Welcome To Michigan's Oldest & Most Respected
Public Policy Research Organization

For 100 years, the objective of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been to provide factual, unbiased independent information on significant issues concerning state and local government organization and finance. CRC believes that the use of this information by policymakers will lead to sound, rational public policy in Michigan.

Citizens Research Council Centennial

Having been originally organized in 1916, 2016 marks 100 years of operation for the Citizens Research Council. We have events planned, a history of the organization is in the works, and associations and governments are sending congratulatory comments. Please help us celebrate this accomplishment throughout the year.

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NEW Job Posting - State Policy Expert

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN REPOSTED ALLOWING FOR LESS EXPERIENCED APPLICANTS: The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is seeking a research associate to join our team in performing nonpartisan, independent analysis of state and local public policy in Michigan. The person applying for this position should have an interest in state finances and the state budget process, an ability to analyze state taxes and programs, possess strong speaking skills, and be able to respond to inquiries from media members and others.

Job Posting

Latest Publications

Inserting Legal Code into the Michigan Constitution

Inserting Legal Code into the Michigan Constitution Memo 1115, September 2012 Following the ruling of the Michigan Supreme Court this week, Michigan electors are in line to vote on five proposed constitutional amendments at the November 6, 2012, general election dealing with matters of renewable energy, unionization of home health care workers, collective bargaining, state tax limitation, and international crossings. A review of the proposed amendments reveals that several are quite lengthy, go ...

Education Reform: Teacher Tenure and Collective Bargaining

Education Reform: Teacher Tenure and Collective Bargaining Report 380, July 2012 A flurry of legislative activity in 2011, both in Michigan and in other states, addressed teacher tenure and public sector collective bargaining. This report describes the Michigan reforms and places changes in Michigan statutes in the context of history and of changes occurring in other states.

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1114 ( July 2012 ) 4 pages On Monday, July 9, the newly formed board of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy signed an agreement with a charter school operator to provide all educational services to all of the Muskegon Heights School District beginning in fall 2012. This action effectively converts the entire school district to a charter school, which is part of the plan crafted by the emergency manager appointed under Public Act...

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits

Options to Address School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1114, July 2012 On Monday, July 9, the newly formed board of the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy signed an agreement with a charter school operator to provide all educational services to all of the Muskegon Heights School District beginning in fall 2012. This action effectively converts the entire school district to a charter school, which is part of the plan crafted by the emergency manager appointed under Public Act 4 of 2011 ...

Blog: CRC Column

Proposal 2 Question

Question: Explain to me how opponents of Proposal 2 determine that the proposal will make buses unsafe and schools unable to fire felons as claimed in recent ads. Answer: Proposal 2 says that “No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights to organize together to form, join or assist labor organizations, and to bargain collectively with a public or private employer through an exclusive representative of the employees...

CRC Revenue Sharing Report Subject of Detroit News Editorial

A July 12 Detroit News editorial cites CRC’s recent revenue sharing report and highlights the finding that the policy shift from unrestricted revenue sharing to incentive-based state funding to encourage changes in local government behavior will be of limited effect because nearly 1,200 of Michigan’s cities, villages, and townships are not eligible for the money.

Muskegon Heights School District

A recent CRC report (State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits) exploring the plan by the state-appointed emergency manager for the Muskegon Heights School District to convert the entire district to a charter school gained considerable media attention.  CRC’s analysis of the plan, which effectively boils down to a state bailout to eliminate the district’s projected $12 million accumulated deficit, was featured in stories published by Mlive, the Detroit Free Press, and Mic...

New Pew Study Confirms CRC and Others’ Previous Findings About Michigan’s Corrections Policies

A recent study from The Pew Center on the States confirms the findings contained in a 2008 CRC report on Michigan’s corrections system.  Pew’s recent findings also align with what other organizations, both national and Michigan-based, have found to be true about the interaction of Michigan’s sentencing structure and parole policies. The bottom line in all these studies:  Michigan public policies have resulted in prisoners being incarcerated longer than they used to and longer than other ...

  • Your knowledge and ability to distill the key issues in an easily understood manner is indeed impressive. As a long-time member of the Michigan School Business Officials, and current president, I look forward to your presentations and updates. They are thoughtful, balanced, and accurate. To say that you are a credible source on state finances is an understatement.

    Timothy Raymer
    Assistant Superintendent, Grandville Public Schools

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan -- the folks that bring you all those great non-partisan reports and data on Michigan government, laws, etc. are finally up and running on the web and it was worth the wait. This is a great site. Low-key graphics, great indexing, plenty of content including all their reports, research and memos...This is an invaluable tool...

    Debbie Gallagher, Government Information Specialist
    Michigan Electronic Library, University of Michigan

  • The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has been providing unbiased analysis of public issues since 1916. It is one of this state's indispensable institutions... The CRC's supporters recognize the need for impartial and nonpartisan analysis of local and state policy and fiscal issues... The value of the CRC over the years has been that it is private and independent of political party or ideology.


    The Detroit News

  • Dear CRC,
    Thank you for all the fine work you do. I'm a long time reader of you analyses and am a better citizen because of it.

    George Matthews
    Retired School Teacher

  • I have had a long relationship using the publications of the Citizens Research Council...you do a lot of good work here and we appreciate the support that keeps this operation so vital and relevant to the debates in Lansing, to Michigan's economic future, and to Michigan's future, period.

    Honorable John Engler
    Former Michigan Governor

  • The Citizens Research Council strives, without regard to political party or agenda, to frame educational issues in a balanced and thought-provoking context. Its consistent record of objectivity and thoroughness has made the CRC a high quality and immensely credible resource for policymakers at the state and local leadership levels. You can always count on CRC's findings to be solid and trustworthy.

    Mike Flanagan
    Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Fortunately, we have here in Michigan an admirable entity known as the Citizens Research Council. CRC often comes to the rescue in public policy disputes and has demonstrated an acute ability to separate fact from fiction.

    Glenn Gilbert
    Oakland Press

  • The non-aligned Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a group with no particular axes to grind that we can see. Their bare-bones, passionless and objective studies of Michigan's ballot proposals might prove very helpful to interested voters wanting to make the most informed possible choices.


    Muskegon Chronicle

  • Since 1916, the CRC has been an advocate of state and local "good government." The Research Council's studies of policy and administrative practice in Michigan win national prizes for excellence, and universal respect from the best of our state and local leaders.

    Michael Meagher
    Fowlerville News/Review

  • Nonpartisan, accurate, unbiased and credible research on key issues, from school vouchers to Internet sales tax to better ways to finance highway construction to ideas for eliminating the blight of abandoned, tax-reverted properties in Michigan's older cities.

    Mary Kramer
    Crain's Detroit Business

  • [Escanaba Schools Superintendent Tom] Smith respects the findings of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. "It's a pretty good group, well-respected, nonpartisan," he said. "Its opinions have been valued by both Democrats and Republicans as they formulate state policy"and by teachers and administrators alike."


    Daily Press, Escanaba

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