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Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process that allows the police to seize and sell a citizen's private property, even if no crime has been charged against the owner of that property. Several states have recently reformed their civil asset forfeiture laws, and Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, has called for improving federal laws pertaining to this practice.

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How Unions, Districts Hold Back Michigan's Best Teachers

Birmingham Public Schools didn't recognize a single teacher as "highly effective" in 2013-14. And it doesn't have merit pay for teachers. Like many school district, there's no incentive for teachers to strive to be the best. … more

School District Once Gave $1 to Top Teachers; Now Spreads Merit Bonus to 99 Percent of Teachers

In 2012, the Davison school district in Genesee County technically complied with a state merit pay requirement by giving its top teachers a $1 bonus. In 2014, it just gave almost every teacher a $200 bonus. … more

State Gives Billions in Dollars to Corporations – But Keeps Secret How Much They Get

The state of Michigan gives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to private companies each year. Yet remarkably, the public is kept in the dark about how much each corporate beneficiary receives — or even who receives the money. … more

No Accountability? 30 Percent of Detroit's Charter Schools Have Closed

A 1994 law introduced public charter schools to the state of Michigan. Since that time, about 30 percent of the charters that have opened their doors within the city of Detroit have been forced to close by their authorizers. … more

Michigan Anti-Fracking Ballot Proposal Would Limit All Drilling

Anti-fracking activists are at work in Michigan, organizing a ballot campaign to ban the practice in this state.  … more

Let Legislators Take a Vacation

Big issues like road funding aren't hashed out by 148 state legislators; they’re negotiated by a handful of House and Senate leaders, usually working with the governor’s office.  … more

Most Michigan School Districts Privatize Services

The Lansing School District is considering privatizing custodial services. In Michigan and around the country, privatizing custodial services has saved school districts money.  … more

State Supreme Court Ruling: State Employees are Free to Exercise Right-to-Work

Public sector workers may freely exercise right-to-work under a 4-3 ruling passed down July 29 by the Michigan Supreme Court.  … more

Teachers Making Over $80,000 Say They Need Second Jobs 'To Make Ends Meet'

One public school teacher who gets paid $87,349 annually, and another who gets $80,472, were highlighted in a recent Oakland Press article complaining that teachers had to get second jobs “to make ends meet.” … more

Grand Rapids' Mayoral Candidates Spar Over City's Financial Health

On August 4 Grand Rapids city voters will elect a new mayor. But they'll first have to make sense of widely divergent claims about the city’s fiscal health made by two of the four candidates. … more

For the Record

Someone else is claiming that the "renewable energy" economy has created new "green" jobs - like garbage collectors, bus drivers and plumbers. … more
New Michigan public schools superintendent Brian Whiston has said that he thinks teachers need to make more money, especially the one just starting out. But its the teachers' unions that prevent quality young teachers from starting anywhere but the bottom of the payscale. … more
Jack Lessenberry, a columnist for National Public Radio's Michigan affiliate, compares state universities to slaves and state lawmakers to plantation owners in a dispute over student tuition hikes. … more
MLive Columnist Tim Skubick appears to have forgotten that the state projects it will be getting a whole lot more money in tax revenue the next two years. … more
State Rep. Rose Mary Robinson said she would vote against the state's film subsidies. She followed through and by doing so stood against every other Democrat. … more
A Michigan Education Association union teacher told another teacher who he disagreed with to "Go to hell" in a letter posted on a union-backed website. The profane teacher also made claims of the state legislature defunding education. He's wrong. … more
A school official at Warren Consolidated Schools says it has "comparatively low" administrative costs. But not if you compare it to other school districts in that county. … more
The state's corporate welfare agency claims that every tax incentive they hand out creates new jobs. Except, most of the jobs never happen. … more
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation wants to take credit for stopping the Ford Motor Co. from taking every one of its estimated 40,000 jobs in the state and leaving over two tax credits. … more
A public policy expert says eliminating the state's Earned Income Tax Credit and using that money for roads is akin to filling up the Grand Canyon with a bucket. That's a bucket of cash large enough to hold Lake Erie. … more