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

'Batman v. Superman' Swings Super Subsidy Deals from Multiple States

A challenge to boosters' claim that incentives can plant a sustainable industry

Not in the media’s viewfinder is that the film may get subsidies not just from Michigan but also from other states, including Illinois and maybe New Mexico. After spending $500 million on subsidies since 2008, Michigan has fewer film industry jobs than before. … more

Understanding Public Opinion Surveys

Election season is upon us, and there’s no shortage of polls telling us what we think. But judging the accuracy of all these numbers requires a basic understanding of the science of polling. … more

Union Members Used School Email to Promote School Board Candidates

Livonia superintendent says it was a mistake

The superintendent of Livonia Public Schools said it was a mistake that an email signed by district employees supporting four candidates for school board went to district employees at their work email addresses. Two district employees who are leaders in the Livonia Education Association signed the email. … more

A 'Silver Lining' to Potholes?

The idea that simply spending money is good without regard to the value produced is relatively common. The best rejoinder comes from an 1850 essay by 19th century French political theorist Frédéric Bastiat. … more

Conventional Schools in Anti-Charter School Legislator’s District Have Little to Brag About

When students’ backgrounds considered, local high schools score 'D's and an 'F'

When the students’ socioeconomic background is considered, the conventional public schools serving Rep. Roberts' home city fare no better academically than charter schools. … more

MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

Extending film subsidies, banning eyeglass kiosks, and letting terminal patients try non-FDA approved medicine. … more

Black Job Growth in Michigan Far Out-Pacing Other Groups Post Recession

Numbers are impressive compared to neighboring states

Employment among blacks in Michigan has almost fully recovered from the December 2007 to June 2009 recession and its growth has out-paced that of all other demographic groups in the state combined. … more

Senate Votes to Continue Film Subsidies

Will House put Michigan residents above Hollywood actors?

“These states (with film incentive programs) are essentially writing checks to Hollywood — which is one of the most profitable industries in America — for what amount to transient jobs that don’t last very long." … more

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

Adam Neuman was not afraid to put his life on the line; he's certainly not afraid of union bullying. He fought for freedom overseas, and he simply wants to exercise it back home. But the Brighton Education Association and his school district are violating his rights.


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