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Ted Nelson is a retired Michigan State Police officer who trained police departments throughout the state on civil asset forfeiture. He believes the practice has been misused and needs to change.

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Feeling Lucky? State-Run Gambling Hit Record High in 2014

The Michigan Lottery set a record in 2014 with $2.6 billion in ticket sales, up 25 percent since 2005. People are spending more than ever on Michigan’s state-run gambling,  … more

House Members Right to Be Skeptical of Server Farm Favors

The House Tax Policy Committee plans to take up legislation Dec. 1 to give special tax exemptions to the developers of a data center in the former Steelcase “Pyramid” building outside Grand Rapids, which was recently purchased by a California developer. … more

Win Money at Fantasy Sports, Go to Jail

Thousands of Michigan residents who participate in online fantasy sports games could be breaking state laws against gambling, but the officials responsible for enforcing those laws are reluctant to clarify whether the practice is prohibited. … more

$1 Cigarette Tax Hike Helps Smugglers, Not Health Outcomes

A recent poll showed strong support for another tax increase on cigarettes, if the funds are channeled to health-related government spending. But research by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and others has shown how very high tobacco taxes come with negative unintended consequences — and don’t necessarily improve health outcomes either. … more

Thanksgiving Dinner More Expensive This Year for Michiganders Than Surrounding States

Using electricity to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner was more expensive in Michigan this year than it was in surrounding states.  … more

Former Energy Regulator Says Bills Would Establish Energy Monopoly

According to a former chairwoman of the panel that regulates electric utility prices in Michigan, if the current version of House Bill 4298 is enacted electric choice will cease to exist in the state.  … more

Let's Make a (Special) Deal: Legislators Can't Shake the Habit

As 2015 draws to a close, Gov. Rick Snyder and some state lawmakers are excited about yet another sweet-sounding deal that promises the moon in return for special treatment.  … more

Liberty, Prosperity and Humility on Thanksgiving

As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, the words of President George Washington provide some guidance as to why the holiday was formalized, but also reminds us that peace, opportunity and liberty are central to why we should give thanks. … more

Detroit Taking Drastic Actions to Curb Students Missing School

Detroit Public Schools has started a program that sends groups of teachers out into the community to meet with parents. Their purpose is to combat what appears to be the highest absenteeism rate in the state. … more

Lawmakers Rushing Through Special Tax Breaks

For years, bipartisan majorities of Republicans and Democrats approved massive tax credits to select corporations and industries. These credits have caused a nearly $9 billion hole in the state budget. This hole is crushing citizens who must now pay higher taxes for an increasing state budget to fund basic government services such as road maintenance. … more

For the Record

A news story posted on Michigan Radio's website reports that more and more U.S. teachers make $100,000 a year. The best teachers should make $100,000 plus a year. But that's not a reality in Michigan, and union contracts are a big reason why. … more
The Center For Michigan’s Bridge magazine described this state’s farming industry as “massive.” Many times the media underestimates just how diverse Michigan’s economy really is while also exaggerating the role of agriculture. … more
Detroit News opinion editor Nolan Finley wrote that the teaching profession is falling out of fashion. Yet, school districts are getting dozens and dozens of applications for many jobs. … more
Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press recently where he claimed some Republicans are out to cut the state budget. The Senate Fiscal Agency says if that's the case, those Republicans have failed big time. The state is spending billions more than when they took control of both houses of the Legislature. … more
MLive columnist Susan Demas is angry over a House-passed proposal to earmark $600 million of state income tax receipts each year to road repairs by 2021. But revenue collections are projected to rise more than $700 million next year alone. If tax collections keep increasing at that rate, state revenues will be pushing $32 billion by the time the House road plan is fully implemented in the 2021-22 fiscal year. … more
Michigan Radio columnist Jack Lessenberry called for all charter schools to be closed. If that were to ever happen, it would force low-income kids out of excellent charter schools and into sub par conventional schools. … more
MLive columnist Tim Skubick said that school districts in debt are not alone in this state. But it should be noted the number of Michigan public school districts that had to borrow to cover regular expenses (“in deficit”) is at a six-year low at 36. This is down from 55 in June of 2013. … more
Bottom line – revenues from Michigan's major taxes are expected to increase more than $920 million next year alone. So there's enough money for the $600 million a year politicians plan to take from the growing tax revenues to spend to fix roads. … more
East Lansing Public Schools announced it had a teaching position open at MacDonald Middle School and it attracted 96 applicants. Many public school officials are saying there is a teacher shortage. You won't see it judging by the number of people applying for teaching jobs around the state. … more
Michigan's push to use renewable energy has cost $3 billion and generated about 8,200 jobs. How much does 8,200 plus jobs mean to Michigan's economy? The state adds and loses a combined 400,000 jobs a quarter. … more