Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:

Facebook
Twitter

As part of our efforts on government transparency, we obtained data on the compensation of most public employees in the state. This information has been used to fact check claims about salaries, verify data from other open records requests, and hold government spending accountable.

Related Sites

Bonfire of the Bureaucratic Vanities

Michigan has its own class of risk-taking traders, but they are of a state-paid variety, operating programs that either mandate unusually risky investments with taxpayer money or undertake them outright. … more

Millions In Taxpayer Money For Pontiac Theater And Little To Show 

The Strand Theatre in Pontiac has benefited from millions in government subsidies but doesn't appear to have reached the benefits projected for the taxpayers' dollars. … more

Detroit Charters Send More Graduates to College Than Peers Do

Detroit charter schools rightly merit attention for helping students improve on math and reading tests. But they deliver other benefits that take longer to emerge. … more

District’s Teachers Work 50+ Days Fewer Than Private Sector, Union Prez Gripes

Emily Tims is president of the Lake Shore Federation of Teachers Local 1465. Tims, who had a salary of $81,572 in 2016-17, recently wrote a letter for Teacher Appreciation Week. … more

Sen. Patrick Colbeck Talks State Government

Michigan Capitol Confidential kicks off its interviews with gubernatorial candidates starting with Patrick Colbeck. The interview was conducted Feb. 28. … more

Michigan’s Convoluted Electricity System Leads to Strife and Strain

Michigan businesses need affordable, reliable electricity to operate. But in our noncompetitive electricity system, almost all are forced to accept monopoly utility services.  … more

Kayak Tax Proponents Try to Disguise Cash Grab as Safety Measure

Last fall, some Michigan sheriffs began calling for a new tax on nonmotorized watercraft like kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. They say that requiring Michiganders to register these boats will generate needed revenue. … more

Rise In State Revenue Far Exceeds Cost Of Defeated Income Tax Cut

The state of Michigan's two largest budget accounts are projected to get $827 million more this year than last year. … more

Union In Potential Landmark Case Gave To Sharpton, Progressives, Dem Party

While a union might be thought of as an organization that focus on workplace conditions and wages, the political activities of one union may lead to a significant change in labor law across the country. … more

The Lawmakers that Voted for the Most Business Subsidies and the Least

Michigan voters can now see where their lawmakers have stood on state business subsidies from 2001 and into the current legislative session. … more

Federal employees in Michigan have seen their total compensation (salary plus benefits) increase 36.3 percent this century.

In 2001, federal employees here had an average total compensation of $81,326 (adjusted for inflation). Total compensation increased to $110,837 in 2017.

A New York Times story published on April 22 story suggesting that public servants were losing their foothold in the middle class.

… more

For the Record

Michigan news media rarely challenge union assertions that school funding has been cut in Michigan. … more
Government employees in this country — at the local, state and federal level, as well as school and state university employees — have not suffered economically in this century. … more
State Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit, claimed in an April 17 op-ed published by the Traverse City Record-Eagle that more people in Michigan have fallen into poverty during the tenure of Gov. Rick Snyder. … more
One state report said Michigan's golf courses use 7.6 billion gallons of water a year. Nestle will use as much as 210 million gallons a year. Where's the outrage about golf courses? … more
Michigan Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, snarked on Twitter recently about a bill that makes it a little easier for people to earn money by shampooing hair. … more
A recent story in The Atlantic magazine about private versus public schools used examples from Michigan to illustrate some of its arguments, but was significantly out of date. … more
When it comes to Michigan's poor performance on standardized tests, perhaps more money isn't the solution. … more
A Utica Community Schools board member says the current way the state funds schools is broken. … more
An AFSCME union laywer made a quip about public sector salaries. Richard Trumka, the president of the national AFSCME, had his total compensation in 2017 increase to $315,368, a 7 percent raise from 2016. … more
The Center For Michigan's Truth Squad said it was hard to determine if the DeVos family profits from their involvement with a charter school. The Truth Squad failed to mention the DeVos family would be breaking the law if they did. … more