Gov. Rick Snyder has said he admires the leadership model of former Gov. William Milliken. In his first State of the State address on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see whether the new governor emulates the earlier one in the number of proposals to expand the scope of state government.

The Mackinac Center has tallied proposed expansions and/or limitations in each Michigan State of the State address since 1969. While not perfectly scientific, the exercise may provide some insight into an administration’s mindset. What do the past speeches tell us?

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

Governor William Milliken proposed the least number of state government expansions, averaging just 5.9 per State of the State speech between 1969 and 1982. In contrast, Governor Granholm offered up an average of 16.4 new expansions per year. Gov. Milliken also holds the record for the fewest expansions in any particular year, proposing zero in 1974.

 

Expansions and Limitations by Administration
since 1969

Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982

Avg.

High

Low

 

Proposed expansions

5.6

12 ('71, 80)

0 ('74)

 

Proposed limitations

2.9

8 ('73)

0 ('70, '79, '82)

 

Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990

Avg.

High

Low

 

Proposed expansions

8.6

19 ('89, '90)

1 ('85)

 

Proposed limitations

2.1

7 ('84)

0 ('87, '88)

 

 

Gov. Engler, 1991-2002

Avg.

High

Low

 

Proposed expansions

8.4

18 ('00)

3 ('91)

 

Proposed limitations

4.3

11 ('95)

1 ('02, '97, '03)

 

Gov. Granholm, 2003-2009

Avg.

High

Low

 

Proposed expansions

16.4

24 ('08)

7 ('05)

 

Proposed limitations

3

6 ('03) ('09)

0 ('05)

 

Worth noting is that chaos did not ensue following this lack of expansionist proposals in the 1974 Michigan State of the State speech. It’s true that Disco was born that year, but no evidence suggests that Gov. Milliken was responsible.

Governor Granholm holds the record for the greatest number of proposed expansions in a State of the State speech - 24 in 2008. Gov. John Engler and Gov. James Blanchard maxed-out at 18 and 19, respectively.

~~~~~

See also:

State of the State: Blown Away

Stay Engaged

Simply enter your email below to receive our weekly email:

Facebook
Twitter

Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

Related Sites