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Michigan Legislature

For military spouses, a needed break; for Legislature, a call to act

I really wanted to tell a story this time, a sad one. The kind where a young soldier-dad passes off a newborn baby to his new wife, just before boarding a plane in Las Vegas to go to Iraq at the height […]

Read Brandon Hubbard's article

With tough decisions, GOP lawmakers put Michigan on path for better future

Why won’t politicians tackle tough issues? Why won’t the Legislature look long-term? Why does government take the easy route? Looking only at current public discourse, it’s easy to understand why those questions are asked. But now is a different time in Michigan’s […]

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Republicans hold the wheel, are driving Michigan into the ditch

Republicans hold an absolute monopoly on power in the state of Michigan. With majorities in the House and Senate and with a Republican in the governor’s office, they are positioned to do whatever they wish. Yet, Republicans still struggle to check items […]

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It would be nice to know size of classes in Michigan schools

A Bridge Editorial Bridge Magazine recently conducted an exhaustive analysis of class size in Michigan schools — poring through reams of academic research, unleashing powerful computer programs on data from every school building in the state and hiring people to conduct telephone […]

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Guest commentary: Preschool funding boost praised, but there’s work to do for Michigan’s 0-3’s

By Mina Hong/Michigan’s Children and Scott Menzel/MAISA The Legislature recently approved an historic expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program – the state’s preschool program for 4-year-olds at risk of being underprepared for kindergarten.  This $65 million increase – a 60 percent […]

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Snyder needs to tell Legislature that budget is far from finished

A governor working in a politically divided government often has no choice but to concede some measure of power to a legislative chamber controlled by the opposition party. When government is unified, a governor has two choices in pursuit of policy aims: […]

Read Peter Luke's article

‘Sanity caucus’ shepherds preschool reform, dollars through capital gridlock

I’ve had a few days now to mull over the goings-on at last week’s annual Mackinac Island Policy Conference. Much of the talk on the enormous porch of the magnificent Grand Hotel was how our political system seems incapable of dealing with big […]

Read Phil Power's column

Guest commentary: Keep world-class standards for Michigan learners

By Doug Rothwell/Business Leaders for Michigan This year, Michigan public schools began using the kind of high-quality content standards that our kids need to be competitive in the 21st century. Used by 45 states, the Common Core State Standards specify what students should be […]

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Labor belabored: MEA losing members, losing fights. Will it lose its grip?

Michigan’s largest teachers union is struggling to keep a toehold as change-minded foes with growing momentum seek to topple the MEA — one of the state’s traditional political giants. The 152,000-member union’s finances are deteriorating. Its growth strategy is uncertain. And it […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Long-simmering GOP-MEA ‘war’ intensifies going into 2014

The Michigan Education Association and Michigan Republican Party are on speaking terms – sort of. Last year, the two sides regularly exchanged plenty of words – words such as “protecting sexual predators,” “hijack,” “robber” and “lying.” In recent years, the MEA has spent […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Research: Politicians have little idea what voters are thinking

Politicians aren’t particularly adept at knowing the views of their own constituents – and conservative politicians are the least adept of the bunch. Those are some of the major findings of a recently released research paper co-authored by a graduate student at […]

Read Zach Gorchow's article

Guest commentary: EAA won’t answer simple questions about its finances (UPDATED)

By Rep. Ellen Lipton Files released Rep. Lipton’s office reports that the EAA has responded to her FOIA request. The 31 documents released by the EAA can be viewed at As I watched House Republicans rush to expand the experimental Education […]

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Consensus on Common Core school standards evaporating

Seven years ago, Michigan’s Democratic and Republican lawmakers arrived at a rare moment of consensus: They agreed to dramatically raise the bar for high school graduation. A two-bill package passed the Senate without dissent, and there was just a smattering of no […]

Read Chris Andrews's article

Legislative Republicans worry more about ’14 primaries than in helping Snyder lead

When they hit the House floor for a vote this month, it appears doubtful that budget bills for the departments of Community Health and Transportation will contain new funding for expanding Medicaid or highway construction. Gov. Rick Snyder asked for both in […]

Read Peter Luke's article

Bridge survey finds big support for easier absentee voting, yet legislation lags

Michigan has plenty of people who commit a crime come election time. They aren’t trying to vote twice, or do anything to improperly tilt the results of an election. They simply want to vote at their convenience. But in Michigan, convenience is […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Guest column: Medicaid expansion is good for Michigan small businesses

By Rob Fowler/SBAM The Small Business Association of Michigan supports the broadening of eligibility criteria to participate in the Medicaid program so that people under 138 percent of the poverty level can be covered. SBAM may be considered a surprising voice in […]

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Land O Links

* The complaint that lawmakers don’t even read all the bills that pass over their desks is as hoary as it is true. Well, the Tennessee House of Representatives has taken action to perhaps ease the problem. No member can file more […]

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Will Michigan voters ever get the campaign finance reform they deserve?

Last week was National Sunshine Week, designed to increase transparency in government: Opening up the workings of government and politics to the healthy light of day makes things cleaner and better. Sure. Over the years, I’ve watched plenty of National Sunshine Weeks […]

Read Phil Power's column

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