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  1. Mackinac Center and Acton Institute luncheon with F.H. Buckley

    Please join us for a luncheon hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Acton Institute.

  2. Senate Votes to Continue Film Subsidies

    Will House put Michigan residents above Hollywood actors?

  3. Two-Thirds of School Districts Contract for at Least One Major Support Service, According to Center’s 2014 School Privatization Survey
  4. Michigan School Privatization
    Survey 2014

    Click here for a PDF of the study.  


    In 2003, when it came to contracting out for common public school services, only outsourcing food provision could be considered a rather common occurrence in Michigan. And there was good reason for this: school districts are prohibited from making a profit from their cafeteria, but any deficits created in providing food for students must be covered by general school funds. When deficits occurred, school officials often looked for outside help from food service management companies.

    Contracting out for the two other most common noninstructional school services — custodial and transportation services — was rare in 2003. Only one out of 15 districts contracted out for custodial services and even fewer for transportation — one out of 26.

    Since 2003, however, there has been an explosion of privatization in these areas. This year, 47.5 percent of districts contract out for custodial services and 24 percent contract out for transportation services. Districts have largely been propelled to contract out for these services based on a desire to save money. The more efficiently districts can provide these noninstructional services, the more resources they can devote to their core function — providing educational opportunities to students.

    In addition to this rationale, spending pressures, created in large part by rising employee health insurance and retirement costs, compelled districts to find ways to stretch dollars further. All school district employees are mandatory participants in the state-run Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System. Contribution rates for this program increased from 12.16 percent of payroll in 2001 to 34.54 percent of payroll in 2014. Most private sector employers offer retirement benefits that cost between five to seven percent of payroll on average.

    These ever-increasing costs help explain why many districts have begun using employee leasing agencies, which allow employees to be paid at the same rates while districts escape the MPSERS payments. Interestingly, this may be a win-win, as employees get to vest their retirement benefits much earlier than under the MPSERS plan. According to Bellweather Education Partners, less than half of all school employees vest in MPSERS’s pension benefits.

    This survey finds that in 2014 more school districts contracted out for food, custodial and transportation services than ever before. However, the rate of annual increase in the number of districts that contract out was less than in previous years. Contracting increased from 66.2 percent of districts in 2013 to 66.6 percent of districts in 2014. The average rate of increase over the last five years was 4.3 percentage points.

    There may be a many factors contributing to this slowed rate of growth in school privatization. It could be that school support service privatization has topped out. In other words, there may come a time when all the districts that could contract out for quality services while simultaneously saving money have. However, while the percentage of districts grew only slightly from 2013 to 2014, the number of districts in each of the categories surveyed — custodial, food or transportation — that privatized increased at higher rates than the overall number of districts that contract out support services.

  5. Free the Food

    Cottage food industry regulations need revamp.

  6. Michigan Education Digest

    Charter school success, MEA politics.

  7. Michigan Senate Votes to Remove Sunset Provision Ending Hollywood Subsidies
  8. When an $8 Million Increase Equals a 'Cut'
  9. Group Seeks to Put Term Limits on Grand Rapids Mayor, City Commissioners
  10. Planning for Life Workshop

    Please join us for a luncheon celebrating the Mackinac Center's Legacy Society and featuring keynote speaker Kevin D. Williamson.

    Oct. 21, 2014

  12. State of Michigan Granted $3 Billion in Special Tax Credits to Big 3 Automakers
  13. Center Research Cited in Daily Caller

    Corporate welfare continues to grow.

  14. Bill Proposes Adding Wind Industry to 'Right to Farm' Act
  15. 'Hastert Rule' May Impact Michigan House GOP Leadership Race
  16. October 17, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  17. BEA President Unsure What Her Contract Says

    Center attorney explains it and basis for teacher's lawsuit.

  18. Little House on the Subsidized Prairie
  19. State Subsidizes Tesla, Then Restricts It
  20. Media Coverage of Center's Latest Lawsuit

    Brighton teacher sues union, school board.

  21. Michigan Has Fewer Film Jobs Than it Did Prior to Incentive Program

    $500 million later, 100 fewer jobs.

  22. One Sector Grew Last Decade: Corporate Welfare

    Very few jobs to show for special favors, subsidies.

  23. Schauer Jobs Plan Pricetag: $3.7 Billion
  24. Brighton Teacher Who Served in Afghanistan Sues Union, School District Over Right-to-Work Violation
  25. Memo to Schauer: Don’t forget to feed the prisoners
  26. Adam Neuman v. Brighton Education Association and Brighton Area Schools Board of Education
  27. Union, District Force Non-Union Teacher to Pay for Union Release Time
  28. Michigan Revenue Sharing Has Increased Under Gov. Snyder
    Oct. 14, 2014

  30. School Districts Manipulate Headlee Tax Limits for More Money
  31. During the 'Lost Decade,' Michigan Shed More Jobs Than U.S. as a Whole
  32. Appointments: A Rarely Recognized Gubernatorial Power
  33. City Looks to License Cats For Acting Like Cats
  34. October 10, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  35. Detroit News, Free Press Catch Up to CapCon

    Capitol Confidential broke DIA salaries story three weeks ago.

  36. Union Says Photo IDs not Necessary to Vote — Unless You Vote to Leave Union
  37. Photo-Cop Camera Advocates Shift To Speeding
  38. Obamacare Could Negatively Impact Women

    Twice as likely to work low-hour schedules.

  39. Failing to Counter the Big Lie

    Gov. Snyder, GOP fail to defend K-12 spending.

  40. Union Wants High Quality Teachers but Doesn't Want to Pay Them
  41. Moratorium or Mortuary? School Choice Proponents Claim Bill Would Kill Charters
  42. Gubernatorial Campaign Should be About Things That Matter
  43. Michigan Education Digest

    Teacher pay, charter public school performance.

  44. Union Leader Celebrates Failing School’s Performance
  45. $2.1 Billion in Michigan Budget Reforms
    Oct. 7, 2014

  47. Michigan Finally Reverses the Number of People Leaving
  48. More Michigan Cities Meeting Financial Needs

    Pension liabilities still a looming problem.

  49. Now Lansing Politicians Want a Poet Laureate!

    What rhymes with "that's not your job"?

  50. LaFaive Cited by Fox News

    Indiana toll road privatization.

  51. Vernuccio Cited in Washington Examiner

    Legislation seeks to protect workers from unions.

  52. Michigan's 'Lost Decade' Was Historic
  53. Close MPSERS to Stretch Dollars Further
  54. Making Michigan Right-to-Work: Encouraging School Districts to Follow the Law
  55. Budget Reform Ideas for 2015 and Beyond
  56. Challenging the Rhetoric in the War on Charter Schools – Part II
  57. October 3, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Drugged driving, automatic police pay hikes, "right to try"
  58. Libertarian Think Tank Grades Gov. Snyder Low for Tax Hike Intentions
  59. Michigan Education Digest

    DPS legal problems, millage for closed district.

  60. All Four Teachers in New Schauer Ad Claiming School Cuts are in Districts Receiving More Money
  61. State Legislators Take Care of Themselves

    Even from the grave.

  62. Center Adds Two New Scholars to Board

    One from Hillsdale, one from MSU.

  63. Teacher 'Effectiveness' Ratings Gutted

    Legislators turn their backs on students.

  64. Challenging the Rhetoric in the War on Charter Public Schools
  65. Choosing the Next Michigan Speaker of the House
  66. Memo to Reporters: Follow the Money!
    Sept. 30, 2014

  68. Celebrating 40 Years of Amtrak Deficits (Subsidized by You)
  69. Bureaucracy in Iambic Pentameter?
    Bill introduced for "official" state poem.
  70. Without Fracking, Oil Prices Would be at Record Highs
  71. SuperSubsidies
  72. Some Progressives Want to Silence, not Debate, Opponents
  73. September 26, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Pensions, hunting drones, automatic pay hikes & more
  74. Detroit 'neglecting' its students - at $14K per pupil
  75. U-M Economist Says Feds Shortchanging Michigan by Tens of Thousands of Jobs
  76. Why the UAW Didn't Need to Hike Dues

    Detroit News op-ed.

  77. UAW Dues Hike was Unnecessary
  78. Dem Lieutenant Governor Candidate: Granholm Years 'Weren't As Bad As We Think'
  79. Michigan Education Digest

    School choice, DPS debt, teacher pensions.

  80. FOIA Reform Legislation Languishes in Senate
  81. A Democrat's Reasons For Supporting School Choice
  82. MEA Can't Keep Story Straight on Union Bullying

    VP apparently didn't read president's press release.

  83. MEA Prez and VP should talk
    Sept. 23, 2014

  85. Manufacturing Rebound Puts Michigan Back in the Ballgame
  86. Right-to-Work Will be Blamed

    If Gov. Snyder loses re-election.

  87. Union Bullying Members is Shedding Them: Over 500 People Leave Operating Engineers
  88. SEIU Allowed to Keep Millions in ‘Dues’ Money it Siphoned Away from Medicaid in Stealth Unionization, Court of Appeals Rules
  89. PBS Series Ignores Damage of 'The New Deal'

    Faulty economic policies still felt decades on.

  90. Democrats Call for Moratorium on New Charter Public Schools
  91. Parents Speak Out on Effort to Halt School Choice
  92. September 19, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Expand forfeiture & court costs, auto protectionism, “right to try”
  93. Senate Approves 'Talk Like a Pirate' Resolution

    Good thing they have all the important stuff solved.

  94. Scots Say 'Yes' to Independence

    Seven centuries ago.

  95. Feeling Fine About the End of the World

    Book review of Kevin Williamson's latest effort.

  96. Top DIA Officials Receive Huge Raises While Running Deficit, Raking in Taxpayer Money
  97. Environmental Group Praises Michigan For Press Releases About 'Green Jobs'
  98. Happy Constitution Day

    Recognizing the importance of Sept. 17.

  99. Michigan Education Digest

    How many districts have self-created overspending crises?

  100. Bill would provide tax breaks for items schools must provide anyway
  101. 10 Facts About Pension Systems in Michigan
  102. Far left blog fails Accounting 101
  103. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Suggests Legislature Clarify Criminal Intent Statutes
  104. Government Transparency Bill Stalled in Senate

    Michigan House passed bill six months ago.

  105. CapCon Takes Former Clinton Official to Task

    Robert Reich ignores facts in Free Press op-ed.

  106. Just a little bit off
  107. Liberal Economist: 'Mostly White' Oakland County Deserves the Blame For Detroit's Problems
  108. Economic Freedom: What It Is and Why It Matters

    A necessary building block of a prosperous society is economic freedom. History shows that freer countries tend to become wealthier countries, with the United States typically leading the way. But is the United States moving in a different direction?

    Dean Stansel, an economics professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, will discuss the current state of economic liberty in the United States. Stansel authors the Fraser Institute’s annual “Economic Freedom of North America” report, and will compare states by this measure. Finally, Stansel will assess how well Michigan supports economic freedom.

    Sept. 16, 2014

  110. Michigan Now Spending More on Teacher Retiree Liabilities Than Prisons
  111. Resident Harmed by Windmills Now on County Planning Commission Which Approved Windmills
  112. Grasping At Taxes to Pay for Pensions

    Schools, municipalities get creative.

  113. September 12, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Business tax, "bad driver" tax & more "shadow government"
  114. Economic Freedom and Prosperity

    Mackinac Center speaker in Oakland Press.

  115. Union: Trying to influence legislators is evil — unless it's us
  116. The Growth of Michigan's 'Shadow Government'
  117. House Committee Sitting on Bill That Would Let Qualified Nurses Write Prescriptions
  118. Dropping Union Health Insurance Saves District $737K
  119. Ann Arbor Schools Bargains Over 'Prohibited Subject'
  120. Grand Rapids Transit Agency Defends New Bus Line
  121. Gap Between Teacher Salaries and Private-Sector Workers Increasing
    Sept. 9, 2014

  123. Wright on Sunday Morning Program Talking RTW

    Recent decision gives workers greater freedom.

  124. What Proposal 1 Means for Michigan Going Forward
  125. State Budget Has Low-Hanging Fruit, Too
  126. Where $100 Million Buys Little: Michigan School Employee Pension Fund
  127. 'Worst Fears' of MEA Realized as Teachers Leave
  128. Democrat Mark Schauer Receiving the Big Donations in Gubernatorial Race
  129. Superintendent Doing Something About Illegal Contract Provision
  130. September 5, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Wolf hunts, golf carts and more licensure
  131. Disdain for Politics Gov. Snyder's Undoing?

    An analysis of the gubernatorial race.

  132. Court Grills County Over Land Bank Activities
  133. News Coverage of MEA's Illegal 'August Window'

    National, international media cite Center expert.

  134. School Districts Across the State Violating Michigan Right-to-Work Law
  135. MEA’s August Window Declared Illegal
  136. Labor Law Judge Rules MEA’s So-Called ‘August Window’ Is Illegal
  137. SEIU: Go on strike against your family members
  138. Michigan Education Digest

    Charter oversight, Saginaw pay cut.

  139. $40 Million ‘Rapid’ Silver Line Bus Takes Twice as Long as a Car
  140. Survey Finds Issues With One-Quarter of Teacher Contracts Regarding Michigan’s Right-to-Work Law
  141. Number of Michigan Residents on Food Stamps Finally Declining
  142. Making Michigan Right-to-Work: Implementation Problems in Public Schools
  143. Making Michigan Right-to-Work:
    Implementation Problems in Public Schools

    This paper examines how public school districts responded to Michigan's 2012 “right-to-work” law. It describes the key findings from reviews of more than 500 teacher collective bargaining agreements. It also raises several questions about the legality of some union contracts with regard to this new law.

    Approximately 75 percent of districts with contracts subject to the right-to-work law removed language that would require employees to financially support a union as a condition of employment. Both legal and policy questions are raised by the remaining 25 percent of districts, which kept mandatory dues language in one way or another, despite having a contract that took effect or was modified after the law's effective date.

    The study describes five issues with these contracts. Twenty-three contracts made no apparent changes and kept mandatory dues language. Eight districts created a separate agreement to require mandatory dues payment. Fifteen contracts were ratified before they would be subject to the right-to-work law, but then didn’t take effect until much later. Five contracts made only the mandatory dues language immediately effective, while delaying the rest of the contract. Finally, at least six districts have modified parts of their contract without making the rest of it compliant with the right-to-work law.

  144. Officials Caved to Red Wings on Corporate Welfare

    Team should have paid for new arena on its own.

  145. Detroit City Council, State Legislature Caved to Red Wings' Demands
  146. Education Rally Long on Emotion, Short on Facts
  147. 'Non-partisan' group is totally partisan
    Sept. 2, 2014

  149. Democrats See New Voter Turnout Techniques as Ace in the Hole
  150. State Official Has Reputation for Doing it the Right Way
  151. Media Continues Reporting on Teacher Opt Outs

    Ten percent of those who could left the MEA last year.

  152. More Teachers Than Ever Now Know Opt-Out Rights

    Courageous teachers stood up to MEA bullying.

  153. Where $100 Million Buys Little: Michigan School Employee Pension Fund
  154. Pensions, not paper, the real cost problem for schools
  155. The Story of a True Hero Spreads

    Sir Nicholas Winton Feted by Holocaust Memorial Center.

  156. A Uniquely Overqualified Candidate

    LaFaive's satirical cover letter for MEDC job.

  157. Union Falsely Tells Teachers They Lose Sick Leave Benefits if They Opt Out
  158. Right-to-Work, Tax Rates Paint Interesting Picture

    States with worker freedom, low taxes draw people.

  159. MEDC Approves Corporate Welfare for Dealership

    LaFaive: Special favors unfair to competitors, taxpayers.

  160. Michigan Education Digest

    DPS self-created overspending crisis hits $127 million.

  161. Detroit Expected $55 Million in Property Tax Revenue; It Brought in $6.7 Million
  162. The (Optimistic) State of America 'After Leviathan'
  163. Koch Derangement Syndrome
  164. Vernuccio: UAW Facing Big Problems

    Commentary in Capital Research Center's "Labor Watch."

  165. Vernuccio in 'Great Communicators Tournament'

    Online voting runs through Sept. 2.

  166. Political Predictions: A Glance at the Top of the Ballot in November
    August 26, 2014

  168. AP Story on Teacher Opt Outs Goes National

    More than 100 news outlets have coverage.

  169. Gov. Granholm Teaching Class on Job Creation

    LaFaive: "Recommend students stay away."

  171. Charters Outperform Conventional Schools on Top-to-Bottom List When Student Socioeconomic Status Is Taken into Account
  172. Michigan Debt Per Taxpayer: $19,300
  173. August 22, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  174. Did Gov. Snyder Create 275,000 jobs?
  175. Attorney Questions School Superintendent on Charter School Action
  176. Do As I Teach, Not As I Governed
  177. Media Continues to Cover MEA's 'August Window'

    Union still threatening those who stopped paying dues.

  178. Coercive Driver Fees Phase-Out Close To Becoming Reality
  179. MEA Sends Collections Agency After Another Member Trying To Leave
  180. Who fact checks the fact checkers?
  181. Small Tent or Big Tent?

    Why political parties are missing the larger picture.

  182. Michigan Education Digest

    Who should control DPS?

  183. Detroit Public Schools continues to overspend
  184. Oakland – the County That Could (Reform Its Pensions)
  185. Teacher Explains Why He Left the MEA

    No longer a pawn in union's "big money political game."

  186. State School Rankings Mostly Measuring Race and Income Rather Than Performance
  187. Local School District Escapes 'At Risk' List Despite Hostile Charter Takeover
    August 19, 2014

  189. Detroit News Editorial on MEA's 'August Window'

    Teachers can resign now, save $1,000 annually.

  190. Global Warming Alarmists Switch Complaints From Water Levels to Rainfall
  191. Unintended Consequences: Cigarette Excise Taxes and Smuggling
  192. Teachers Find Union Alternatives
  193. August 15, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Wolf hunts, terminal patients and Medicaid.
  194. State Education Department Gives a Pass To Failing Districts; Punishes Charters
  195. Charter schools often shut down; other schools rarely are
  196. 'Competitiveness' Outlook Ranks Michigan 12th Best

    State has a way to go to overcome past policies.

  197. Incumbents Outspent Challengers 5-to-1 In Competitive Primary Races
  198. Spalding Writes on Worker Freedom at Townhall

    Union members need to be aware of opt-out 'windows.'

  199. Michigan Education Digest

    Year-round school, Flint overspending, online charter.

  200. War on Charters Tied To Politics and Union Money
  201. Texas Looks to Decrease Occupational Licensing

    Michigan should follow suit, remove more barriers to work.

  202. Why Do Michigan Residents Falsely Believe Education Spending Is Down?
    August 12, 2014

  204. Flanagan Goes too Far on Charter Schools

    State TTB ranking a proxy for poverty; Stanford study ignored.

  205. Union Sends Out Misleading 'Consent Form' When Members Try To Leave
  206. Mackinac Center Joins Nationwide Effort to Celebrate Employee Freedom Week
  207. University Employees Break From MEA For Better Service At Lower Cost
  208. August 8, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Key votes from 2013-14

  209. Will Michigan Taxpayers Be Giving KISS Millions For the Rock Band's Film?
  210. MEA 'fights for you' while spending very little on actual representation
  211. Pension Systems Hurt Workers, Taxpayers

    Defined-benefit plans cannot be supported.

  212. School Haze: Contract Convoluted Regarding Right-to-Work
  213. Skorup on WSJ's 'Opinion Journal Live'

    Discussed 3rd Congressional District primary.

  214. Vernuccio Discusses 'August Window' for Teachers

    How MEA members can opt out of union.

  215. Michigan Education Digest
    Teachers leaving the MEA, Benton Harbor overspending crisis.
  216. Public School District Constantly Promoting Far-Left Political Views
  217. Job Announcements Don't Equal Job Creation

    Too many candidates propping up corporate welfare.

  218. Almost No Teachers In District's Low-Performing Schools Considered 'Ineffective'
  219. School District Revokes Authorization of Popular Charter
  220. Complains about CEO pay; makes $243K to teach a few classes
  221. Enter the 'Great Communicators Tournament'
    August 5, 2014

  223. State, National Media Report on MEA Opt Out

    August is chance for members to resign if they want to.

  224. How Cities Are Solving Their Pension Problems – and the Bill That Makes It Easier
  225. State Budget Savings Idea: Eliminate Revenue Sharing
  226. Supreme Court Ends ‘Dues Skim’ Nationwide
  227. Teachers’ Window of Opportunity Is Now Open
  228. MEA-Endorsed Candidate: Education Spending Is Up
  229. Truth Squad’s Failed Proposal 1 Fact Check
    Three exemptions to personal property tax, not elimination.
  230. No Shortage of Issues To Attack On In Michigan's 15th District Senate Primary
  231. August 1, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  232. Michigan Loses 40K Grads; Corporate Welfare Program Paid $127K Each To Keep 125 of Them
  233. Why Are Some Tea Party Supporters Fighting Proposal 1 In Michigan?
  234. What Will Cities Do To Solve Their Pension Problems?
  235. Remembering Milton Friedman on His 102nd Birthday
    An intellectual powerhouse and Nobel laureate.
  236. IMPACT July/August 2014
  237. Dr. Friedman's Vision for Education
    A pioneer in school choice.
  238. Incumbent’s Record Targeted and Defended in Michigan's 46th
  239. More claims of less funding debunked
  240. Solar Subsidy Part Two
  241. F. Vincent Vernuccio cited in Teacher Freedom Article
  242. Utility Appeals Wind Turbine Noise Court Ruling
    July 29, 2014

  244. Mackinac Center's effectiveness cited on Fox News and
  245. Defining The Primary In Michigan's 89th: Two Candidates, Two Views
  246. Dire Predictions of Right-to-Work Didn't Come True
  247. MEA doesn’t stand with facts
  248. The Worst Funded Pension Systems In Michigan
  249. Here's Where the Candidates Stand In Michigan's 42nd House Race
  250. July 25, 2014, Michigan Legislature Roll Call Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  251. With Summers Off, Some Teachers Work 2nd Job
  252. Early Returns On Michigan As a Right-to-Work State: Incomes Rising
  253. GOP Candidates For Michigan's 80th House District Tackle the Issues
  254. Why are RTW States Gaining Population?

    Better income potential.

  255. Hohman on Personal Property Tax in Detroit News

    Prop 1 better than other Great Lake states' reforms.

  256. New Evidence: Right-to-Work Laws Work

    Center scholar co-authors CEI study.

  257. Three Former State Representatives Crowd The Race For Michigan's 13th Senate District
  258. Union Prez Schooled On RTW
  259. More Confusion Over 'Affordable Care Act'

    Court rules IRS illegally implemented tax credits.

  260. Union Misstatements
  261. Mitchell Ad About Moolenaar: Truthful or Over the Top?
  262. Pricey GOP Primary Race For Michigan’s 4th Congressional District
  263. Obamacare's Survival up to State Legislators

    Figures for Halbig's Michigan impact

  264. Exploring the Political Climate of Climate Change

    "Average" and "normal" are not synonymous.

  265. Netroots Confusion
  266. Incumbent’s Voting Record, Philosophy Challenged In Michigan's 107th
  267. School Support Service Privatization: Saving Money, Improving Quality
    July 22, 2014

  269. Statewide Media Cite Center on Prop 1

    Personal property tax issue on Aug. 5 ballot.

  270. Can we have a do-over on that one?
  271. State Budget Has Increased Almost $5 Billion the Past Three Years
  272. Educators Facing Off In Michigan's 59th House District
  273. July 18, 2014, Michigan Legislature Roll Call Report

    Key votes from 2013-14

  274. Stances on Corporate Welfare a Difference In Michigan's 39th House Race
  275. For Union, Math Is Hard
  276. Hunting Fees Going To Private Landowners
  277. Sentencing Reforms Could Save Tax Dollars

    Council of State Governments issues recommendations.

  278. Hohman to talk at 'Detroit Rising' Panel Friday

    Also, how "progressive" policies damaged the city.

  279. Conventional District Sidelines Successful Charter To Financially Benefit Itself
  280. Pension Malpractice and Fund Raids

    Everyone's doing it!

  281. Michigan Future Report Doesn't Add Up

    Academic research favors low-tax states.

  282. Michigan Education Digest

    NEA prez suggests teacher assessments are "satanic."

  283. State Board Prez Fights Parental Choice
  284. Schauer Job Numbers a Mystery
  285. Andrew Kaluza, RIP

    Former Center intern, 27, passes away.

    July 15, 2014

  287. Michigan 8th Congressional District GOP Primary Getting Feisty
  288. What Do Teachers Want to Support?

    RTW allows them to skip union's political bent.

  289. MEA Committee Urges Dems To Vote In GOP Primary
  290. Making Sense Of The Complicated Ballot Language For Proposal 1
  291. July 11, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  292. Agricultural Price Controls are the Pits

    Michigan cherry farmers, others, affected

  293. Manufacturing Job Growth Helps Move Michigan Ahead
  294. Political Experience Separates Candidates In 98th District House GOP Primary
  295. Unions' Bark Worse Than Their Bite

    Vernuccio in National Review on Midwest labor reforms.

  296. Vernuccio, Spalding on WILS in Lansing

    Discussed MEA attacks on teachers, charter schools.

  297. Incumbent’s Voting Record Targeted In Michigan's 86th District House Primary Race
  298. The Free Enterprise Philosophy In a 12-Cell Matrix
  299. Labor's Unfired Shot Heard Round the Country
  300. McHugh: Campaign Finance Laws 'Weaponized'

    Poses threat to political free speech.

  301. Political Free Speech on the 'Down Escalator'
  302. Michigan Teacher Pension Costs Increase To Nearly $1 Billion Per Year
  303. MEA Rhetoric Aimed At Misdirecting Teachers From Focusing On August Opt Out
  304. The Free Enterprise Philosophy
    in a 12-Cell Matrix

    This is a transcription of the last public speech given by Dr. Dale M. Haywood. Dr. Haywood taught economics and philosophy at Northwood University for almost four decades and was a founding member of the Mackinac Center's Board of Scholars. This speech describes why private property, a free market, a profit and loss system and limited government are necessary components for allowing people to prosper.

  305. Failing Charter Public Schools Are Shut Down; Conventional Public Schools Remain Open
    July 8, 2014

  307. August Opt Out Featured in Detroit News

    MEA window "can be extremely confusing."

  308. Lehman Cited in National Review

    Critique of Gov. Snyder's performance.

  309. Public School District Benefits By Branching Into Private Schools
  310. Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door For Daycare Workers To Get Money Back
  311. The Machinations Behind Michigan’s Minimum Wage Hike
  312. Fears of Right-to-Work Proving False
  313. MEA Upset at Having to Follow State Law
  314. School Official Says Illegal Language Should Be Removed From Union Contract
  315. What the 4th of July Means to Me

    Counting my blessings.

  316. July 3, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Key votes from 2013-14

  317. Supreme Court Ends Dues Skim Nationwide
  318. Personal Property Tax Plan Would Cut Taxes By $500 Million
  319. Happy Birthday, America
  320. Detroit News: MERC Ruling a 'Win' for Students

    Center provided legal help for U-M grad students.

  321. Wilcox in Detroit News

    SCOTUS decision's Michigan roots.

  322. Taxpayers Handcuffed By Money Being Given To Beverly Hills Cop Production Company
  323. Proposal 1 of 2014:
    Summary and Assessment

    Download the full study here.

    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; it does not eliminate the personal property tax. Commercial and industrial businesses with less than $80,000 of personal property will be exempt, and, eventually, all manufacturing personal property will be exempt. These exemptions amount to an estimated $600 million tax cut when fully implemented.

    The package of bills includes a mechanism for reimbursing local government units for the revenue lost from these new exemptions. The state would set aside a portion of the statewide Use tax revenue, and use this revenue to reimburse local governments. It is estimated that local governments will be reimbursed for the entirety of the revenue lost due to the personal property tax cuts.

    The state would also levy a new, but relatively small, tax on manufacturing personal property that qualifies for one of the exemptions described above, except the small parcel exemption. The state estimates this to raise $117.5 million, making the overall net tax cut of the legislation package worth about $500 million.

  324. Policy Brief: Proposal 1 Would Result in Net $500 Million Tax Break Annually
  325. Schauer Wants to Put Limits On Advertising Done By Charter Public Schools
  326. Reitz in The American Spectator

    Commentary on SEIU defeat.

    July 1, 2014

  328. Michigan Families Set Stage For Helping End Forced Unionization Schemes
  329. Supreme Court Takes One Step Away from Forced Unionization
  330. Media Cite Center on Supreme Court Case

    SEIU-type dues skim outlawed.

  331. Insurance 52% to 119% Costlier Under Obamacare

    County-level comparisons now available.

  332. Supreme Court Rules Unionization Schemes Involving Home-Based Care Providers Are Illegal
  333. U.S. Supreme Court Rules Home-Based Caregivers in Nine States Free from Union Dues Skim
  334. Contrast Over Right-to-Work, Film Subsidies, Detroit Bailout In 31st District Senate Race
  335. Court Backs Finding Of Wind Turbine Noise Problem
  336. June 27, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Key votes from 2013-14
  337. MEA Embraces More Outsourcing

    But still protests when schools do it.

  338. TTB a Poor Measure of Charter Performance

    Free Press should use better metric.

  339. Vernuccio Discusses the MEA's 'August Window'

    Was a guest on "Capital City Recap." 

  340. Thinking Outside the School Box
  341. Audit Shows SEIU 'Dues Skim' Likely Bolstered By Extra $3.7 Million; Union-Run Registry Ineffective
  342. Schools Getting $377 Million More For Retiree Benefits But Officials Still Complaining About 'Cuts'
  343. Select Business Subsidies, Endorsements Are Differences In 37th District Senate GOP Primary
  344. Public School Administrators Complain About Pension Costs; Don't Offer Solutions
  345. 'He's Just Making That Up' — No Shortage of Attacks In 3rd Congressional District GOP Primary
    June 24, 2014

  347. Michigan Future Misses the Mark
  348. Gongwer, MIRS Cover MERC Ruling

    Grad students saved from unionization.

  349. School Districts Copying Each Other's Homework While Calling Increased Funding a 'Cut'
  350. Unionization Ruling Before The Supreme Court Could Be 'Huge'
  351. A Request For Lower Beer And Wine Prices
  352. June 20, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Votes on “navigators,” pets, squatters, woodstoves, taxi-cartels

  353. Tax Foundation Takes On Michigan Future Report

    Says Minnesota comparison "misses the mark."

  354. Michigan Employment Relations Commission Rules Again that Graduate Student Research Assistants Cannot be Unionized
  355. State Agency Rules That Graduate Student Research Assistants Not Eligible For Unionization
  356. Ohio Starts Holding Wind Industry Accountable
  357. Repeal Post and Hold Alcohol Rules

    Beer and wine wholesalers gain, consumers lose.

  358. Fox Covers MEA's Attack on Teachers

    Vernuccio, teacher with host Neil Cavuto.

  359. MEA Upset at Having to Follow State Law
  360. The After Effects Of Michigan's Minimum Wage Increase
  361. School District's Math Doesn't Add Up
  362. Mackinac Center Requests Michigan Liquor Control Commission Rescind Rule Requiring ‘Post and Hold’ for Beer and Wine Prices
  363. Oh, The Things You Will Learn

    An intern's brush with bureaucracy

  364. Vernuccio Discusses MEA's Attack on Teachers

    Guest on SiriusXM radio's 'Wilkow Majority.'

  365. Michigan vs. Minnesota Report Says Little About What Policies To Pursue
  366. Wind Power 'Success Story' Was a Massive Failure
  367. Washington Examiner: MEA Attacking Teachers

    Fox News: Union sending members to collections agency.

  368. Skorup on WNEM-TV5

    State has enough money to fix roads.

  369. State Budget Shifts Extra Revenue Sharing Funds To Detroit
    June 17, 2014

  371. Legislators Should Look To Oklahoma To Address Pension Change ‘Transition Costs’
  372. Double Standard On School District Deficits
  373. A Vision for Michigan's Future

    Featuring Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette

  374. Court Upholds Law Banning Automatic Wage Increases For Public Employees
  375. June 13, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Road taxes, budgets, e-cigs and more…

  376. Michigan Teacher Pension System Liabilities Increase Again
  377. MEA Sends Credit Agency After Teacher Who Stopped Paying Dues
  378. Raising the Minimum Wage
  379. Legislature Considering More Transparency For Asset Forfeiture
  380. Low-Hanging Fruit Can Help Fund Roads

    There's plenty of money in the current budget.

  381. RTW States Lead the Way

    More income, population growth.

  382. Media Details Center Efforts to Help Teachers

    New website can help teachers opt out of the MEA.

  383. Minimizing The Damage From Michigan's Minimum Wage Increase
  384. Unionization Case Before The Supreme Court Could Have Lasting National Impact
  385. Reitz Cited on Government Transparency

    "Essential for citizens to know."

  386. Grazed and Confused

    Detroit's response to goats exposes bigger problem.

  387. How to Mitigate the Damage Caused by Michigan’s New Minimum Wage Hike and Why More Labor Reforms Are Necessary

    James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, will present on ways to mitigate the economic harms caused by a higher minimum wage and on ways to hold government unions more accountable to their members.

  388. Politics Prevailed With Michigan's Minimum Wage Increase
    June 10, 2014

  390. Mackinac Center Unveils New Website to Help MEA Members Opt Out During ‘August Window’
  391. Detroit’s Dilemma Tests Lansing’s Leadership
  392. Teacher Unions Agree to Faulty Contracts in Order to Maintain Mandatory Dues
  393. Agenda for Detroit: What Role Should State Play Post-Bankruptcy?
  394. Legislator Blames 'Shady Bankers' For Detroit's Problems Despite Voting To Double Debt
  395. Legislature To Prohibit Courses That Teach Unionization Techniques
  396. Proposed State Law Would End Blowout High School Football Games Early
  397. June 6, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Detroit “Bailout,” a Little Extra for Roads, Internet Harassment
  398. Media Reports on Center Request

    New MERC rule would help public-sector union members.

  399. May 30, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Minimum wage, medical service tax.
  400. Fears of Right-to-Work Proving False

    Stats show RTW states enjoying growth.

  401. Income Growth In Right-to-Work States Significantly Higher
  402. Rule Request Would Require Public Sector Unions To Notify Members Of When They Are Eligible To Resign
  403. Mackinac Center Requests Michigan Employment Relations Commission Create New Rule Requiring Public-Sector Unions to Notify Members of Opt-Out Windows
  404. Bill Would Allow Strip Searches for Misdemeanor Crimes; Probable Cause Not Necessary
  405. Michigan Politicians Misrepresenting Attorney General Position To Push Detroit Bailout
  406. Republican Push For Higher Minimum Wage Likely Has Anti-Taxpayer Strings Attached
  407. Despite Differing Reports, Michigan Experiencing 'Solid Job Recovery'
    June 3, 2014

  409. Lehman, LaFaive in Wall Street Journal

    How Democrats won on minimum wage, gas tax.

  410. Internal Issues Put International Charter Public School At Risk
  411. IMPACT May/June 2014
  412. Ohio One Step Closer To Ending In-State Renewable Energy Mandate
  413. Teachers Contract Contains Questionable Forced Unionization Clause
  414. Lawmakers Misrepresent Detroit Pension Bill

    Legislation does not “cap” potential taxpayer contributions.

  415. Policy and Politics Just Part of the Action on Mackinac Island
  416. Right-to-Work States Dominating In Job Growth
  417. Select Few Benefit from Film Subsidies

    While crumbling roads impact everyone.

  418. MEGA Credited-Companies Created Only 18.9 Percent Of Projected Jobs Since 1995
  419. The 89,000 Clean Energy Jobs Myth
  420. Union Opposes Privatization For Others, Outsources For Itself
    May 27, 2014

  422. MEA Still Chasing Thousands Not Paying Dues Or Fees
  423. Here Is Who Voted For The Detroit Bailout and To Not Close Pension System
  424. Thank Heaven We Have a Full-Time Legislature

    Vitally important job of picking official state frog.

  425. May 23, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Detroit bailout, gas tax, FOIA.

  426. A Look At The Left-Wing Groups The National Education Association Supports
  427. Media Misinterpreting Detroit Pension Bill

    Legislation doesn't address pension underfunding.

  428. Legislature Lacks Credibility in Detroit Bailout

    Now they want you to fix their mess.

  429. Detroit Bailout Bill Leaves Taxpayers On The Hook For New Pension Underfunding
  430. Money For Detroit Is Clearly a Bailout

    Policymakers should stop saying otherwise.

  431. False Fears About Fracking

    Bridge Magazine cites dishonest 'Gasland' scene.

  432. Gov's Immigration Reform Isn't Bold Enough

    Shouldn't be limited to Detroit and STEM degrees.

  433. The Detroit Bailout and Meaningful Pension Reform
  434. Michigan Teachers Contribute to Six-Figure Salaries at the NEA
    May 20, 2014

  436. The Detroit Bailout and Meaningful Pension Reform

    Our speakers will be Richard Dreyfuss, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania and Stephen D. Eide, senior fellow with the Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan Institute in New York.

  437. School Districts That Privatize Usually Pay Teachers More
  438. Gov. Snyder Is Right

    'Don't Give Detroit a Bailout.'

  439. Detroit Bailout Discussion at Noon Tuesday

    Center hosting Issues & Ideas forum in Lansing.

  440. LaFaive in Free Press

    No bailout for Detroit.

  441. Experts To Rebut Claims of Opponents Protesting Detroit Pension Reform Plan
  442. In-State Renewable Energy Mandate Could Be Eliminated In Ohio
  443. Detroit Bailout Without Pension Reform Is Political Malpractice
  444. Bill Would Bring Public Notice Rule Changes
  445. Hypocrisy Over Private Organizations 'Profiteering' Off Education System
  446. LaFaive Discusses Detroit Bailout

    City should fix its own problems.

  447. Minimum Wage Issue a Battle of Election Year Gimmicks
  448. MEGA Failure: Job Projections From Michigan Tax Credit Program Rarely Came True
  449. Center in Wall Street Journal Consecutive Days

    Cited on SEIU scheme, Detroit bailout.

  450. MEA: Too Many People Making $ Off Public Schools

    MEA president made $212,848 last year.

  451. Cost of School Millage Approvals Inflated Because of Prevailing Wage Law
  452. Closing Pensions a Litmus Test for Detroit Reform

    "Business as usual" if Legislature caves.

  453. Alleged ‘Transition Costs’ Avoidable In Detroit

    Shouldn't be used as a roadblock to pension reform.

  454. MEA Economist Ignores Billions In Education Spending
    May 13, 2014

  456. Detroit Bailout Package

    Handy link to descriptions of all 10 bills.

  457. Wage Hike Bad for Tipped Workers

    Vernuccio explains in Detroit News.

  458. Skorup Discusses Hollywood Corporate Welfare

    Film subsidy money could be better spent.

  459. Wage Hike Would Hurt Tipped Workers
  460. State Government Playing Favorites With Food Providers
  461. Measure Would Ban Enforcement Of Woodstove Emission Regulations
  462. Union Surrenders Member Benefits To Keep Unenforceable Clause In Contract
  463. Stricter Rules Proposed For Taxpayer Funded Bridge Cards
  464. Small Business Owner: An Increased Minimum Wage Hurts Everyone
  465. Reforming Michigan's Civil Asset Forfeiture Law

    Legislature should follow Minnesota's example.

  466. States Spending Less Money On K-12 Education Get Better Results
  467. Detroit Bailout Solved: Sell Just ONE Painting

    Use state money to fill potholes statewide.

  468. Corporate Welfare for 'Millionaire Movie Makers'

    WNEM details film subsidy scheme.

  469. Statewide Taxpayers on the Hook for Detroit?

    LaFaive cited in Detroit News on bailout scheme.

  470. Despite Shortage Of Bus Drivers, Union Wants Worker Fired For Not Paying Dues
  471. Debate Workshops 2014
  472. The Debate Over School Spending

    Teacher pension costs really are part of classroom spending.

  473. Detroit 'Openly and Notoriously' Went Bankrupt

    Its reward? Maybe a state bailout

  474. Mackinac Center Experts Available to Discuss Gov. Snyder’s Detroit Bailout Plan
  476. Attorney General: School District Violating State Law By Automatically Deducting Union Dues
    May 6, 2014

  478. More Detroit Favors Piled On Top of Other Favors

    City gets more in revenue sharing than all others combined.

  479. Michigan Taxpayers Paying More Money for Fewer Workers
  480. Teamsters Drop Case Requiring Non-Members Pay Unfair Fee
  481. Teamsters Local 214 Drops Legal Claims Against Dearborn Employees Who Exercised Worker Freedom Rights
  482. Cigarette Smuggling Still Rampant in Michigan, Nation
  483. Privatizing Detroit Department of Transportation Would Save City Millions
  484. School Board Member: Close Teacher Pension System
  485. State, National Media on SEIU's Downward Spiral

    Right-to-work rescues 44k from stealth unionization scheme.

  486. Poll: Voters Say Small Business Will Suffer Most With Minimum Wage Increase
  487. Retiree Benefits Pose Problems For Pothole Patching Plans In Grand Rapids
  488. Cigarette Smuggling Undermines Tax Revenue

    Michigan lost $175 million in 2012.

  489. 'Binding' Taxpayers to Detroit

    Bailout money means fewer potholes get fixed.

  490. Which Michigan School Districts Pay The Most?
  491. Detroit Should Sell Some Paintings and More

    It's the only fair solution to all Michigan residents.

  492. SEIU Membership Drops 80 Percent

    When given a choice, thousands refuse to join.

  493. SEIU Membership Drops 80 Percent After Dues Skim Ends
  494. Art Sales and Angry Journalism

    Detroit Free Press editor's remarks uncalled for.

    April 29, 2014

  496. Repeating Inaccurate Claim About School Funding Does Not Make It True
  497. Can Detroit Bailout Sneak Past GOP Legislature?

    Jack McHugh explains how in The Macomb Daily.

  498. Detroit Charter Student a Potential Ivy Leaguer

    Credits school choice for its role in his success.

  499. Public-Private Partnerships: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  500. How to Pass a Detroit Bailout the Majority Party Opposes
  501. From Detroit To The Ivy League: One Student's Journey
  502. Seventy-Five Percent of Michigan Voters Think Local, Family-Owned Businesses Will Have More Difficulty Adjusting to Higher Minimum Wage
  503. A Center-Right Candidate Questionnaire that Digs Deeper
  504. Union Leader Claims Government Entities 'Falsifying' Financial Problems
  505. Utah's Lessons for Michigan Pension Reform
  506. Michigan State University Administering Program On How To Unionize Employees
  507. Everyone Should Have an Opportunity to Prosper

    Regulations often hinder people from work

  508. Corporate Welfare for Hockey Pucks or Burgers?

    If the Red Wings get it, why not McDonald's?

  509. Schauer Calls For Long-Term Solvency Of Pension System; As State Senator Voted To Underfund It
  510. How Michigan Can Fix Its Pension Problems
  511. Center Files Brief at U.S. Supreme Court

    Urges justices to take up free speech case.

  512. Schauer Education Plan Looks To Shut Down Successful Charter Public Schools
  513. Thank You for Registering!
  514. How States Are Fixing Pension Problems – And Michigan Can Too

    How states like Michigan can fix perennial pension problems will be the topic of this Issues and Ideas Forum. The featured speaker will be Dan Liljenquist, who spearheaded pension reforms in Utah while he served as a state senator. For his role in the Utah reforms, Liljenquist was named a 2011 “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine, and has since a become national expert on this issue and highlighted by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others outlets.

  515. How to Make Michigan Schools More Expensive

    Mark Schauer's education plan protects the status quo.

  516. More Good News for Michigan

    State climbs to 12th place in economic outlook rankings.

  517. Ticket Sales a Matter of Property Rights
    April 22, 2014

  519. Poll Shows Solid Opposition To Detroit Bailout
  520. CEO Compensation Comparison Lacks Perspective
  521. It's All in How You Ask the Question
    Three polls on Detroit bailout, three outcomes.
  522. Perry: Ticket Resales Should be Unregulated

    Tickets to games or concerts are personal property.

  523. Detroit Should Sell Some Paintings

    Unfair to make the many subsidize amenities for the few.

  524. Detroit Bailout Makes for Strange Bedfellows
  525. Retiree Becoming Face Of 'Pension Tax' Collecting Generously
  526. Michigan State Budget Process Allows For Plausible Deniability
  527. Mackinac Center Executive Vice President Michael J. Reitz Joins Board of Michigan Coalition for Open Government
  528. Political Predictions for 2014
  529. School District May Violate State Law By Removing Teachers Based Strictly On Seniority
  530. More State Favors for Detroit

    Deferment through borrowing.

  531. Michigan Capitol Confidential honored by Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists

    Four staff members receive awards.

  532. Tax Freedom Day In Michigan
  533. Minimum Wage Hike About Politics, not People

    Jarrett Skorup Op-Ed in Detroit News

  534. Superintendent Claiming Less Money Receives $515 More Per Pupil
  535. Center Experts in Detroit News

    City should privatize transportation department.

  536. Special Deals Allow Detroit To Collect Hundreds Of Millions In Extra Revenue
    April 15, 2014

  538. Detroit EM Considering Center Proposals

    Privatization could help stabilize struggling city.

  539. Large Majority of Republican, Independent Voters Object to Gov. Snyder’s Detroit Bailout Plan, According to New Polling Numbers
  540. Community Group Fighting Third Attempt To Bring Wind Farm To Town
  541. Details Behind Push For 'Mystery Project' Begin To Surface
  542. Detroit’s Special Favors Add Up

    Only city in Michigan allowed to tax utility bills.

  543. Government Subsidies Run Amok

    Remember, Uncle Sam can't count.

  544. More Higher Ed Spending Questionable

    Legislators, taxpayers need answers.

  545. Local Governments Not Starved For Cash
  546. Road Funding: Getting the Priorities Right
  547. Vernuccio Cited on President's Ann Arbor Visit

    Most Americans can't afford a $14 sandwich for lunch.

  548. Michigan School Funding Up, Results Flat
  549. Amtrak Subsidy Takes Money from Roads

    Riders should pay their own way.

  550. Grand Rapids Selectively Released Public Information
  551. Maine Cigarette Tax Hike Would Have Undermined Health Goals
  552. Obama Drops a Minimum Wage 'Stink Burger' On Michigan
  553. Center Adds New Scholar to Team

    Jason Taylor, CMU professor and economist.

  554. Center Scholar in Wall Street Journal

    Mark Perry on alleged gender pay gap.

  555. IMPACT March/April 2014
  556. The Winners and Losers in Detroit Bankruptcy
  557. Reuben Sandwich With A Side Of 500K Lost Jobs
  558. A Letter to Ranny Riecker on 50 Years of Service
    April 8, 2014

  560. RIP Ranny Riecker

    Center mourns loss of founding director.

  561. April 4, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
  562. Cities Increase Fees, Spend More While Complaining About State Shared Revenue
  563. Legislative Reforms in 2013 Leave Much to be Desired
  564. Pension Debt: Not Just a Problem in Detroit
  565. Trim Corporate Welfare to $0
  566. Corporate Welfare for New Red Wings Arena Won't Spur Economic Development
  567. Draconian Traffic Fee Law Moving Toward The Chopping Block
  568. School Union Contracts Across The State Retain Clauses Calling For Hiring Based On Race
  569. Mystery Project Almost Got $5.5 Million From Taxpayers
  570. Superintendent Says District Worse Off Despite Getting More Overall State Money
  571. A Better Way to Protect Detroit Pensioners

    Make it a "contract city"

  572. Taxpayer Representation Missing From Assessor Review Panel
  573. State Rep: School Districts Willfully Violating Law Should Face 'Criminal Charges'
  574. Union Teacher Contract Has Illegal Racial Preferences Provision
  575. Collective Bargaining Reform:
    Are Districts in Conflict With State Law?

    This Issues and Ideas Forum will present Mackinac Center findings from a review of more than 100 teachers union contracts, which analyzed the various ways school boards have attempted to comply with the 2011 reforms regarding teacher evaluations, placement and tenure. Our featured speaker will be Representative Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, who will share his thoughts on the intent of the 2011 reforms and how districts have implemented them.

  576. Agenda For Detroit: What Role State Government Should Play After Bankruptcy
  577. March 28, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Votes on soccer, roadkill, nuke plants.

  578. Michigan Education Association Misleading Voters

    'Kids Not CEOs' website rife with misinformation.

  579. MEA President's Math in Detroit News Questioned

    District says Cook's claim "cannot be substantiated."

  580. District Disputes MEA President's Claim About School Funding Cuts
  581. VW and the UAW vs. Workers, Democracy and Free Speech
  582. Medicaid Expansion Studies Weren't Trustworthy

    Analysis reveals multiple flaws.

  583. Center Scholar's Commentary at

    New Red Wings arena should not get corporate welfare.

  584. Video Report: Teachers Hope Their Win Against Union Emboldens Others
  585. Electricity Competition In Texas, Illinois Brought Lower Prices Than Michigan
  586. Michigan Paying $860 Million In Select Tax Incentives, Subsidies
  587. Right-to-Work States See Larger Gains

    Personal income and population growth numbers released.

  588. Happy Birthday Norman Borlaug

    Credited with saving 1 billion people.

  589. Emergency Manager Model Brings Fiscal Security to Pontiac
  590. City Says Recording Device Ban Was Due To 'Miscommunication'
    March 25, 2014

  592. College Spending Results Questioned

    More money doesn't yield better results.

  593. Column: When Silence Speaks Volumes
  594. Poll Shows Many Michigan Residents Misinformed About Education Spending
  595. Michigan's Film Incentive Program Has Been A Bust
  596. New Bill Would Prevent Discriminatory Charitable Bin Bans
  597. More Problems with Ferndale Teacher Contract

    Ignores state laws regarding seniority, evaluations.

  598. Center Research in Time, Washington Post

    Tobacco smuggling stats a national story.

  599. CapCon Story on Ferndale Draws Attention

    State, national, international media respond.

  600. Land Bank Funding Makes It Into Supplemental Spending Bill
  601. House Readies For Vote On FOIA Reforms
  602. Electric Vehicle Battery Subsidy Failures Evident Early On
  603. Teacher Who Left MEA Explains Why

    Ray Arthur in Detroit News.

  604. Why Michigan Needs More Immigrants
  605. Non-Christians Given 'Special Consideration' In Union Teacher Contract
  606. Asset Forfeiture Laws Threaten Property Rights

    Center statement on House Bills 5230 and 5233.

  607. Asset Forfeiture Issue Arises With Clause in Human Trafficking Bills
    March 18, 2014

  609. Free-Market Approaches to Immigration Reform

    This Issues and Ideas Forum will look at the question from a free-market perspective. Our speakers will be Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Helen Krieble, founder and president of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation and creator of the “Red Card Solution,” a plan that could curb illegal immigration by offering non-citizen work permits that do not lead to citizenship.

  610. A Decade On: Center Beats MEA in Union's Assault on Free Speech
  611. Right-to-Work Should be Judged on Economic Data

    Corporate welfare inquiries not a good barometer of success.

  612. More People On Food Stamps After Past Minimum Wage Increases
  613. The Mackinac Center, Free Speech and the MEA
  614. Moderate Steps for Brewers, Industry Freedom

    No reason for Legislature not to do more.

  615. Hospital Union Continues to Bully Employees

    Hurley administrators fail to step in.

  616. Sunshine Week 2014
  617. Happy Anniversary Proposal A
  618. Union Intimidation List Back Up
  619. SEIU Fined for Campaign Finance Violations

    Union dues skim took $34 million from Medicaid.

  620. Unions, Left-Leaning Groups Dominate List of Largest Political Donors
  621. There Is No Relationship Between College Graduates and Economic Growth
  622. Teacher Speaks Out on Union Bullying

    MEA will go after 8,000 teachers not paying dues.

  623. Tax Board Bans Recording Equipment In Hearing Involving Nonprofit
  624. SEIU Fined Almost $200,000 Over Actions Tied To 2012 Ballot Proposal Campaign
  625. Liberty and Character – The Indispensable Connection

    Featuring Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus of the Mackinac Center and current president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

  626. Lopez on Fox Business

    Corporate welfare for movies unfair to taxpayers.

  627. What a Union Looks Like in a RTW State

    Alabama UAW shuns rhetoric, gives honest answers.

  628. Economics 101: Minimum Wage Kills Jobs

    When prices go up, quantity demanded goes down.

  629. Grand Rapids Says Nonprofit Acton Institute Not A Charitable Institution
  630. Not Pretty: 2013 Legislative Roundup
  631. Legislature Split on Funding For Land Bank Authority
    March 11, 2014

  633. LaFaive Proven Right on Cigarette Tax Hike

    Mass. losing millions due to smuggling.

  634. Vernuccio on Worker Freedom

    Panel discussion in Washington, D.C.

  635. Teachers Victorious Over MEA

    State, national media report on RTW win.

  636. MEA Says 8,000 Haven't Paid Dues; Some Teachers Say Union Intentionally Misled Members
  637. Who Is Behind The Minimum Wage Increase Drive?
  638. Unlicensed Dogs Get New Leash On Life; Taxpayers Due A Refund In Traverse City
  639. March 7, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  640. 'Super Seniority' For Union Officials, Other Clauses In School Contracts Prohibited By Law
  641. Teachers Victorious In Their Quest To Get Out Of The MEA
  642. Michigan Education Association Gives Up Fight Against Two Teachers Who Exercised Worker Freedom Rights
  643. Electricity Competition in Illinois

    Consumers save $240 annually.

  644. Other Michigan Cities in Pension Debt

    Not just a Detroit problem.

  645. McHugh Discusses Budget on WILS

    Focus on smarter spending, not more spending.

  646. Majority of State’s Largest School Districts Have Language Prohibited by State Law in Their Contracts; Includes Teacher Evaluations, Layoffs, Seniority
  647. Michigan Third-Grade Reading Levels Down Significantly
  648. Roadblocks to Reform?: A Review of Union Contracts in Michigan Schools
  649. Revolving Door Crony Capitalism Spins Washington and Lansing
  650. Roadblocks to Reform?: A Review of Union Contracts in Michigan Schools

    This study focuses on Public Act 103 of 2011, which made teacher evaluation, layoff policies and teacher placement prohibited subjects of bargaining, among other things. After surveying 200 Michigan school district collective bargaining agreements, this study finds that as many as 60 percent of districts could have collective bargaining agreements in place that contain language prohibited by PA 103.

    Some districts negotiated with their unions to add language stating that if circumstances changed, pages of prohibited language would take immediate effect. Others simply changed the word “teacher” in order to keep the prohibited language but have it apply to other staff members. Finally, some districts appear to have kept prohibited language without explanation.

    This study includes further examples and lists of districts that kept the prohibited language in their contracts. As a solution, penalties could be added to the collective bargaining reform laws in order to encourage district compliance.

  651. Union Touts Liability Insurance As Perk; Costs $4.35 A Year Per Member
  652. Why Good Tax Reform is Difficult

    Special interests battle Rep. Camp's plan.

  653. Detroit News, Free Press Cover MCLF Lawsuit

    MEA sued over more teacher bullying.

  654. Look at Municipal Finance Trends Before Pumping In More Money
  655. Study: Per-Pupil Funding, Class Size Not Predictor of Schools Families Choose
  656. Union Website Warns About Bullying, But Members Who Opted Out Report Being Bullied
  657. February 28, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  658. Mackinac Scholar in Wall Street Journal

    Smith on IRS scandal and media failure.

  659. Lawsuit Filed Against MEA Over Dues Policies, 'Fair Representation'
  660. Michigan's 'Pay It Forward' College Tuition Plan Will Equal Higher Costs
  661. Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Files Suit in Oakland County on Behalf of 39-Year Teaching Veteran to Prevent MEA Harassment
  662. Union Exec Claims Posting Names of Workers Who Opted Out Serves As Membership Reminder for Others
  663. What Right-to-Work Means

    A view from a union contract.

  664. Tuition Plan Would Make College More Expensive

    Spalding and Skorup in The Detroit News.

  665. Displaced: How Michigan Districts Are Ignoring Anti-Seniority Reforms
  666. Detroit’s Spruce Goose – City Airport
  667. MEA Aggressive With Dues Collection Information; Silent On How To Opt Out
  668. Why Tax Rate Cuts Matter More Than Increasing Credits and Exemptions
  669. Why Michigan Needs a Tax Cut

    People know better how to spend their own money.

  670. School District, Union Working Together To Try To Ban Charter Schools
  671. Lawmakers Move Away From Giving Land Banks Exclusive Privileges
  672. Fairy Tale Minimum Wage Economics

    Ballot backers actually think there won't be job loss.

    March 4, 2014

  674. Law Judge To Hear Unfair Labor Practice Complaints Against MEA
  675. Analysis: Michigan's Labor Force Growth Among Fastest in Nation
  676. IMPACT January/February 2014
  677. Politicians Should Stand Up for Taxpayers

    Instead of sending their money to Hollywood.

  678. Housing Expenses Among the Perks Michigan Residents Pay for Big Hollywood
  679. Detroit: Possibility of Real Privatization, Savings

    Emergency Manager's plan filed in bankruptcy court.

  680. Center Expert, Board Member Discuss Detroit

    LaFaive, Lockwood at Reason Foundation event.

  681. Mackinac Center Experts Available to Discuss Detroit Bankruptcy Plan
  682. Bars, Restaurants Could See 280 Percent Increase in Labor Costs With Minimum Wage Ballot Proposal
  683. Looking to Pontiac for Detroit Solutions

    Reason Foundation roundtable discussion.

  684. Hospital Union Resorts to Intimidation Tactics Against Workers Who Opt Out
  685. Spalding Op-Ed on School Choice

    Explains the benefits to MLive readers.

  686. Expert: Consumers Energy Trying To ‘Muddle’ Wind Turbine Noise Solution
  687. School Choice Helps Families Access Better Schools
    February 18, 2014

  689. State Economic Outlook from David Littmann

    Discussed DBusiness article on WJR.

  690. Mackinac Center’s VoteSpotter App Allows Constituents to Give Legislators Immediate Feedback on How They Voted
  691. School Districts Insist They Need More Money to Educate Fewer Students
  692. VoteSpotter App Draws Media Attention

    Give instant feedback to your legislators.

  693. VW Vote Shows 'Card Check' Still a Fraud

    UAW loses when secret ballot is allowed.

  694. Spalding on Fox2 Detroit

    College costs, school takeovers discussed.

  695. Michigan Assessors On the Path To Raise Property Taxes
  696. Analysis: Michigan’s Cigarette Smuggling Rate Falls Slightly; State Still in Top 10 Nationally
  697. Cigarette Smuggling Still Rampant in Michigan, Nation
  698. How Politicians Game the Pension System
  699. Bill Would Keep $60 Million Special Deal in Place for Hemlock Semiconductor
  700. February 14, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  701. Commentary: Focus on Post-Secondary Education Shifting

    It doesn't always have to mean college.

  702. Analysis: Misleading Commercial on Electric Rates

    Comparison to Texas invalid, dishonest.

  703. Vernuccio on PBS News Hour

    Labor expert talks UAW/VW vote in Tennessee.

  704. School District Works Around State Law To Protect Teachers Based on Seniority
  705. State GDPs vs. Comparable Nations

    Center Scholar Mark Perry's "Carpe Diem" blog.

  706. Michigan Exports to Mexico and China Increasing
  707. Districts Asking for More Money Already Getting It

    Mismanagement, not funding, deserves scrutiny.

  708. Union Bullying Story Draws National Attention

    CapCon broke story about RTW "intimidation" list.

  709. Trim Corporate Welfare to $0
  710. Democrats Education Spending Math Doesn't Add Up
  711. Ag Still Not Michigan's 2nd Largest Industry

    And why that myth is so damaging.

    February 11, 2014

  713. Health Care Workers Having Trouble Finding Union That Plays Fair
  714. Debate Du Jour: Minimum Wage Takes Center Stage
  715. Farm Bill Full of Corporate Welfare

    Big spending on small part of economy.

  716. Corporate Welfare Schemes Need Transparency

    Mackinac Center commentary in Detroit Free Press.

  717. The Best Plan for Michigan Tax Reform

    Lower rates, fewer exceptions.

  718. Union Bullies Workers Exercising Their Rights
  719. Bill Would Add Paid Members to State's Corporate Welfare Agency
  720. Do Politicians Understand Economics?

    Minimum wage proponents don't appear to.

  721. Commentary: A Legislative Agenda for 2014

    Get back to the 2011 and 2012 reform agenda.

  722. $1 Trillion Farm Bill Full of Subsidies, Special Favors

    Majority of Michigan GOP delegation voted for it.

  723. February 7, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  724. Court Orders Utility To Address Wind Turbine Noise Problems
  725. Michigan Still Underfunding Teacher Pensions

    Made full contribution just twice in last decade.

  726. Center Adds Three New Scholars to Board

    Chris Douglas, Michael Hicks, Todd Nesbit.

  727. Mark Schauer's Support for Corporate Welfare

    He had lots of help from the GOP along the way.

  728. Narrative Changing On Michigan K-12 Education Spending
  729. Littmann Testimony on SB 402

    Michigan needs "visionary leadership" on tax cuts.

    February 4, 2014

  731. Scholarship Endowment Created in Honor of Teri Olson
  732. Democrats Selectively Considering Pension Benefits In Education Funding
  733. There Is No Good Reason the MEDC Should Exist
  734. Free Press: School Funding Up Under Gov. Snyder

    Paper substantiates what Michigan Capitol Confidential first reported.

  735. Skorup on 'West Michigan Week'

    Debate over minimum wage.

  736. Vague Criminal Laws Threaten Individual Liberty and Burden the Justice System
  737. The World Is Getting Better and Better
  738. Schauer, Other Michigan Dems Call For Higher Minimum Wage While Paying Interns Nothing
  739. Detroit Should Look to Pontiac
  740. Lawmakers Poised To Continue Corporate Welfare Fund
  741. January 31, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  742. State Loses 200,000 Jobs, MEDC Finds 2,185

    Why tax cuts are better than corporate welfare.

  743. Detroit's Spruce Goose: City Airport
  744. Michigan Job Growth Higher Than Initially Reported
  745. Harming the Competition

    Why some companies want a higher minimum wage.

  746. Vernuccio on Benefits of RTW for Missouri

    Op-Ed in Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader.

  747. Can Detroit Replicate Pontiac's Success?

    LaFaive outlines how in today's Oakland Press.

  748. Wages Rise in Right-to-Work States
  749. State Revenue Estimating Conference Needs Better Estimating
  750. Like A Broken Record, MEA Complains About 'Insufficient Funds'
  751. The Ticket: The Many Faces of School Choice

    Our guests will discuss the benefits of different, emerging models of educational options and what is possible for Michigan.

  752. Will Legislature Keep Tax Cut Promise?

    SB 402 begins to undo 11.5% hike from 2007.

  753. Happy National School Choice Week!

    Plenty of reasons to celebrate in Michigan.

  754. Pension Costs Mean Tighter Budgets For Classrooms, Taxpayers
  755. MDOT Subsidy Numbers Off Track

    Amtrak passengers should pay their full share.

  756. Commentary: Higher Ed Spending Myths

    MSU professor's presentation questioned.

    January 28, 2014

  758. LaFaive Cited on Minimum Wage in GR Press

    Research refutes AFL-CIO president's claim.

  759. MDOT Response to Mackinac Center Amtrak Piece
  760. Budget Watchdog: Debt Burden In Michigan Now $25,300 Per Taxpayer
  761. Kent County Land Bank Is Not a Good Deal For Citizens
  762. 'Business Improvement Zones' = Property Taxes

    If you doubt that, try not paying the "assessment."

  763. Advocates of More Education Spending Ignoring Billions in Other Funds
  764. Utility Asks Court To Slap Down Excessive Wind Turbine Noise Finding
  765. January 24, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report
    Update on recent legislative action
  766. Gubernatorial Candidate Makes Inaccurate Claim About Education Spending
  767. Michigan Taxpayers Have Already Bailed Out Detroit
  768. The Importance of Real Equality

    And why the government can't provide it.

  769. Commentary: Your Pledge for Detroit

    Bailout scheme takes from other needs.

  770. Center Experts Cited on Detroit Bailout

    Plan is unfair to state taxpayers.

  771. Energy Expert: Michigan Should Eliminate Its Utility Monopoly For Lower Prices
  772. Money for Nothing

    Detroit bailout comes at expense of statewide taxpayers.

  773. Wright Discusses Supreme Court Visit on WJR

    Illinois union scheme similar to SEIU dues skim.

  774. Asking Questions to Help Cut Through the Political Fog
  775. Mackinac Center Expert Available to Discuss Detroit Bail Out
  776. Expert: Utilities Distorting Electric Choice Track Record
  777. U.S. Supreme Court Discusses Right-to-Work For All Public Employees
  778. Expanding the Electricity Market: A Good Choice for Consumers

    This Issues and Ideas Forum features Dr. Ted Bolema, a Mackinac Center adjunct scholar and senior policy editor for the Mercatus Center in Washington, D.C. who will make the case for why Michigan needs to give Michigan electricity customers more options.

    January 21, 2014

  780. Michigan School Privatization Survey 2013
    Michigan’s school districts have saved money by turning to the private-sector to provide support services. This 2013 survey shows that 65.5 percent of districts now contract out food, custodial or transportation services to private-sector vendors. This is an increase from 31.0 percent in 2001. The survey covers the three services, satisfaction and insourcing among Michigan’s public school districts and has been performed in 2001, 2003, and annually since 2005.
  781. Two-Thirds of School Districts Contract for at Least One Major Support Service, According to Center’s 2013 School Privatization Survey
  782. Q&A With the MEDC: Verifying Jobs Resulting From Special Government Favors
  783. George Will Cites CapCon in Washington Post

    SEIU dues skim highlighted ahead of SCOTUS case.

  784. The Certificate of Need 'CON' Job

    Regulation increases health care costs 11 percent.

  785. State Agency Has 52 Employees Who Earn More Than $100K
  786. Michigan’s Renewable Energy Mandate Causing Harm, Probably Unconstitutional
  787. Facts, Not Fiction, on State School Spending

    K-12 spending up three consecutive years.

  788. Gov. Snyder Keeps Pace in State of the State

    Bipartisan track record is to expand government.

  789. January 17, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  790. Policy Experts Comment on Governor's Speech

    LaFaive, Spalding on State of the State.

  791. Center Scholar in Detroit News

    Electricity deregulation good for customers.

  792. The $2 Billion Education Funding Myth
  793. Skorup Debates Minimum Wage

    Grand Valley State University event.

  794. Little Disclosure on Business Subsidies

    Deals could eat up half of budget surplus.

  795. Reality Check: Michigan Public Schools Getting More Money For Fewer Students
  796. Gov. Snyder’s 2014 State of the State Address Included Six Proposed Government Expansions, Two Limitations
  797. Don't Bail Out Detroit with State Tax Dollars

    It would be unfair to taxpayers statewide.

  798. Lockwood's Belle Isle Idea in Wall Street Journal

    Also interviewed on Fox Business.

  799. CapCon Story Draws National Media Attention

    Michigan family devastated by Obamacare.

  800. Bureaucrats Befuddled By America's Auto Market
  801. Westland Dropping 'Gatekeeper' FOIA Fee, Lowering Costs for Public Documents
  802. Vernuccio Testifies on Missouri Right-to-Work

    Cited in St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  803. For State Employees, 2014 Means Finally Having the Freedom To Choose
  804. Michigan Auto Jobs On the Rebound Thanks to 'Leaner and Meaner' Manufacturers
  805. Commentary: RTW States Doing Better

    Growing twice as fast as forced unionization states.

  806. Corporate Welfare Scheme Back With New Name

    'Aerotropolis' now 'VantagePort.'

  807. City of Westland Restructures FOIA Fees in Response to Mackinac Center Legal Foundation Lawsuit
  808. 'Deep Freeze' Adding Inches of Ice to Great Lakes Levels
  809. Mismanagement Often to Blame for School District Financial Troubles
  810. Bill Would Open Up Competition In Michigan’s Electricity Market
  811. January 10, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

    Update on recent legislative action

  812. Michigan Needs Better Forfeiture Laws

    Bipartisan bills address issue.

  813. Minimum Wage Earners: Many Still Live at Home

    Average family income is almost $57,000.

  814. Michigan Taxpayers Paying Far More Money For Far Fewer State Workers
  815. Detroit Needs More 'From the Heart' Transactions, Less Government
  816. Why Detroit Pensions are Underfunded

    Plenty of blame to go around.

  817. Can Tea Parties Succeed Again?
  818. Disabled Family Sees 300 Percent Increase In Health Insurance Costs Under Obamacare
  819. Pension 'Transition Costs' Remain a Myth
  820. What Economic Development Transparency Should Look Like
  821. Michigan Students Need Private School Choice

    Families want more options.

  822. Cities Take Snow Emergencies To New Restrictive Level
  823. Judge Upholds Right-to-Work Dodging Tactic
    January 7, 2014

  825. Highland Park: The Road to Recovery
  826. University Staff Breaks Away From Michigan Education Association
  827. Detroit: Reforms and Recommendations
  828. Media Highlight 'Missed Votes' Report

    Detroit News calls for part-time Legislature.

  829. Batman and Superman vs. Taxpayers

    Film subsidy costs taxpayers almost $8 each.

  830. Administrative Law Judge Recommends Dismissal of Taylor Teachers’ Challenge to Decade-Long Forced Dues Extension
  831. Center Research Question Addressed
  832. Record Profits for Warner Bros. Doesn't Stop State From Giving Company Huge Subsidy
  833. Minimum Wage, Minimum Employment
  834. Minimum Wage Drumbeat Grows Louder

    Minimum wage popping up on national scale. 

  835. Michigan Among the Leaders In Job Growth
  836. The World Is Getting Better and Better

    Poverty rate slashed 80 percent in past 20 years. 

  837. Public-Private Compensation Gaps Still With Us
    The public sector's misconception of reality.
  838. Superintendent Makes False Claim About Her Salary, Benefits
  839. Tax Cut ‘Fever’?
  840. Your Favorites: Our Top 10 Stories of 2013
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