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Fed Audit: Township Used Forfeited Property for Non-Law Enforcement Expenses

A U.S. Department of Justice audit has found improprieties in the way Plymouth Township accounted for forfeited cash, cars and other property under a federal “Equitable Sharing” program that lets local police agencies share in the proceeds of property seized in joint investigations. … more

Finding Agreement in Criminal Justice Reform

The state’s most potent power is the ability to penalize a person for crimes committed. Thus, the manner in which the state administers that responsibility is a fundamental issue of liberty. … more

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms Head to the Governor

On Wednesday the Michigan state Senate unanimously passed a six-bill package to require more transparency, and a higher standard of evidence before law enforcement agencies can take ownership of seized cash and property alleged to have been obtained illegally.  … more

School District Overspending for Last Nine Years Keeps Getting More Funding Per Pupil

Clintondale Community Schools has been in continuous deficit-spending mode dating back to 2005-06. The district blames it on "inadequate funding" and a declining enrollment. The state gives them more money per pupil, however. … more

Even Compared to Workers With College Degrees, Teachers Are Well Paid

A newspaper article claimed teachers were paid lower than other workers with bachelor's degrees. But the U.S. Census data doesn't back up that claim. … more

Detroit Public Schools Takes Out a Loan to Pay Off Another Loan

Records show that Detroit Public Schools took out a loan from a state financing authority on the day a $107.8 million loan was due so it could pay off that earlier loan. Detroit Public School's finances are important to taxpayers since some are advocating a bailout for the troubled district. … more

MichiganVotes: Food carts, voter approval for certain county taxes

MichiganVotes takes a look at recent legislation that makes it easier to have food carts and makes it so voters have to approve certain county taxes. … more

Michigan's Wind Energy Mandate Costs Each Family Nearly $4,000

A new study from Utah State University found that, as of 2013, Michigan’s renewable energy mandate, enacted in 2008, has cost families and businesses here a bundle: $15.1 billion overall, or $3,830 per family, compared to what we would have experienced without the mandate. … more

How to Improve Economic Development Transparency

The state is looking to improve its transparency and is targeting its economic development reports. … more

City Manager: 'Prosperity Doesn't Come From Government; It Comes From Freedom'

Port Huron City Manager James Freed gave a candid presentation on how pension and retiree health benefits were making it difficult to govern his city, an issue that city governments have been sidestepping for years by trying to tax and fine their way out of the problem. … more

For the Record

Personal income is growing faster in Michigan than nationwide. It wasn't supposed to work like this after right-to-work became law, according to the unions. … more
The state's Treasury Department says an authority that loans billions of dollars to municipalities and school districts, such as Detroit Public Schools, is not a state operation. But the Michigan Finance Authority sure looks like it is. … more
For at least the past 15 years, Albion Public Schools has had fewer students every year. However, this year, the district must have been feeling lucky when they projected they would add students. It didn't happen. The district was already spending more than it had in reserves. And now it has to resubmit a plan to get out of deficit to the state since they won't have as much money as they wished. … more
With more lives than Michael Myers from the Halloween movies, the media keeps insisting that public schools have had its state funding cut. Like the movie villain, it's fiction. … more
Michigan daily newspapers have been reporting that one of the problems created by schools of choice is overcrowding. But yet another example shows that isn't the case. … more
Michigan State University has banned hammocks from its campus. That would make criminals of people just trying to catch a quick summertime nap. … more
When the Detroit teachers' union boss was booted out, some of the workers wanted to protest by not paying the American Federation of Teachers-Detroit union their dues. Soon, they can actually do that without losing their jobs. … more
Detroit Public Schools has lost nearly half of its employees in the last five years due to a huge drop in enrollment. Yet, the school district didn't get much relief on pension payments for its employees. The cost of the pensions for their employees has increased from $9,163 per full-time employee in 2008-09 to $15,322 in 2013-14, the latest year for which audited statements are available. … more
The far left blog Eclectablog says Detroit Public Schools is proof that the state needs a better funding model. The facts show far bigger issues facing Detroit schools - a huge drop in enrollment tied with skyrocketing employee pension costs. … more
A government agency charged with economic development is planning to lay off employees. … more