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Increasing term limits won't help government transparency.more
HB 4626 would penalize land banks for violating state law.more
All five GOP gov candidates support bill to remove special FOIA exemption for Legislature and governor's office
Private developers could get fair shot at foreclosures.more
Although the state of Michigan may offer tax rebates to Hollywood production companies that film in this state, the U.S. military isn't as generous, according to a Department of Defense spokesman.more
Readers of the state of Michigan's various Web sites would be hard pressed to find evidence of one of the more embarrassing incidents to have happened this year to the Granholm administration.
On March 16, Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced in a press-release a series of state tax credits awarded to businesses, including one to a now-infamous company named RASCO. The press release stated the "the new-to-Michigan leader in renewable energy, water and telecommunications sectors" was approved for a $9.1 million tax credit and would create 1,813 new jobs.
The state nixed the deal when it found that RASCO CEO Richard A. Short was a convicted embezzler. The Flint Journal reported that at the same time he was working on the state tax deal, authorities said he was scamming an 86-year-old neighbor with dementia out of thousands of dollars.
The MEDC's official press release has now been revised and has no mention of RASCO.more
Property can be sold to preferred buyers.more
The Michigan Department of Education improperly calculated the average public school teacher salary in the state for the last six years, reporting figures significantly lower than what is correct. Corrected figures for the past two years were recently released.more
The way Phil Bellfy sees it, it may not be illegal, but that doesn't make it right.
Bellfy is a Michigan State University professor and vocal critic of an East Lansing Downtown Development Authority deal he says doesn't smell right.more
Michigan Economic Development Corp. very open with predictions of success, growing more secretive with news of failure
Mayor says city took action after restaurants asked for "protection" from 13-year-old entrepreneur with disabled parents.
Mayor says city took action after restaurants asked for "protection" from 13-year-old entrepreneur with disabled parents.more
The state's lawmakers need to understand that they will be judged by actual deeds and votes, not just the mere words that they speak on the campaign trail in advance of the Aug. 3 primary election. That's the message that Common Sense in Government hopes to deliver to politicians with their Common Sense Votes Scorecard — a spreadsheet tabulation of a dozen votes in the Michigan House and seven in the Senate impacting the "limited government, free market principles that Michigan needs to get back on the right track." more
The state's flagship job creation agency made a plea to the media and legislators to stop "unwarranted criticism" against it and said attacks on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will undermine the state's efforts to attract businesses.
The MEDC's open letter comes after some recent embarrassing disclosures, including a tax credit approved for a convicted embezzler and a state audit that found the MEDC awarded tax credits to companies for jobs that weren't created.more
In 2006, Google's announcement that it was opening an AdWords office in Ann Arbor was trumpeted as the start of the transformation of a suffering Michigan economy.
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. lured the Internet giant to Ann Arbor with a 20-year tax credit valued at more than $38 million. The city of Ann Arbor also gave it up to 400 free parking spaces for four years in a city where parking spots are much in demand. Based on current costs for a spot in an Ann Arbor parking structure, the parking deal would be worth $633,600 a year to Google if all the spots are used.
For that lucrative deal, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Google would bring in 1,000 direct and 1,200 spinoff jobs in its first five years. An MEDC press release stated, "Granholm said the Google decision is just the latest evidence that her economic recovery plan is beginning to deliver dividends of increased investment by high-tech companies that mean well-paying jobs for Michigan."
Yet, four years into the deal, few of the parties involved in the deal will talk about Google's performance in job creation since the announcement.more
Michigan GOP candidates for governor are starting to often use a statistic about the exodus of residents from Michigan. It purports to show the rate at which people are leaving.
Rick Snyder, a GOP candidate for governor, has it on his website that every 12 minutes, a family leaves Michigan.
Mike Bouchard, another gubernatorial Republican candidate said Saturday in Clarkston, "Every 12 minutes, someone leaves this state."
Where did the statistic come from? Is it a "family" or a "person"?more
Tuesday's committee hearing gave senators a chance to quiz the MHBCCC about its purpose, its creation through an interlocal agreement between the Department of Human Services and Mott Community College, and the big question: the council's relationship with the Child Care Providers-Together Michigan or CCPTM, the so-called "day care union."
The testimony disclosed at least one unexpected revelation.more
The Legislature returns today after a two-week break to take up perhaps the greatest challenge facing state government since 1983: an estimated $1.5 billion budget shortfall. Making this all the more difficult is the apparent inability of lawmakers to adopt what most struggling private-sector workers and small-business owners view as modest reductions in state employee pay and benefits. That failure was highlighted in three separate events just before the break.more
"All he wanted to do was sell hot dogs."more
Early indications are that our new governor is acting boldly and wisely in his attempt to right size Michigan’s fiscal ship. That’s good news, and he should be applauded, in part due to the fact that he will need the moral support. Why? The budget is in worse shape than even he and members of the media have probably fathomed. I’m not the first budget analyst to notice this, but I may be the first to say it out loud.more
Too many unanswered questions, unforseen consequences.more
At a time when governments are struggling to balance their budgets, it is essential that the public have maximum control over spending decisions. The choices that have to be made are not the sort that should be made by unaccountable arbitrators. The time has come for repeal of PA 312.more