are Good?

    It is only when you ignore the unseen that one can see a disaster that killed 6,000 people and left 300,000 homeless as a positive economic event.

  1262. Decade of Cuts Is Claimed by School District Giving 14 Percent Raises Over 24 Months
  1263. Gov. Snyder's 'Plot' for Pension Tax
  1264. State Forest Resources Underutilized

    The wise use of our natural resources has historically been critical to a flourishing Michigan economy. It is past time that we get back to the basics and utilize our forest resources to create jobs.

  1265. Bobb Proposes Converting 41 Schools to Charters
    "A plan to save money and boost achievement by converting 41 Detroit schools to charter operations may become a battle between unionized teachers and the plan’s supporters."
  1266. The UAW's Anti-Democratic Principles
  1267. The State Should Dissolve the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council
  1268. Weak Movie Subsidy Support — Even With 73 Percent of Cost Not Shown
  1269. Helpful Facts About Michigan's Public Sector
  1270. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 15, 2011
  1271. Editorial Cites Center on School Consolidation

    A recent editorial in the Detroit Free Press on Gov. Rick Snyder’s executive budget cites a 2007 study by Andrew Coulson, an adjunct fellow with the Mackinac Center, titled “School District Consolidation, Size and Spending: An Evaluation.”

  1272. Senator: Schools Should Tap 'Rainy Day Funds'
    "A state Senator wants to refuse any more state aid to public school districts that have saved up too much money."
  1273. Are Teachers Not 'Treated With Respect' by Taxpayers?
  1274. Film Council Blasts Proposed Subsidy Cut
  1275. Graduation rates don't tell whole story
    "Michigan’s 2010 high school graduation rate was about 76 percent, counting only those students who enrolled in 2006 and completed high school within four years."
  1276. House of Reps Adopts ‘Open Kimono’ Policy for Salaries and Other Financial Info
  1277. Gov. Snyder v. Rachel Maddow
  1278. Schools Debate Facebook Conduct Policies
    "School districts in Michigan are debating whether and how to demand a certain decorum from teachers and other staff on social media sites without infringing on the employees' free speech rights."
  1279. Government Regulation Killing Energy Jobs

    Politicians claim job creation is a top priority, but political rhetoric does not always reflect reality. Often government actions kill jobs. Nowhere is the negative impact of government regulation on job creation more evident than in the energy sector.

  1280. On (Recent Events in) Wisconsin

    It was always hard to imagine how this could end well for Wisconsin’s public-sector labor unions.

  1281. Public-sector Workers Not Meant For Unions
  1282. Public-Sector Bargaining Privileges Are Not Inalienable Rights
  1283. Teacher Union Prez: Stronger Emergency Financial Managers Will Be "Just Like Being in the Slave Days"
  1284. House Passes Pay-Freeze Bill
    "The state House of Representatives passed legislation last week that would freeze teachers’ salaries and benefit levels during contract negotiations."
  1285. Who Are the $100K-Plus Employees at the Detroit Public Schools?
  1286. Bigger Fish to Fry

    The frustration over the Civil Service Commission’s recent actions is entirely understandable and healthy. But the real opportunities for the state to save money are elsewhere. It’s a measure of the depth of Michigan’s spending problem that the CSC is far from the biggest challenge confronting lawmakers and taxpayers.

  1287. Everyday Citizens Run Risk of Being Criminals

    Until the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality specifically identifies all the wetlands on private property in the state, private property owners in the state are subject to criminal prosecution — a threat to liberty that every should concern everyone.

  1288. Film Subsidy Amounts Grossly Under-Reported

    The amount of film subsidies given away in Michigan was under-reported by $72 million in 2008 and 2009, according to WDIV-TV4 in Detroit.

  1289. Union Officials Still Upset That They Can No Longer Take Illegal 'Dues' From Private Business Owners

    Union officials continue to complain about losing millions of dollars in “dues” money that was illegally taken from small-business owners over the past few years.

  1290. Government Unions Protest to Bankrupt Local Governments
  1291. Collective Bargaining Has a Fiscal Impact
  1292. Detroit Public Schools: Doubles the Number of $100K-Plus Employees From 2009 to 2010
  1293. Time to End Corporate Welfare

    A New York Daily News columnist cites Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, in a column today calling for an end to corporate welfare.

  1294. Prevailing Against Prevailing Wage

    Legislation has been introduced to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, according to The Saginaw News.

  1295. Win an iPad with MichiganScience!
  1297. Wisconsin Gov. Walker Stresses Commitment to Future in Budget Address
  1298. Community College Never Heard From Erstwhile 'Partner' in Forced Unionization Scheme
  1299. Editorials Support End of Illegal 'Union Dues' Taken From Day Care Owners

    Both the Holland Sentinel and Lansing State Journal editorialized in favor of the decision by the Michigan Department of Human Services last week to stop taking illegal “union dues” money out of subsidy checks that home-based day care owners receive on behalf of low-income families.

  1300. Is There 'Balance' in the 'Balance the State Budget' Game?
  1301. Executive Budget Takes on Government Employee Compensation
  1302. The Good, Bad and Ugly of Gov. Snyder’s First Budget
  1303. A Virtual Learning Revolution
  1304. Practicing Capitalism Without a License?
  1305. $72 Million in Film Credits Not Reported by Film Office
  1306. Judge puts school accreditation plan on hold
    "The state education department may not move ahead on a new public school accreditation system that it says is necessary to hold schools accountable for their performance, a judge ruled Thursday."
  1307. With My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind

    The Child Care Providers Together Michigan union, imposed on home-based child-care providers who run their own businesses from their homes, really accomplished little except to serve as a conduit through which state funds were redirected to a union.

  1308. The Union, Not Day Care Providers, Is Getting the ‘Pay Cut’

    What’s truly striking is that a union that was willing to take millions of dollars from the child care subsidy payments of “welfare-to-work” families is now expressing concern that children will be thrown into poverty.

  1309. Drill Rather Than Tap U.S. Oil Reserves

    The response from some politicians to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve with the hopes of lowering prices (a questionable outcome) points to the fallacy of making U.S. energy policy based on short-term political considerations rather than a long-term balanced energy policy that is in the best interest of the nation.

  1310. March 4 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the Senate unanimously passes a bill to expand corporate welfare handouts, a House committee reports another that would curtail teacher pay hikes after a union contract has expired with no replacement, and bills are introduced to impose licensure on home health care agencies, allow unlimited campaign contributions from a legislative candidate's parents, ban spending taxpayer dollars to maintain a staff for a governor's spouse, and more.

  1311. Residents have mixed opinion on Snyder budget
    "Those opposed to reducing state funding for K-12 public schools in Michigan say it shortchanges students, while others say there are ways schools can cut expenses without affecting education."
  1312. Pure Spending — GOP Finds More for Tourism Subsidies
  1313. New Film Office Report Misleads and Shows Undercounting
  1314. Michigan Ain't Wisconsin, But Their Teachers Unions Share a Playbook

    Gov. Rick Snyder has stated that “Michigan is not Wisconsin,” and that he doesn’t want to pick a fight with unions. Yet when it comes to the costs of school employee benefits, Michigan is eerily similar to Wisconsin, and in both states the root cause is also the same: government employee union collective bargaining privileges.

  1315. Michigan House Fires Shot in EPA’s War on Energy

    Yesterday the Michigan House voiced its opposition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to side-stepping Congress by promulgating rules that regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

  1316. Merit Pay Miracles at Oscoda Area Schools
  1317. Unions weigh in on teacher tenure
    "As state legislators debate whether to change Michigan’s teacher tenure laws, the state’s two largest teacher unions say that streamlining the hearing process and improving teacher evaluation formats would be enough."
  1318. A Tip on the Effects of Raising the Sub-Minimum Wage

    Legislation introduced in Congress would increase the minimum wage for restaurant servers and other tipped workers. But raising the minimum wage, as Congress has done repeatedly the past few years, almost always generates unemployment higher than it would otherwise be, and is a net loss for society and the poor.

  1319. Day Care Providers React to DHS Decision on Illegal 'Union Dues'

    Home-based day care providers around Michigan are reacting with joy to the news that the Michigan Department of Human Services will stop illegal “union dues” withdrawals from the subsidy checks the small-business owners receive from the state for watching children of low-income parents.

  1320. Lawsuit Over Illegal Contract Language Dismissed

    WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reports that although a Kent County Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation against 10 school districts over illegal contract language, “Judge James Redford stated in his opinion his ruling is not an approval of the policy” and he is “concerned it was even included in the collective bargaining agreements.”

  1321. National, State Media Covering DHS Decision to End Stealth Unionization of Day Care Providers

    National and statewide media are reporting on the decision by the Michigan Department of Human Services to stop taking illegal “union dues” out of subsidy checks sent to home-based day care providers on behalf of low-income families.

  1322. School Funding Testimony
  1323. DHS Finishes Off Forced Unionization Experiment
  1324. Union suspends activist member
    "A well-known activist in the Detroit Federation of Teachers has been suspended by the union for seven months due to allegations that he physically intervened in the swearing-in ceremony of new union officers in January."
  1325. We only need a fraction of the Founders’ courage
  1326. Update of New Teacher Contracts

    Many school boards around the state are attempting to renegotiate current contracts or negotiate new ones with their local teachers unions to contain costs. Here's a brief recap of some of the new contracts agreed to recently.

  1327. Government Mandate on Toilets Stinks

    Michigan officials should take a time out on any new environmental mandates until we fully understand the unintended consequences of new requirements.

  1328. Detroit Free Press Editor Points out Film Incentive Flaws

    As Detroit Free Press editor Stephen Henderson points out, the film incentive was meant to generate a film industry in Michigan that would exist without special favors. In light of this goal, the incentive has so far been only an expensive failure.

  1329. Fact Check: Warren Schools' False Budget Cut Claim

    The practice is widespread. Teachers union officials and even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have employed similar "creative" definitions of fiscal terms to support their talking points.

  1330. U of M Retirement Payments Dwarf Private-Sector Plans
  1331. State of Michigan to Stop Illegal ‘Union Dues’ Withdrawals From Checks to Home-Based Day Care Providers
  1332. Kent County Court Rules That Straightforward Provision of State Public Bargaining Law Is Essentially Unenforceable
  1334. BREAKING NEWS: State to Stop Illegal ‘Union Dues’ Withdrawals From Day Care Providers
  1335. Light Rail Light on Common Sense

    Jarrett Skorup, research associate for online engagement, writes in an Op-Ed in today’s Grand Rapids Press that building a new light rail system in Detroit would be repeating the mistakes of the People Mover.

  1336. Firefighters or Mitch Albom's Movie Subsidy?
  1337. Chances for Local Government Union Pay Reform Good in House; Questionable in GOP Senate
  1338. The People Mover's Pricey Pensions
  1339. Union says book deal violated contract
    "The Hastings School District and its teachers union are close to settling a dispute over whether the district was right to purchase two textbooks written by the former union president as part of a retirement incentive."
  1340. Emergency manager bill draws union fire
    "A proposal to grant wider powers to emergency managers assigned to fiscally troubled cities and school districts has drawn fire from the state’s largest teachers union, which stopped just short of telling a television news station that the governor is attempting to drive schools bankrupt as a way to eliminate collective bargaining privileges."
  1341. Annual Cost of Teacher Overstaffing in Detroit Could Reach $100 Million
  1342. Time to Repeal Public Act 312

    At a time when governments are struggling to balance their budgets, it is essential that the public have maximum control over spending decisions. The choices that have to be made are not the sort that should be made by unaccountable arbitrators. The time has come for repeal of PA 312.

  1343. Feb. 25 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the House moves to increase the power of emergency financial managers. Also newly introduced bills of interest include ones reducing teacher tenure mandates, repealing the consitutional prohibition on a graduated state income tax, establishing an "Arizona" illegal alien law, and more.

  1344. Public Radio Claims Hide Actual Costs

    Despite claims that public radio only costs U.S. citizens $1.35 a year, the real-world costs are far higher. I interviewed several public radio station employees recently, and discovered state taxpayers cover far more of the costs it takes to bring “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Car Talk” to listeners.

  1345. The Media Myth of the 60-Student Detroit Classroom
  1346. Hollywood Battles Michigan's New Budget Chief
  1347. Kersey Testifies on Prevailing Wage

    Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, was invited to testify before the state House Oversight, Reform and Ethics Committee regarding Michigan’s prevailing wage law, according to both MIRS Capitol Capsule and Gongwer News Service.

  1348. Criminals Profit From Carbon Trading

    With the U.S. economy still realing from massive fraud in the housing meltdown, the last thing we need is to provide another lucrative opportunity for cyber fraud.

  1349. Forced Unionization Case Awaiting Court Decision

    The case involving the forced unionization of some 40,000 home-based day care owners and operators still awaits a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, according to WWTV-WWUP TV9&10.

  1350. Shrinking Detroit Schools
  1352. Lawmakers Walk Out on Legislatures, But No One Walks Out on a Union

    Lawmakers who walk out of their legislatures are exercising an ability the unions they support deny to everyone who sits across the table from a union.

  1353. Tea Partiers Counter-Protest Government Union 'Lobby Day'
  1354. Buddy, Can You Spare $580?

    Benefits for government workers at all levels in Michigan cost every state resident about $580, Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst, told WILX-TV10 in Lansing.

  1355. New Film Subsidy Study Doesn't Show Full Picture

    A new study that claims Michigan receives an economic benefit from its film subsidy program has come under fire, according to statewide media reports.

  1356. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 22, 2011
  1357. Freely Available Information Hidden in MSU's Reply to Freedom of Information Request
  1358. Snyder budget may force issue of pay, benefits
    "A $470-per-pupil cut in state funding along with this year’s $230-per-pupil increase in retirement costs would be “potentially devastating” to public school districts."
  1359. The 'Absolutely Devastating' Impact of Federal Stimulus Dollars Picking Winners and Losers in Northern Michigan
  1360. Absent Information and Competing Risks Assessment, Invalid to Declare Debt Relief Convention 'Too Risky'
  1361. Absent Information and Competing Risks Assessment, Invalid to Declare Debt Relief Convention 'Too Risky'
  1362. State OKs DPS Plan to Close Half Its Schools
    "State officials have put their weight behind a Detroit Public Schools plan to close half its schools and consolidate some operations with other entities in order to address a $327 million deficit."
  1363. The Unstable Funding Myth
  1364. False Fears, "Runaway Conventions," and the National Debt Relief Amendment
  1365. Ten Facts to Rebut the Mythology of a Runaway Convention
  1366. Analyst : “Atomic Bomb” Budget Cuts to K-12 are Historic but Necessary
  1367. Public Union Reform Is Where the Money Is
  1368. A Lesson on Public-Sector Unions

    With public employee unions throwing tantrums in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan over proposed budget cuts, it’s worth remembering that no matter how out of whack they get, government employee compensation levels will never be enough for these unions. This attitude is in the DNA of public-sector unions, and it defines their reason for existing.

  1369. Benefits or Jobs: Schools, Legislature Must Choose

    School districts and the Legislature have a choice: Protect bloated benefits, cut staff and eliminate programs, or enact reforms that make it possible to put benefits in balance while preserving educational services.

  1370. Madness in Mad-Town

    As unions in Wisconsin arrange sick-outs and their defenders in the Legislature flee the state, their reaction only buttresses the case for bringing an end to public-sector bargaining. After all, there is seldom much point in arguing with fanatics. Is bargaining with them likely to work any better?

  1371. This Should Be an Easy Call

    At a time where difficult budgeting choices are being made all throughout the state, it would seem that opening up construction to all contractors, not just union shops, should be a pretty easy call to make.

  1372. Good, Bad and Ugly of Gov. Snyder's Budget

    Gov. Rick Snyder’s first budget fell short of the “atomic bomb” promised by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, in part due to the fact that a megaton of further spending and tax cuts were left on the table. Overall, the budget moves the state in a positive direction with greater tax simplicity, more transparency, less corporate welfare and fewer discriminatory tax policies.

  1373. Governor Looks At Public Employee Compensation

    In his executive budget, Gov. Rick Snyder recommends reforms to the compensation offered to employees by Michigan’s state and local governments. Considering that employment costs are a primary reason why government continues to grow, this is a commendable move.

  1374. The West Bloomfield Teacher 'Sick Out'
  1375. Saline bond proposal, video draw questions
    "Saline Area Schools residents spoke for and against a $22 million bond proposal during a recent forum, with some taxpayers saying it’s too expensive and others citing the need for repairs and infrastructure."
  1376. Turning Point in the Midwest?
  1377. Feb. 18 Weekly Roll Call Report

    In this week's report, the House moves on Gov. Rick Snyder's call to repeal the item pricing law. Also newly introduced bills of interest include ones banning "project (union) labor agreements," allowing unmarried couples to adopt a child, repealing the so-called "bad driver" tax, granting special tax corporate breaks for certain energy efficiency projects and more.

  1378. No More Excuses
  1379. Eliminate the Michigan Business Tax
  1380. This Actually Happened

    The Washington Examiner is reporting on a story Michigan Capitol Confidential first broke involving a carpenters union that hires non-union people to picket a company for hiring non-union people.

  1381. Expect Plenty of Debate Over New Budget

    Michael LaFaive, director of the Center’s Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that he expects “a great deal of rancorous debate” over Gov. Snyder’s first budget, which is scheduled to be released today.

  1382. Benefits in Balance FAQs
  1383. Study: Michigan gets B for history standards
    "Michigan gets a “B” for the standards it applies to the teaching of history, putting it in the top 10 in a national ranking by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute."
  1384. $300K Combined Salaries for Granholm and Mulhern at Cal-Berkeley
  1385. Average Eaton Rapids Teacher’s Salary $55,826 ; Contributes Just 2 Percent for Health Plan
  1386. The Taxpayers Speak
  1387. The Latest in Union Crime in Michigan

    There are a wide range of problems that stem from our unaccountable union culture, and radical union politics and job losses from unsustainable union demands may get the most attention. But plain old theft, sometimes petty, sometimes in the six-figure range, is a very real problem too. Union officials are not above temptation, and Michiganders would do well to keep that in mind.

  1388. Electrifying: Center Cited on Battery Subsidies, Privatization

    Fox News reports "Federal Government Charges Up Electric Car Market" and spoke to Mackinac Center senior economist David Littmann for the story.

  1389. Average Comstock Teacher Receives $53,756 in Salary, Contributes Just 5 Percent for Health Plan
  1390. 'Bannering': Carpenters Union Outsources Picketing
  1391. Union Bosses Outsource Hostility, Hiring Beneficiaries of Entrepreneur’s Charity to Protest Him
  1392. Lake Orion Teachers Health Benefits 52 Percent Above Private-Sector Average
  1393. Legal Experts Say Saline Schools Broke Campaign Finance Law
  1394. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 15, 2011
  1395. More school buildings up for sale
    "A glut of closed school buildings are part of the real estate mix in the Grand Rapids area, but finding buyers is proving difficult."
  1396. NY Times Editorial Cites Michigan Capitol Confidential

    The New York Times in an editorial Saturday cited Michigan Capitol Confidential regarding Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, R-3rd District, and his vote against certain provisions of the Patriot Act due to concerns about civil liberties.

  1397. Yes, Government Workers Get More Benefits

    Michigan government employees at all levels including local governments, the state, public schools and colleges and universities, get fringe benefits that exceed private-sector averages by $5.7 billion every year.

  1398. State Raises Bar on MEAP, Wants Same for Accreditation
    "State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says he is not jumping the gun on a new school accreditation system without approval from the Michigan Legislature, as a group of school districts has charged."
  1399. Reconsidering Michigan's Public Employment Relations Act
    Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act requires local governments and school districts throughout Michigan to bargain collectively with unions representing their employees. The collective bargaining process is a creation of the state Legislature, which also has the power to repeal or amend it.

    No area of public policy in Michigan is more in need of fresh thinking than the relationship between government and its employees. With Michigan’s recurring government budget struggles, and with a new Legislature and governor espousing a commitment to performance, efficiency and accountability in government, a new labor law for government employees is imperative.

    This report outlines a variety of ways the Michigan Legislature can address the damaging impact of PERA.
  1400. Study: Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act Should Be Overhauled or Eliminated
  1401. Wisconsin Gov. Seeks to End Collective Bargaining
  1402. West Bloomfield Tackles Costs With Aggressive Privatization Strategy
  1403. Virtual Academy reports mixed results
    "The online academy in Dearborn Heights School District 7 is a financial success, but not all students are succeeding academically."
  1404. Is a “Sin Tax” A Good Reason to Revoke Driver Licenses?
  1405. Imlay City workers agree to health care contributions
    "Support staff employees in Imlay City Community Schools have approved new contracts that include a two-year wage freeze and a new contribution to their own health care benefit costs."
  1406. Michigan Government Ranks Top Ten for Federal Money Dependency
  1407. A Reform Movement Is Born

    Legislative interest in reining in government unions is a welcome development, but it will be up to the voters of Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan to make sure their elected officials follow through.

  1408. Feb. 11 Weekly Roll Call Report

    This week's roll call report describes votes to expand state subsidies for the tourism industry and to prohibit agencies from imposing "ergonomics" mandates on employers; plus newly introduced bills to give the emergency financial managers of fiscally failing school district and cities the power to cancel existing union contracts, revise parental abortion authority, and ban drivers license renewal for drivers with three unpaid parking tickets.

  1409. Civil Liberties Concerns Caused Amash to Vote Against PATRIOT Act
  1410. Bills would repeal tenure, limit step pay
    "Legislation that would repeal Michigan’s teacher tenure law, limit automatic step pay increases and require public employees to pay 20 to 25 percent of their health care benefit costs all were introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives in recent weeks."
  1411. Benefits in Balance
  1412. Picks Up Capitol Confidential Story reports on a story that Michigan Capitol Confidential broke regarding right-to-work legislation introduced in the Michigan House and Senate.

  1413. Eliminating MBT Good for Michigan

    Replacing the Michigan Business Tax with a flat corporate income tax would help Michigan improve 26 places in the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation’s rankings, according to The Bay City Times.

  1414. Bobb asks help on ‘bond security’
    "Detroit Public Schools wants state help to reassure lenders that the district is not headed for bankruptcy, a move that might help DPS secure better terms when it borrows money and pays off debt."
  1415. State Senator Kicks Open Right-to-Work Door
  1416. How to Renew Michigan
  1417. Testimony of Michael LaFaive Before the State Senate Finance Committee
  1418. LaFaive Invited to Testify Before Senate Finance Committee on Repeal of Michigan Business Tax

    Michael LaFaive, director of the Center's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, testified today before the state Senate Finance Committee on the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax. You can read his full testimony here.

  1419. Letter Grade

    Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek told The Detroit News he would give Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, an “I” for impossible in grading Bobb’s nearly two-year tenure with the district.

  1420. Wasting Money on Windmills

    A recent article in Slate by Robert Bryce describes how Texas has more wind generator capacity than any other state, but when state electricity demand set a one-day record of 63,494 mbegawatts last August, all those windmills contributed just a fraction of their rated capacity to meeting the load. The millions coming out of electricity customers' pockets to pay for the Texas boondoggle is a preview of what Michigan can expect under a 2008 law passed by our Legislature.

  1421. Replacing Michigan Business Tax With Flat Corporate Income Tax Would Improve Tax Foundation Corporate Tax Ranking From 48th to 22nd
  1422. Teacher Pay Hikes Happen Despite Expired Union Contract
  1423. State raises bar on MEAP, wants same for accreditation
    "State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said Tuesday he is not jumping the gun on a new school accreditation system without approval from the Michigan Legislature, as a group of school districts has charged."
  1424. Reed to Appear on Stossel Thursday Night

    Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus of the Mackinac Center and president of the Foundation for Economic Education, is scheduled to be a guest on John Stossel’s show on Fox Business Network at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10. The show re-airs at midnight. Reed will discuss free-market economics, spontaneous order and Leonard Read’s famous essay, “I, Pencil.”

  1425. National Debt Relief Amendment in North Dakota Senate Committee
  1426. Hamtramck: Giving Raises and Going Bankrupt
  1427. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 8, 2011
  1428. Chrysler Commercial a Good Use of Money?

    The Washington Examiner reports that Chrysler paid nearly $9 million for the longest ad in Super Bowl history, despite complaints from the company about the terms of a $15 billion taxpayer loan it received.

  1429. Not Dead Yet

    A federal judge ruled that the entire Obamacare bill "must be declared void." While the law is not dead yet, that wasn't the only good news last week for those who think it should be.

  1430. Union Tactics Draw Attention

    The Macomb Daily is reporting about a story the Mackinac Center first covered involving a carpenters union that is targeting a Grand Rapids-area business whose employees do not belong to the union.

  1431. Virtual Learning Reality

    The Holland Sentinel reports that a new study by Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek on virtual learning says online education can improve student performance and save money.

  1432. Detroit Parents Comparison Shop for Schools
    "Dozens of Detroit area residents attended a “school shopping fair” hosted by Excellent Schools Detroit and other organizations in January, where parents had a chance to comparison shop among 46 public, private and charter schools gathered together for the event."
  1433. Is Adding School Debt Just Like Refinancing Your Home?
  1434. Cigarette Taxes Fuel Rampant Smuggling
  1435. The EPA’s War on Energy
  1436. Health Insurance Exchanges in Michigan a Losing Bet
  1437. Happy Birthday, President Reagan

    Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan. As a tribute to President Reagan, his eloquence and the ideals he espoused, we compiled below some of his most memorable remarks. We’ve also included links to Mackinac Center publications and commentaries that discuss our 40th president.

  1438. Blog posting leads to school shutdown
    "A blog posting that was considered a credible threat to safety led Northern Michigan University and Marquette Area Public Schools to shut down on Wednesday."
  1439. Borders: A ‘MEGA’ Bankruptcy for Michigan
  1440. Analysis: Michigan Obamacare Implementation Now Illegal
  1441. Education Group Documentary Aims to Show 'Kids Aren't Cars'
  1442. District adopts rules on wearing Sikh daggers
    "Sikh students may wear a small, religious dagger to school in the Plymouth-Canton Public Schools."
  1443. More Good News for Michigan’s Economy

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics provided some encouraging news that indicated Michigan’s economy continues to recover. The state’s private sector added 221,292 jobs in the second quarter of 2010 and lost only 184,025.

  1444. Feb. 4 Weekly Roll Call Report

    The House and Senate only met one day this week due to a blizzard, and only voted on one highly technical hereditary trusts bill, so this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest, including ones to ban “bridge cards” for college students, limit government employee health benefits, repeal the state “prevailing wage” law and more.

  1445. Can School Choice Work in Detroit?

    Critics of school choice often complain that parents aren’t capable of making wise decisions when selecting a school for their children, and so the government should choose for them. Many parents in perhaps the nation’s worst urban school district, however, recently showed that they are eager to find good school alternatives.

  1446. Michigan Legislature Talks Right-to-Work Law

    WEYI-TV25 in Saginaw and WPBN-TV7&4 in Traverse City are reporting that the Michigan Legislature is considering protecting Michigan’s labor force under a right-to-work law.

  1447. Similar ‘Fiscal Malpractice’ Ballot Language Used by Schools Seeking Borrowed Dollars
  1448. Step freeze, furlough agreed to in Memphis
    "Teachers in Memphis Community Schools have agreed to a two-year freeze on step pay increases as part of a budget-cutting process."
  1449. Benefits in Balance — How to save Michigan $5.7 billion
  1450. Let's Win One for the Gipper
  1451. Harding Correct on Flawed Coal Plant Moratorium

    A Missaukee County circuit court judge ruled Tuesday that the Department of Natural Resources and Environment “exceeded its statutory authority by denying the permit to install based upon need,” when it rejected a clean air permit application for a coal plant to be built by Wolverine Power Cooperative near Rogers City, according to the Presque Isle County Advance.

  1452. Repeal Ban on Great Lakes Directional Drilling

    Alternative energy does not produce the good paying American jobs that oil and gas production does. The recent turmoil in Egypt and the Middle East underscores how important it is to develop the extensive energy resources abundantly found in North America.

  1453. Senator: Mackinac Center Research Shows Eliminating MBT Will Spur Job Creation; Balancing Public-Sector Benefits Enough to Replace Difference

    An Op-Ed by state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton Township, in today’s Detroit News cites research by Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, showing the positive economic benefits of eliminating the Michigan Business Tax.

  1454. Teacher tenure under fire
    "The century-old practice of teacher tenure is under fire in a number of states, with tenure opponents calling it a factor in poor student performance and teachers unions saying tenure protects educators from arbitrary dismissals."
  1455. MSU's "Fairly Ridiculous" FOIA Compliance
  1456. Big Labor's Latest Tactic: 'Bannering'
  1457. Extending Exemptions

    Michigan currently provides a 100 percent income tax exemption for government retirement benefits, but the exemption is capped for benefits earned by retirees who worked in the private sector.

  1458. Half-Good Role Model on Right-to-Work

    Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — whom Michigan’s new Gov. Rick Snyder has cited as someone whose leadership he admires — sees forced unionsism as a policy that "does hold us back economically."

  1459. Oakland Press Features Mackinac Center Viewpoints

    The Jan. 30 Op-Ed page of The Oakland Press featured three Viewpoint commentaries from three different Mackinac Center experts.

  1460. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WMKT, Jan. 14, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks with Greg Marshall about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1461. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WMKT, March 4, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks with Greg Marshall about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1462. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WJR, March 9, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks with Frank Beckmann about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1463. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WMKT, April 1, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1464. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WMKT, Aug. 5, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks with Greg Marshall about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1465. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WJR, Aug. 6, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1466. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WGN, Sept. 15, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1467. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WJR, Sept. 17, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1468. Patrick Wright Discusses Day Care Unionization on WTCM, Oct. 15, 2010

    Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Director Patrick Wright talks about the case Loar v. DHS. The Foundation is suing to end the 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.

  1469. Michigan Carpenters’ Union Constructing a Fake Dispute
  1470. Government Is Not a Jobs Bank

    Regardless of what the public employee unions believe they are entitled to, Michigan taxpayers and businesses are not getting better service despite paying higher costs. The purpose of government is to provide necessary services for the least cost, not provide a jobs program and wealth transfer from the people to public employees and their unions.

  1471. Editorial Cites Center Analyst on Bloated Benefits

    An editorial in the Holland Sentinel that says the “gap between public, private sector compensation is unjustifiable, unsustainable,” cites research by Fiscal Policy Analyst James Hohman on the issue.

  1472. 'Hire Michigan' Won't Increase Hiring in Michigan

    Proposed legislation that would offer subsidies to companies the state contracts with if those companies hire Michigan-based workers would increase costs, Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive told WEYI-TV25.

  1473. Reforming Compensation at State Universities is Tricky Due to State Constitution
  1474. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 1, 2011
  1475. Celebrating Black History Month, 2011
  1476. LaFaive Discusses Tax Subsidies and Film Incentives on WMKT, Jan. 31, 2011
  1477. Study: More Students Opt for Online Learning
    "Thousands of Michigan students are now enrolled in online courses as part of their primary and secondary education, and evidence indicates that online learners perform as well or better academically in virtual classrooms as in traditional ones."
  1478. Public-Sector Unions Fight to Keep Bloated Benefits
  1479. Time to Hang(ar) It Up

    The Hangar42 film studio scandal in Grand Rapids continues to grow. If not for the questions initially raised by the Mackinac Center, this scheme could have very well cost Michigan taxpayers, and worse, done so without their knowledge.

  1480. Messages from Space Needed to Remove Logs from Michigan Lakes
  1481. Union Membership Drops Sharply in 2010
  1482. Lansing Expands Virtual Academy
    "An online learning academy has expanded to three Lansing high schools in an effort to increase graduation rates and reach out to dropouts."
  1483. River Rouge Teachers Agree to 15 Percent Pay Cut
    "Teachers in River Rouge Public Schools have agreed to a 15 percent salary cut and a cap on the district contribution to health insurance premiums in order to resolve a $1.2 million deficit."
  1484. More Researchers Note Michigan’s Outsized Public Employee Compensation
  1485. Weekly Roundup - Jan. 29
  1486. Detroit Public Schools Contracts Out Custodial Services reports that Detroit Public Schools signed contracts with private vendors to clean and maintain the district’s buildings. DPS will join 145 other school districts in Michigan that contract out for these services.

  1487. Gov. Snyder to Break Michigan's MEGA Habit

    Although details are not yet clear, according to early reports Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed Michigan Business Tax replacement appears to be good news for advocates of sound economic policy.

  1488. Jan. 28 Weekly Roll Call Report

    The House and Senate took no votes on legislation, so this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest, including ones reforming government employee pay and benefits, restricting abortions paid by a state “Obamacare” exchange, bailing out towns that borrowed to create failed subdivisions and more.

  1489. MEA Wants Money, Not Accountability

    A Detroit News editorial today taking the Michigan Education Association to task for blocking education reform cites research by Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek that shows public school funding in Michigan is 16th highest in the nation, yet student performance “ranks between 33rd and 39th on national fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores.”

  1490. Legal Options for Public Employee Compensation Reform
  1491. Gov. Snyder’s Proposed Corporate Income Tax, Including Elimination of MEGA Program and Film Subsidies, Holds Promise for Michigan Economy, Analyst Says
  1492. Some Districts Add to Fund Balance
    "Genesee County school districts have less combined savings than they did five years ago, but some individual districts have more."
  1493. Analysis: Follow the Money - No Wonder Corporate Welfare Bosses So Defensive
  1494. State Legislators' Guide to Repealing ObamaCare

    The American Legislative Exchange Council has just published a “State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare.” However, this 15-point summary is a Mackinac Center/ online exclusive, because to our knowledge this bullet-point version not been published online.

  1495. New Report Finds Alternative Fuels Do Not Benefit Military

    It appears that the political hype surrounding alternative fuels is based more on wishful thinking than facts.

  1496. Virtual Learning Can Improve Student Outcomes and Save Money
  1497. Reining in the Regulators
  1498. Saginaw Debates Effect of Privatization on Retirement Costs
    "While the president of the Saginaw City School District teachers union says that privatizing support services is not an effective way to address high retirement costs for school employees, an official with the Michigan Association of School Boards disagrees."
  1499. A Virtual Learning Revolution
  1500. Virtual Learning in Michigan's Schools

    Virtual learning doesn’t just involve using computers at school; it involves a new method of instructing students. Virtual instruction is provided by teachers working remotely or by specially designed software — or both — and delivered to students through computers or the Internet. In some cases, supplementary instruction might be provided by a local teacher, but the essence of virtual learning is that students no longer need to share a classroom with a teacher to learn.

    Virtual learning is not for every student, but it’s not science fiction, either. Right now in Michigan, it’s being used by thousands of students in hundreds of virtual courses in urban, rural and suburban school districts. In fact, Michigan has been seen as a national leader in virtual learning.

    This study analyzes the financial costs and academic benefits of virtual learning, and it explores how this innovation could further benefit Michigan public school students.


  1501. Michigan's 'Green Energy' Jobs Total: 315
  1502. Politicized Resource Allocation Yields Lackluster U.S., Michigan Recoveries

    Government misallocation and central planning in the guise of “industrial policy” have also been significant contributors to Michigan’s lost decade and, until we were joined by the rest of the country in 2008, our chronic “single state recession.”

  1503. LaFaive: SOTU 'Granholm-esque' in Parts

    Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told The Saginaw News that President Obama’s State of the Union speech reminded him of Gov. Granholm.

  1504. 'Book Him!': Michigan Film Subsidy Scandal Leads to More Charges

    A scandal first exposed by the Mackinac Center last June has led to a second set of felony fraud charges.

  1505. The Case for Item Pricing Repeal

    A friend of mine who works at a Kroger in metro Detroit passed along his thoughts on the "Item Pricing" law, and I figure they're worth sharing:

  1506. Commentary: The Willie Sutton Rule
  1507. Four Cheers for Gov. Snyder

    The first three weeks of Gov. Snyder’s administration has provided plenty to cheer, especially on fiscal policy issues.

  1508. Requiring Cost-Benefit Analysis of New Environmental Regs a Step in the Right Direction

    It is encouraging that members of the newly elected Michigan Legislature are taking action to thwart over-zealous environmental regulations that are killing jobs in Michigan. Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, has introduced House Bill 4044, which seeks to get a handle on the cost of environmental regulation in the state.

  1509. Gov. Granholm Leaves Michigan to Find Work

    Today is the 5th anniversary of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s promise that Michigan residents would be “blown away” by the gobs of jobs her latest economic development program would create. How ironic then that she of all people would flee the state to find work.

  1510. Sherry Loar Talks About Day Care Unionization on WJR, March 2010

    Day care owner Sherry Loar of Petoskey talks with WJR's Frank Beckmann about the forced unionization of child care providers.

  1511. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 25, 2011
  1512. New Bill Aimed at Easing Fees, Regulations and Licensing Imposed on Businesses
  1513. Pew’s Non-Neutrality
  1514. Tax Hikes Chase Jimmy John's From Illinois

    While Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches had planned to expand in its hometown of Champaign, Ill., new massive tax hikes from the Illinois Legislature are sending Jimmy John's looking to relocate in more business-friendly states.

  1515. Gov. Snyder Agrees With Center Scholars on Overturning Michigan's Item Pricing Law

    One of the three limitations of government in Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2011 State of the State speech was a call to do away with Michigan’s Item Pricing Act, which Mackinac Center scholars suggested more than eight years ago.

  1516. National School Choice Week

    National School Choice Week kicks off today. Michigan, once considered a school choice leader, should continue expanding learning opportunities for all students.

  1517. Why Unions Are Losing Members

    More than just the economy is responsible for declining union membership in Michigan, Labor Policy Director Paul Kersey told The Detroit News.

  1518. Big Mother Government?
  1519. Mackinac's iPhone App
  1520. Russ Harding on WJRW
  1521. Benefit Balance

    An Op-Ed in the Lansing State Journal by President Joseph Lehman and Assistant Editor Hannah Mead explains how Michigan could save $5.7 billion a year by brining public-sector benefits in line with the private sector.

  1522. Study Says Some Taxpayers Get More Bang for School Bucks
    "A national study correlating school spending with academic results shows that taxpayers in some school districts are getting more bang for their buck."
  1523. The Left’s Piggy Bank?
  1524. Film Subsidy Program Just 'Good PR'

    Mike LaFaive, director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, told National Public Radio that Michigan’s film subsidy program is only a way for politicians to buy “good PR,” but the program is “symbolism over substance.”

  1525. Britton, Deerfield Merger Going Smoothly, Officials Say
    "Students are already in classrooms together, though the official merging of the Britton-Macon and Deerfield school districts won’t come about until July 1."
  1526. How Does Michigan Teacher Pay Really Stack Up Against Private Sector and Teachers in Other States?
  1527. Weekly Roundup - Jan. 22
  1528. Jan. 21 Weekly Roll Call Report

    The House and Senate took no votes on legislation, so this report instead contains several newly introduced bills of interest, including ones to cut government employee pay, restrict government union use of public facilities, grant permits to new coal generating plants, ban "ergonomics" regulations, replace the MBT, authorize more special tax breaks, ban partial birth abortion and more.

  1529. The Bottom Falls Out

    During 2010, unions lost 83,000 members in Michigan, a decline in membership of 11.7 percent.

  1530. How Bad is Detroit’s Detroitification?

    Mackinac Center analyst Jack McHugh has called the long process of hollowing out a private economy to prop up an unsustainable government, "Detroitification." Detroit's most recent comprehensive annual financial report shows just how much the title-city itself has been hollowed.

  1531. Ballot Bluff

    Secret-ballot votes aren't an "acceptable" method for workers to determine whether or not to unionize — they're a clearly superior method. The higher the stakes, the dirtier the campaign, the more valuable the secret ballot becomes. The UAW should simply accept that and move on.

  1532. Michigan Item Pricing Regulations Among Nation's Most Strict
  1533. DPS Opens $5.6 Million Police Headquarters
    "A high-tech, $5.6 million police headquarters for Detroit Public Schools is now open."
  1534. Center Analysis of Gov. Snyder Speech

    Gov. Rick Snyder’s first State of the State speech was a “mixed bag,” Fiscal Policy Director Mike LaFaive told The Kalamazoo Gazette.

  1535. March Madness?

    Gov. Snyder in his State of the State speech gave us no idea what his goal is for employee benefits or how to reach it. If there's one thing a manager should know, it's that if you fail to set a target you're guaranteed not to hit it. Let's hope he sets it in March. Preferably early March.

  1536. Tourism Subsidy Raises Concerns

    Although Gov. Rick Snyder drew applause when he announced an increased subsidy for the Pure Michigan advertising campaign during his State of the State speech Wednesday night, Fiscal Policy Director Mike LaFaive said the move concerns him, according to The Detroit News.

  1537. Legislation Would Prevent Forced Unionization

    House Bill 4003 would prevent private employees from being forced into public-sector unions, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

  1538. The EPA's War on Energy: Watch now!
  1539. Saginaw eyes sports budget
    "Wins and losses are one way to gauge a high school sports team, but Saginaw City School District officials would like to see some financial scores as well."
  1540. Tea Party Reaction to Gov. Snyder's First State of State
  1541. Issues & Ideas Forum, Jan. 20, 2011
  1542. Projection: Repealing MBT and Surcharge Creates 120,000-plus Jobs

    The first bill introduced in the Michigan House this year would repeal the much-reviled Michigan Business Tax 22 percent “surcharge,” and the first Senate bill would repeal the MBT altogether. Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed replacing the tax with a 6 percent corporate income tax, a change that would mean a big net tax cut for job providers.

  1543. Michigan Posts Record Drop in Unemployment Rate for December

    According to data released by the Michigan Office of Labor Market Information today, the state’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.7 percentage points from 12.4 percent in November 2010 to 11.7 percent in December 2010. This is a record for this data series that began in 1976.

  1544. GR Press Editorial Correct on Muni Spending

    Applause is in order for the Grand Rapids Press Jan. 5 editorial “How to save money for local governments,” which correctly concludes that removing barriers to freer association between local units of government can cut costs.

  1545. Action, not Talk, Needed for Regulatory Reform

    Tonight in his first State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder has an opportunity to lay out specific proposals on how to reform Michigan’s oppressive regulatory regime.

  1546. Advice for Gov. Snyder

    Forced to make a snap decision with little guidance, a legislator could do a lot worse than to find out what proposal government union officials object to the most and vote for that.

  1547. Past State of the State Speeches Show Wide Variation in Proposed Government Expansions/Contractions

    The Mackinac Center has tallied proposed expansions and limitations in each Michigan State of the State address since 1969. While not perfectly scientific, the exercise may provide some insight into an administration’s mindset. What do the past speeches tell us?

  1548. Student regrouping key part of teacher-led school
    "A teacher-led school in Detroit is testing some of the most talked about reforms in public education: academic grouping, extended days, data analysis and professional development."
  1549. University of Michigan Arctic Ice Global Warming Study Criticized
  1550. 2011 SOS Expansions/Limitations Tally
  1551. Sympathy for Politicians, Staff

    As significant and real reforms and spending cuts are being discussed in Lansing, it’s hard not to feel a touch of sympathy for the “constituent services” staffers employed by lawmakers, and even for some of their politician bosses.

  1552. Harding's 'Blueprint' Could Help Gov. Snyder on Regulatory Reform

    Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to address regulatory reform in Wednesday night’s State of the State speech, according to The Detroit News.

  1553. Editorial Cites Center Work in FOIA Case

    An editorial in today’s Detroit News cites the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation’s work in attempting to expand the scope of public information.

  1554. Past State of the State Speeches Show Wide Variation in Proposed Government Expansions/Contractions
  1555. What to Expect from Snyder's State of the State
  1556. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 18, 2011
  1557. Editorial Cites Center Work on Teacher Benefits

    A Detroit News editorial today refers to research by Mackinac Center analysts that show a major part of the large increases in public school funding over the last several decades are due to ever-increasing school employee benefits.

  1558. Media Reporting on Michigan's Public-Sector Benefits

    National and state media are reporting that a more responsible approach to public-sector benefits could help ease Michigan’s financial crunch.

  1559. Michigan's Obamacare Tax Hike Collaborators

    Collaborating with Obamacare undercuts the potential for repealing it, and so also implies passive acceptance of its tax hikes.

  1560. WSJ Editorial Cites Center Analyst on Teacher Pay

    A Wall Street Journal editorial cites research by Mackinac Center Education Policy Director Mike Van Beek that shows average teacher pay in Michigan from 2003 to 2009 was tops in the nation compared to relative state wealth.

  1561. Alternative Education Backers Speak Up in Holt
    "Alternative education students need an environment that matches their learning style, like the one already in place in Holt Public Schools, supporters of the program told the school board at a recent meeting."
  1562. Limiting Term Limits
  1563. State Employee Pay Up 46% Between ’01 and ‘08
  1564. 101 Recommendations to Revitalize Michigan

    (Editor's note: These recommendations were originally posted in January 2009. They were updated in January 2011, and a Top 10 list was added. You may view PDFs of the previous versions: the Second Edition, with an introduction by Mackinac Center President Joseph G. Lehman, and the First Edition.)

    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, counterproductive 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. The brief recommendations inevitably omit some nuance and detail. These are provided more fully in the online articles cited with each recommendation.

  1565. Jan. 14 Weekly Roll Call Report

    Michigan legislators began the new 2011-2012 legislative session by introducing a slew of new bills, including measures to repeal the business tax surcharge, extend term limits, borrow-and-spend more on "light rail" projects, prohibit the Obamacare "individual mandate," expand charter schools and much more. Sponsors and brief description of these and more are provided in the first Roll Call Report of the new two-year legislature.

  1566. House Democrats Break With Environmental Supporters

    Michigan House Democrats should be applauded for breaking with former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the environmental lobby on the issue of clean coal-fired power plants.

  1567. Business Owners Favor MBT Surcharge Repeal

    Business owners are cheering a proposal in Lansing to repeal and reform the Michigan Business Tax and the 22 percent surcharge that comes with it, according to WJRT-TV12 in Flint.

  1568. Detroit bus attendants will keep jobs
    "Shortly after the mother of an autistic student filed suit in federal court, Detroit Public Schools announced that the district will not lay off 88 bus attendants for special education students as previously announced."
  1569. Maxing Out the Federal Credit Card
  1570. ObamaCare's Michigan Collaborators

    Lobbyists for deep-pocketed, politically well-connected health care interests are already pressing for Michigan to create an ObamaCare insurance “exchange.” Politicians who say they oppose the law but then don’t oppose setting up a Michigan exchange are inviting a charge of collaborating with Obamacare. Mackinac Center scholar John Graham explains why.

  1571. Illinois Jobs Coming to Michigan?

    Early this week, on its last day of session, a lame-duck Illinois Legislature passed a 67-percent income tax increase, along with large business and corporate tax hikes. The measure was approved by just a single vote, and was shrouded in backroom deals and payoffs to constituency groups across the board. The Chicago Tribune’s lead editorial the following day had a short headline: “Goodbye, Jobs.”

  1572. Binding Arbitration a National Problem

    A Boston Globe columnist cites this blog post by Paul Kersey, director of labor policy, in discussing the pitfalls of binding arbitration for public-sector unions. As Kersey also notes, the issue is gaining attention from several governors.

  1573. Natural Resources Trust Fund in Need of Change

    Michigan voters in 1984 approved amending the state Constitution requiring that oil, gas and mineral lease and royalty payments be placed into a trust fund creating the Natural Resource Trust Fund. The legislature then passed Public Act 101 of 1985 to implement the new amendment. It is time for state lawmakers to amend it.

  1574. Michigan No Longer First for Outbound Moves

    The Bay City Times and The State News are both reporting that Michigan does not rank first in the country for outward migration for the first time since 2005.

  1575. Mackinac Center Debate Workshops
  1576. States May Seize Control of Federal Deficit Spending Power
  1577. Teachers agree to new evaluation process
    "Teachers in Benton Harbor Area Schools have agreed to new contract language that allows the district to remove them from a school due to poor performance."
  1578. Burn Notice

    The union establishment's position of influence and privilege is liable to become more and more precarious unless they can re-establish themselves in the private-sector workforce — which may be why a labor board appointed by an administration that benefited mightily from union support is going to great lengths to help unions out in any way they can.

  1579. MBT Surcharge Repeal Could Create 27,900 New Jobs Through 2016

    It’s probably no coincidence that the first bill (HB 4001) introduced in Michigan’s new Legislature is to repeal the 21.99 percent surcharge slapped onto the Michigan Business Tax in 2007. The surcharge is despised by the business community, and is seen as a job killer by policy analysts and politicians alike.

  1580. Are Corrections Costs a Mystery?

    A story in the Jan. 10 edition of the MIRS Capitol Capsule reports that, according to the National Institute of Corrections, Michigan spends more than $5,200 more to lock up a prisoner for a year than the national average. Also, nearly 29 percent of the state workforce is employed by the Department of Corrections, and it will absorb 23.1 percent of the current year’s general fund budget. This is hardly new information.

    Not surprisingly, Gov. Rick Snyder and others are looking to lower those costs.

  1581. Don't Mess With Texas
  1582. State may set bar higher on MEAP
    "State education officials are considering raising the bar on standardized tests, even though the likely result will be larger numbers of failing students and schools."
  1583. Michigan's Budget Problems Bigger Than You Think

    Early indications are that our new governor is acting boldly and wisely in his attempt to right size Michigan’s fiscal ship. That’s good news, and he should be applauded, in part due to the fact that he will need the moral support. Why? The budget is in worse shape than even he and members of the media have probably fathomed. I’m not the first budget analyst to notice this, but I may be the first to say it out loud.

  1584. Kent County Schools Hire Attorney for Illegal Contract Language Lawsuit

    The 10 Kent County school districts that broke state law by including illegal language in their union contracts have announced they hired one attorney to represent all them, according to WOOD-TV.

  1585. Motor City Finance: Then and Now

    Ten years ago this month the Mackinac Center mailed a special, 28-page, full-color, Detroit-specific edition of Michigan Privatization Report to editors across Michigan. We had recently completed a comprehensive review of the city’s budget, and were deeply concerned by what it revealed.

  1586. Center Analysts Talk EPA, Forced Unionization

    Two Mackinac Center analysts were guests on WFNT-AM1470 in Flint recently.

  1587. Why Michigan Needs Regulatory Reform
  1588. Saving $5.7 in Public Employee Benefit Savings - Is it Real?
  1589. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 11, 2011
  1590. Harding's Prediction on Volt Correct

    In this Dec. 23, 2010 blog post, Russ Harding predicted the Chevy Volt would win the Car of the Year award at the North American International Auto Show — for a variety of reasons. The announcement was made today.

  1591. We're No. 2!

    In still-bad-but-not-worst-possible news, for 2010 — the first time since 2005 — another state (New Jersey) has beat out Michigan in the annual United Van Lines ranking of state outbound migration.

  1592. The EPA's War on Energy
  1593. State Should Reform Public Act 72 of 1990
  1594. Teacher says she quit paying union dues on principle
    "Nearly 100 teachers stopped paying union dues to the Grand Rapids Education Association once automatic payroll deductions were no longer in place, and the union has taken four of them to court over the matter."
  1595. Government Jobs and the Great Recession
  1596. War of 1812

    As Americans celebrate the 196th anniversary of the most decisive day during the Battle of New Orleans, the causes of war are becoming obscure and bear remembering.

  1597. Custodian aims to fill board with privatization foes
    "A school custodian who was elected to the Durand school board told The Flint Journal that two of his goals are to fill the board with privatization opponents and cut central office costs."
  1598. Budget Watchdog: State Has Billions in Unbudgeted Retiree Costs
  1599. Michigan Fiscal Policy a Two-Sided Coin

    Michigan residents have a reasonable expectation that elected officials can do more than one thing at time. It is time for our leaders to meet those expectations.

  1600. State Should Reform PA 72 of 1990

    Michigan’s local governments face fiscal challenges in 2011. The state already has a pretty good policy in dealing with its local units as their finances are stressed, but this policy should be improved in a few ways so that local governments continue to be solvent as taxable property values fall and spending pressures increase.

  1601. Saginaw Fails to Repeal Prevailing Wage

    Saginaw County officials have quietly buried a previously scheduled vote to repeal its “prevailing wage” ordinance for construction projects costing more than $50,000. Prevailing wage laws prohibit granting a government contract to the lowest bidder unless the company pays above-market, “union-scale” wages.

  1602. Scheduled Saginaw Prevailing Wage Repeal Vote Quietly Killed
  1603. Many can’t pass Army’s basic skills test
    "More than 20 percent of all Michigan high school graduates who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, and the number rises to nearly 43 percent among African American students."
  1604. Decorating the “Christmas Tree” Budgets
  1605. Editorial Cites Harding's Regulatory 'Blueprint'

    An editorial in today’s Detroit News that calls on Gov. Rick Snyder to reform Michigan’s regulatory regime cites a recent study by Russ Harding, senior environmental analyst, titled “Environmental Regulation in Michigan: A Blueprint for Reform.”

  1606. Firing Teachers for Non-Payment of Union Dues
  1607. The DNRE Is Dead. Long Live the DNR and DEQ

    In his first executive order, Gov. Rick Snyder has split the Department of Natural Resources and Environment back into two separate agencies. His action restores the organization of state government dealing with natural resources and the environment into two separate agencies; recreating the Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources.

  1608. Briefs Due Today in Forced Unionization Case

    Today is the deadline for the Michigan Department of Human Services to file a brief in Loar v. DHS, according to WHMI in Livingston County.

  1609. Littmann to Discuss Economic Outlook

    Senior Economist David Littmann will be the keynote speaker for the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Forecast breakfast on Jan. 11, according to the Livingston Daily Press & Argus.

  1610. Berkley Schools Avoid 'Magic Words" to Stay Out of Election Law Hot Water
  1611. ‘Magic Words’ Not Enough to Get Berkley Schools’ in Election Law Hot Water
  1612. State Supreme Court Reaffirms Property Rights of Lakefront Owners

    The Michigan Supreme Court gave all private property owners in the state a belated Christmas gift with a ruling handed down on Dec. 29, 2010, that reaffirms that landowners in Michigan still have private property rights.

  1613. Michigan's Role in Defeating ObamaCare

    Adjunct Scholar John Graham writes in a Free Press Op-Ed today about what steps Michigan can take to help defeat ObamaCare.

  1614. Fast Track to School Reform

    Education Policy Director Mike Van Beek is quoted in today’s Detroit News editorial on how to accelerate school reform in Michigan.

  1615. Michigan Spends More on Teacher Benefits Than Most Other States

    Of all the funds spent on “instruction” in Michigan public schools in 2008, 28 percent went to employee fringe benefits. Only five states devoted more of their resources to benefits; the national average was 22 percent.

  1616. New Year, Same Fight

    Incoming Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Yale Professor Jacob Hacker offer two visions of the future of American health care.

  1617. Violating Neutrality
  1618. Bonuses Included, Michigan Government Benefits Exceed Private Sector by $5.7 Billion

    In an article in The Detroit News, Michigan Sen. Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield, states that government workers get generous health and pension benefits in lieu of bonuses, apparently implying that the two offset. Thankfully, there are data on the issue to check his theory.

  1619. 'Ring' in the New Year

    A new year causes most folks to decide on their resolutions for the coming year. Rather than setting in stone resolutions, which will no doubt be broken by mid-January, I try to use this time to count the blessings I have received during the past year. Reflecting on all the good in my life is a humbling experience each and every time.

  1620. Gov. Snyder Looks to Address Public Benefits

    The Detroit News reports today that Gov. Rick Snyder will address the disparity in public-sector benefits as a way to help solve Michigan’s overspending crisis.

  1621. Schools That Break State Election Laws Face Just "Speeding Ticket" Fines
  1622. Forget the Election, Focus on Outcomes (Viewpoint)
  1623. Gov. Snyder Should Adopt HSAs for Government Employees
  1624. Bringing Balance to Public Benefits
  1625. Tricky Tenure Hurdles Block Schools from Removing Problem Teachers
  1626. A Fresh Start
  1627. Plagiarism Double Standards at Michigan State
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