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

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits

State Bailouts to Erase School District Accumulated Deficits Memo 1113, June 2012 Beginning in the fall of 2012 all educational services in the Muskegon Heights School District will be turned over to a charter school operator and the District will no longer be involved in the direct provision of such services under a plan proposed by the state-appointed emergency manager. This plan would be implemented under Public Act 4 of 2011. As part of this “charter conversion” plan, the District’s mu...

Michigan’s Recall Election Law

Michigan’s Recall Election Law Report 379 ( June 2012 ) 39 pages While Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election may be grabbing headlines this week, the reality is that recall is much more common in Michigan than in Wisconsin. A new report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Michigan’s Recall Election Law provides an in-depth examination of this topic and looks at trends in Michigan’s use of recall, state law, and how Michigan’s recall provisions vary from other states.

Michigan’s Recall Election Law

Michigan’s Recall Election Law Report 379, June 2012 While Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election may be grabbing headlines this week, the reality is that recall is much more common in Michigan than in Wisconsin. A new report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Michigan’s Recall Election Law provides an in-depth examination of this topic and looks at trends in Michigan’s use of recall, state law, and how Michigan’s recall provisions vary from other states.

Reconcilable Differences – Towards Completion of the FY2013 State Budget

Reconcilable Differences – Towards Completion of the FY2013 State Budget State Budget Note 2012-02 ( May 2012 ) 7 pages Recently, the framework for next year’s state budget (fiscal year 2013) began to take shape when both legislative chambers passed their respective spending plans. Eyeing a June 1 deadline, both chambers have offered their responses to Governor Snyder’s Executive Budget issued in February. Both legislative proposals reduce the General Fund appropriation recommendation incl...

Blog: CRC Column

Special Education Spending Growth Since 2000

One area where school budgets have felt growing pressure over the last decade, during years of constrained revenue growth, is spending on special education.  CRC recently examined special education finances to provide policymakers with a comprehensive review of the issues surrounding this very important topic. For a ten-year period ending in Fiscal Year 2010 (FY2010), Michigan total special education spending increased at an average annual rate of 4.8 percent per year, double the average annual...

Should the State Be Concerned About Costs Associated With Federal Health Care Reform?

In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will require health insurance for all individuals when it takes effect on January 1, 2014.  States will be responsible for implementing some major changes outlined in the ACA which include establishing and operating state health insurance exchanges and expanding Medicaid coverage to an estimated 16 million Americans who will be eligible under the new guidelines.  The new Medicaid eligibility guideli...

Stabilized State Budget and Rainy Day Fund Deposits Improve Cash Position

State policymakers’ recent efforts to stabilize Michigan state government finances are showing dividends.  Actions taken to address the long-standing structural budget deficit and recent deposits to the state’s rainy day fund have resulted in a marked improvement in the state’s cash position compared to Fiscal Year 2007 (FY2007), when the State of Michigan had to restructure its monthly payments to local schools to avoid running out of money to satisfy its obligations.   While the final...

CRC continuing to help Onekama Village residents understand implications of disincorporation

Over the course of the past couple years the residents of Onekama, a small community on the shore of Lake Michigan in Manistee County, have expressed an interest in exploring consolidation of their two governments – the township and the village.  A 2011 CRC report (http://tinyurl.com/3ha4xnu) recommended that because villages overlap township governments – village residents are parts of both the village and the township – eliminating the village would best serve Onekama’s goal of co...

  • 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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