Citizens Research Council of Michigan

Behind good policy is good research

The other day, suitably fitted with required jacket and necktie, I made my way to the Detroit Athletic Club for the 95th  annual meeting of the best-respected — and least-known —  institutions in our state: the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. CRC […]

Read Phil Power's column

Merger bills won’t change names on fire trucks — yet

For years, officials charged with managing local government services and finances have pointed to a variety of provisions in state law they say make the sharing of services with neighbors financially unappealing. With Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature last week on a set […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Cut prison spending, CFM tells Senate panel

My written testimony for a meeting today of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections: “Good afternoon. Thank you Senator (John) Proos and fellow members of the committee for the opportunity to speak with you today. In 2008, the Center for Michigan organized a […]

Read John Bebow's article

Land O Links

“I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well” – Robert Benchley, American humorist and newspaper columnist. * Bob Jones, who consults with educational institutions and others on public policy, ran through the […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Land O Links

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery” – Irish author James Joyce. * You will be hearing a great deal in coming weeks and months about “Mip-sers” — the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan, […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Land O Links

“All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason” – Immanuel Kant, 18th century German philosopher. * Foreign Policy has an analysis of five trends that threaten recovery in […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Land O Links

“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 […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Teacher retirement fund has $45 billion hole

When something once vital and secure dies, it must be mourned. And so David Campbell, superintendent of the Livingston Educational Service Agency in Howell, likes using the language of a funeral director when discussing Michigan’s retirement program for school employees. “We’re in […]

Read Nancy Derringer's article

Pension costs burn through city budgets

Lansing’s taxpayers were doused with some difficult news last week: The city’s pension fund for police and fire retirees could use a nearly $2 million boost from the city’s general fund. And the city’s already fighting a budget deficit. Big-city fire departments […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

Negotiating with ‘heroes’ no simple matter

In 2009, Ann Arbor became the poster child for critics of Michigan’s public safety binding arbitration law, as a labor settlement cost the city $1.5 million in retroactive pay raises. The judgment came as police and fire departments consumed 55 percent ofAnn […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

GAO wades into charter-school special ed

Publicly funded independent, or charter, schools educate fewer children with disabilities than traditional public schools, suggests a new report by the Government Accountability Office. But the report, reported by Education Week here, notes that there are a number of contributing factors that make clear […]

Read Nancy Derringer's article

Taxpayers on hook for ‘captures’ gone wrong

They collect taxes. They borrow money. They pay interest on their loans. They spend money on public improvements to entice businesses to locate in specific areas. And they may have the most bureaucratic of names ever coined: tax increment financing authorities. In […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Land O Links

*With the appointment of Kevyn Orr, Detroit, Pontiac and Flint all are under state emergency managers. Something else the three cities share: They have the three lowest rates of average household incomes among Michigan cities with at least 50,000 residents.  Flint’s at […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Analysis: Detroit raises large sums with high tax rates

By Jeff Guilfoyle/Citizens Research Council With Michigan’s largest city now under the direction of an emergency manager, statewide attention has focused on the city of Detroit’s finances. The Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research firm, has published an analysis of the […]

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Three reasons why you should want to know your hometown’s fiscal score

Those of us who have been around for a while remember the opening of each “M*A*S*H” episode, with the doctors and nurses rushing to the incoming helicopters to retrieve and assess the newly injured soldiers.  In the medical profession, the exercise they […]

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