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29 March 2012

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child” — George Bernard Shaw, British playwright

* Starting July 1, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fee, levied to cover medical costs from auto accidents as part ofMichigan’s auto no-fault insurance regime, will go up $30, to a total of $175. State Rep. Phil Cavanaugh is crying foul, noting in comments to The Michigan Lawyer blog: “… MCCA has paid out $9 billion in total claims in its 33 years of existence. And according to the association’s annual reports, MCCA’s reserves are almost $14 billion.”:

* A boom is under way in northernMichiganfor natural gas — gas to be extracted via the “fracking” technique. There has been concern, from plenty of corners, that fracking leads to the contamination of nearby water sources. The industry has strenuously denied a danger. The Environmental Protection Agency says … that no such contamination was found at a site inPennsylvania:

* So, if fracking is here to stay, how will governments handle the taxation of it, Governing Magazine wonders? Bridge Magazine did a major report on so-called extractive taxes in Michiganand elsewhere back in the fall. Check it out. Here’s Governing’s piece:

* If you are noticing fewer staffers around your child’s school, you are not imagining things. Our friends at the Citizens Research Council report, “Employment in local K-12 public schools is classified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as ‘Local Government Elementary and Secondary.’ Employment in this sector peaked in 2003 at 250,900 jobs. Since 2003, K-12 education has seen significant employment declines, with employment in 2011 averaging just 189,900.” By my math, that’s a decline of nearly 25 percent — 1 in 4 jobs gone.

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