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

What Will Cities Do To Solve Their Pension Problems?

Part 2 in a series looking at municipal retiree funds in the state

As pension funding crowds out important functions of local governments like police and firemen, roads and even streetlights, many municipalities have begun shifting towards 401k-type accounts for new employees. But other cities have not. … more

New Evidence: Right-to-Work Laws Work

Vedder and Robe also analyzed RTW laws' impact on per-capita income. They estimate how much non-RTW states lost in potential income from 1977 to 2012. The median was $3,278 per capita, or about $13,000 annually for a family of four. … more

Solar Subsidy Part Two

Will the promises come to fruition this time?

In 2009, then Gov. Jennifer Granholm hailed Suniva Inc. as a company that would help turn the state into the “epicenter” of green manufacturing. That plant never came to fruition, joining several other solar projects that didn't work out in Michigan. But the process is starting again with more job predictions and state subsidies if they come through this time. … more

Incumbent’s Record Targeted and Defended in Michigan's 46th

Medicaid expansion and Common Core have taken center stage in the 46th House District GOP primary. As the race has shaped up, Rep. Bradford Jacobsen, R-Oxford, is defending his support for these policies against challenger John Reilly, an Oakland Township precinct captain and advocate of states’ rights. … more

Utility Appeals Wind Turbine Noise Court Ruling

Ruling could impact wind plants across Michigan

Consumers Energy is appealing the 51st Circuit Court ruling that upheld Mason County’s determination that the Lake Winds Energy Plant near Ludington is in violation of the county’s 45 decibel noise ordinance. … more

Defining The Primary In Michigan's 89th: Two Candidates, Two Views

Rep. Amanda Price vs. Matthew Wiedenhoeft

Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, maintains that the 89th House District Republican primary race is a referendum on Republican leadership in Michigan. Her opponent Matthew Wiedenhoeft, a Ferrysburg business instructor and former youth hockey coach, argues that it is about Rep. Price casting what he considers to have been bad votes. … more

The Worst Funded Pension Systems In Michigan

Part 1 in a series looking at municipal retiree funds in the state

A large cause of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy in 2013 was its grossly underfunded retiree systems for public employees. At the time, the estimates of the amount of unfunded liabilities in the general pension system ran from 94 percent to 65 percent. But few people realize that many of Michigan’s largest cities have pension benefit systems in far worse conditions than Detroit. … more

More Confusion Over 'Affordable Care Act'

Court rules IRS illegally implemented tax credits

In a significant decision issued Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the IRS’s implementation of a significant portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was illegal.  … more

Here's Where the Candidates Stand In Michigan's 42nd House Race

Nick Fiani, Rich Perlberg, Dale Rogers and Lana Theis sound off

The district is located in Livingston County and contains the city of Brighton, Genoa Township, Green Oak Township, Hamburg Township and Putnam Township. The district has a 63 percent Republican voting base. The race is to replace Rep. Bill Rogers who is term-limited. … more

MichiganVotes Weekly Roll-Call

The legislature is off, but here are some key votes from 2013-14. … more

Early Returns On Michigan As a Right-to-Work State: Incomes Rising

State's per-capita income growth ninth fastest in the nation

When Michigan passed right-to-work in December of 2012, critics were quick to predict that workers’ compensation would plummet. Union officials derided it as “right-to-work for less.” But the early returns show that hasn’t happened. … more

GOP Candidates For Michigan's 80th House District Tackle the Issues

Cindy Gamrat vs. Steve Schulz

On what could be some of the main issues in the next legislative session, the candidates for Michigan’s 80th House district made their case. … more

Three Former State Representatives Crowd The Race For Michigan's 13th Senate District

Marty Knollenberg, Chuck Moss, Rocky Raczkowski, Ethan Baker and Al Gui face off

To say the race for Michigan’s 13th Senate seat is crowded would be an understatement. The Republican primary includes three former state representatives and two newcomers who say they are in it to win it. … more

Obamacare's Survival up to State Legislators

Figures for Halbig's Michigan impact

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has just ruled that the federal health care law does not authorize insurance subsidies provided through health care “exchanges” that were set up by the federal government. Only exchanges set up by the states can qualify for these taxpayer subsidies. … more

Pricey GOP Primary Race For Michigan’s 4th Congressional District

State Sen. John Moolenaar and retired businessman Paul Mitchell discuss Export-Import Bank, energy and health policy

Michigan’s 4th Congressional District is shaping up to be one of the most expensive House of Representative primary races this cycle in a campaign without an incumbent. … more

Mitchell Ad About Moolenaar: Truthful or Over the Top?

‘The ad he is using is very deceitful’

State Sen. John Moolenaar voted against a state-run Obamacare exchange in 2011 and against the Medicaid expansion in 2013. So why is he being accused of helping put those laws into place in a new campaign ad from his Congressional primary opponent? … more

Incumbent’s Voting Record, Philosophy Challenged In Michigan's 107th

Rep. Frank Foster vs. Lee Chatfield

In Michigan’s 107th House District Republican primary incumbent Rep. Frank Foster, R-Pellston, is being challenged by Lee Chatfield, of Levering, a teacher at Northern Michigan Christian Academy. … more

Proposal 1 of 2014: Summary and Assessment

On Aug. 5 Michigan voters will be asked to approve or reject Proposal 1, which would modify the state’s personal property tax. The legislation that would go into effect if Proposal 1 were approved by voters creates three new exemptions for certain businesses that are currently subject to the personal property tax. … more

State Budget Has Increased Almost $5 Billion the Past Three Years

The state will spend about $4.7 billion more than it did in 2011-12, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency. An increase in federal money accounts for $2 billion of that $4.7 billion increase over the past three years. … more

Sentencing Reforms Could Save Tax Dollars

Council of State Governments issues recommendations

All criminal justice systems face competing tensions of protecting public safety while not overburdening taxpayers, and Michigan’s is no exception. … more

Meet James Hohman, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy at the Mackinac Center. James discusses his latest project, an analysis of Proposal 1, the proposal on personal property tax reform that will appear on the August 5th ballot. Read more about Proposal 1 here: http://www.mackinac.org/20246


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