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

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

Appointments: A Rarely Recognized Gubernatorial Power

Which can have major effects

There is generally little recognition of how many appointments to boards, commissions and other governmental bodies a governor has authority to make, or how many members of such bodies a governor could remove.  … more

$2.1 Billion in Michigan Budget Reforms

Here is $2.1 billion in specific savings from the current budget, without touching K-12 education funding. … more

Union Says Photo IDs not Necessary to Vote — Unless You Vote to Leave Union

UAW fights photo IDs for voting; demands photo ID to opt out of union

In recent arguments against states requiring voters to show a photo ID, the United Auto Workers Local 600 has compared concerns about voter fraud who belief in the fictional Loch Ness monster and Yeti. … more

Photo-Cop Camera Advocates Shift To Speeding

Another bill introduced to ticket drivers

Legislators have come back again with another attempt to install automated traffic enforcement cameras in Michigan to dole out tickets. … more

Budget Reform Ideas for 2015 and Beyond

In past months we have pointed to worthy reforms that could be adopted or adapted to reduce state spending by $866 million. Below is a list — not all necessarily original with the Mackinac Center — that could be used to trim the budget by a further $422.3 million. … more

Moratorium or Mortuary? School Choice Proponents Claim Bill Would Kill Charters

Bill sponsor disagrees

According to GLEP Executive Director Gary Naeyaert, as drafted, House Bill 5852 would eventually spell doom for all of the charter schools in the state. … more

Gubernatorial Campaign Should be About Things That Matter

Not false claims and things that don't

The 2014 Michigan gubernatorial election should be a referendum on the major changes to Michigan made by Governor Rick Snyder’s administration. Unfortunately, the debate is saturated instead with false claims of education cuts. … more

Union Leader Celebrates Failing School’s Performance

NEA president praises Flint Northwestern moving from the lowest 5 percent of schools to the lowest 6 percent

The school has been consistently among the worst performing in the state. Yet in a recent visit, the leader of the National Education Association told union members at the school that Northwestern "did it right." … more

More Michigan Cities Meeting Financial Needs

Pension liabilities still a looming problem

For the first time in six years, more Michigan communities report that they are better able to meet their fiscal needs this year than those who say they are less able to do so. … 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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