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Michigan bed and breakfast David Gersenson has asked the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation to help him fight a tax for advertising he doesn't want or need.

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Michigan DROPs Big Payouts to Retain State Police Employees

The Michigan State Police has an incentive program that gives employees with 25 years of seniority some $400,000 or more if they agree to stay with the department up to six years. … more

Michigan Wine Taxes Among the Highest in the Region

Michigan’s wine taxes are lower than most states, but still the highest in the region.  … more

Done: With School Pension Reform, State's Big Pension Liabilities Contained

Anthony Randazzo, who directs economic research at the Reason Foundation, called the legislation one of the most innovative pension reforms in the country. … more

Traverse City Government Still Thinking About Internet Project

Jan Geht is the chairman of the board for the utility Traverse City Light & Power. He responded to a Michigan Capitol Confidential article that ran June 19 on the utility’s plan to build out a fiber optic network to every home and business in the city. … more

Government Internet Coming to Traverse City

Traverse City may become the second city in Michigan to own a municipal fiber optic network that sells internet service to residents.  … more

Vitti’s 'Student-First' Agenda Faces Early Test

New Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has said he wants to pursue a “student-first state and local policy agenda” for the troubled district. Renegotiating the teachers union contract gives him an early opportunity to work toward a truly student-first agenda. … more

Teacher Gets $80k Salary, Spends Half His Time on Union Work

At the latest Ann Arbor Public Schools board meeting, three teachers criticized the district teacher pay levels. Their pay last year ranged from $77,729 to $86,414.  … more

Michigan is Spending As Much on State Police Pensions as Salaries

The cost of providing retirement benefits for Michigan State Police employees nearly matched their gross pay last year, with most of the money going toward paying down debts incurred by decades of pension underfunding. … more

Michigan House Dems Propose State Contract Preference for Immigrants

Democratic lawmakers in the Michigan House have introduced a bill that would require state contract managers to pursue a goal of awarding at least 5 percent of the spending on state contracts to businesses owned by immigrants. … more

Do Millionaires Need More Subsidies?

State lawmakers are once again rushing to embrace another program designed to benefit a few at the expense of the many. The new proposal is known colloquially as “Good Jobs for Michigan” but if history is any guide, it will produce few of note.  … more

As superintendent of Edwardsburg Public Schools, Sherman Ostrander’s total salary in 2015-16 was $249,400, a $14,400 increase from his 2013-14 pay. That made Ostrander the fourth-most expensive school superintendent in the state of Michigan last year, based on state pension system records. Ostrander had a $161,000 base salary in 2015-16, but had additional payments such as $42,000 that was identified as "supplemental."

The average salary of the teachers in Edwardsburg was $54,487 in 2015-16, about 12 percent below the state average of $61,875. The ceiling for Edwardsburg teacher pay is $70,843, which is only attained after 22 years on the job according to the union contract. The Cass County district in southwest Michigan has an enrollment of 2,726 students with 136 teachers.

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For the Record

A college public radio station reported there are "differing views" on whether or not teachers in a public school district had received raises. You know, there's a public database that answers that question. … more
South Lyon Community Schools contributions to the state school employees pension system has increased by $7.2 million since 2010. Yet, one teacher says fixing that "makes no sense." … more
In 2016, protesters shut down a debate on Black Lives Matters at the University of Michigan by rushing into the auditorium and jeering and swearing until the event was canceled. … more
How deep in debt is Michigan’s public school pension system? For every dollar paid to a public school teacher, districts must deposit another 37 cents into the state-run system, mostly to catch up on the accumulated debt caused by years of pension underfunding. … more
The Michigan Association of School Administrators says reforms to the public school employee pension system are working. Meanwhile, the retirement system's unfunded liabilities have grown from $12.0 billion to $29.1 billion from 2010 to 2016. … more
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley needs a heads up on how much public school teachers earn in Michigan. … more
How much is the public school employee pension system underfunded? If it were credit card debt, a person with an income of $21,000 would have $29,100 of debt on their credit card. … more
Holland Public Schools has the support of voters, who overwhelmingly approved two school property tax measures this month. The school district also is better funded than the nearby charter school. … more
The term “gobbledygook” was created sometime in the 1940s to denote meaningless bureaucratic phrases, which often find their way into government press releases. The Michigan Department of Education is a frequent contemporary source of such language. … more
The solar energy industry would have to increase its number of workers from 373,000 to 12.6 million people to provide the same amount of energy as coal. … more