A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

False School 'Cuts' Narrative Takes Another Hit

Citizens Research Council the latest to debunk it

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has joined the growing number of analysts to explain that state funding for public schools has not been reduced in the past four years, despite persistent erroneous claims by teachers unions and Democratic politicians. … more

Checking the Facts

Mr. Neuman and our Mackinac Center attorneys did "check their facts." The district and union now agree with the facts and have removed the illegal language from the contract. … more

Brighton Union, District Strike Illegal Language from Contract

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation withdraws lawsuit

Within two weeks of being sued by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, the Brighton Education Association and Brighton Area Schools agreed to strike illegal language in its teachers contract requiring non-union members to pay a fee to support teachers leaving the classroom to conduct union business. … more

School Choice and More at Risk in High-Stakes Board of Education Race

Next board will choose new state superintendent

It might be easy to overlook the State Board of Education race on the Nov. 4 statewide election ballot. Its outcome, however, could profoundly impact Michigan’s education policies on issues ranging from charter public schools to teacher and school district performance evaluations. … more

Free the Food

Cottage food industry regulations need revamp

Michiganders can make and sell cherry and pecan pies, but not pumpkin or sweet potato. You can roast coffee beans and sell them, but you can’t add water and sell the resulting coffee. Most jams, jellies, nut butters and vinegars are okay, but ketchup, mustard, relish and salsa are prohibited. Finally, you can sell chocolate-covered strawberries, but not…strawberries. … more

Michigan Senate Votes to Remove Sunset Provision Ending Hollywood Subsidies

Bill also removes cap on high-paid actors; now moves to the House

The Michigan Senate voted 32-4 to extend the state's film subsidy program beyond its 2017 sunset and eliminate a cap on what taxpayers will pay for out-of-state workers. … more

Group Seeks to Put Term Limits on Grand Rapids Mayor, City Commissioners

A video report

Rina Baker and Bonnie Burke are long-time Grand Rapids residents unhappy that the same old policies and politics seem to dominate their city government. … more

MichiganVotes Weekly Report

Key votes from 2013-14

While the Legislature is on a campaign season break from voting, the Roll Call Report continues a series reviewing key votes of the 2013-2014 session. … more

State of Michigan Granted $3 Billion in Special Tax Credits to Big 3 Automakers

Analysis puts Michigan among the highest in corporate welfare

The state of Michigan granted more than $3 billion in combined tax breaks and cash subsidy deals to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in the final years of former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s tenure, which helped make Michigan among the biggest corporate welfare providers in the country, according to a recent study. … more

Bill Proposes Adding Wind Industry to 'Right to Farm' Act

House Bill 5886 would let wind turbines avoid zoning and building permits

Wind turbines could be erected without regard for some local laws under recently introduced legislation. … more

One Sector Grew Last Decade: Corporate Welfare

Very few jobs to show for special favors, subsidies

There is no systematic evidence that the corporate welfare expansion did anything to relieve the dismal economic conditions that prevailed during Michigan’s “lost decade.” … more

'Hastert Rule' May Impact Michigan House GOP Leadership Race

Under the Hastert rule, named for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, caucus leadership agrees not to bring legislation up for a vote unless a majority of the caucus approves doing so. … more

MichiganVotes Weekly Report

Bills introduced on an "Amazon" internet sales tax, spending for a summer jobs program, and allowing public safety officers to get automatic raises after a contract has expired. … more

Little House on the Subsidized Prairie

Melissa Gilbert says she won't start theater company unless film incentives increase

One of the criticisms of the film incentives is the film industry claims the taxpayer handouts are only seed money that will create a sustained industry – but producers often shop nationally for the best tax deal or bolt a state once the taxpayer handouts stop. … more

Michigan Has Fewer Film Jobs Than it Did Prior to Incentive Program

$500 million later, 100 fewer jobs

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan had 1,561 film jobs in 2013 (the latest year information is available). In 2008, the state had 1,663 film jobs.  … more

Schauer Jobs Plan Pricetag: $3.7 Billion

Without offsetting cuts or taxes, candidate’s 'Blueprint' blows big hole in state budget

The new spending would be added to the latest state budget which is a record $30.04 billion according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. It is $53.29 billion when federal dollars are included, also a record. … more

Union, District Force Non-Union Teacher to Pay for Union Release Time

Teacher Adam Neuman sues MEA affiliate and Brighton Schools

Brighton teacher Adam Neuman went to Afghanistan to fight for freedom. Now he simply wants to exercise it back home. … more

Failing to Counter the Big Lie

Gov. Snyder, GOP fail to defend K-12 spending

Over the past couple of years, in addition to telling the truth about the increased K-1 2 spending, Gov. Snyder and the Republicans should have also repeatedly cited statistics to put the entire debate in a different context. When it comes to K-12 spending, Michigan has been anything but stingy. … more

During the 'Lost Decade,' Michigan Shed More Jobs Than U.S. as a Whole

From 2000 to 2009, Michigan lost 805,900 jobs, or 1 in every 6 – a 17.2 percent reduction in employment. Nationwide, the U.S. had lost 786,000 jobs by the end of this same period. … more

School Districts Manipulate Headlee Tax Limits for More Money

Districts game the system at the expense of taxpayers

Some districts are asking voters to authorize “phantom mills” higher than they can actually levy, potentially allowing future revenue windfalls that exceed the rate of inflation. … more

Mackinac Center for Public Policy Director of Education Policy Audrey Spalding describes her latest study on right-to-work law violations in public school contracts and suggests why districts and unions are ignoring the law.


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