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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Latest Publications

Detroit City Government Organization: Departments, Funds, and Deficits

Detroit City Government Organization: Departments, Funds, and Deficits Memo 1112, April 2012 This report is about the financial organization and structure the City of Detroit municipal government. This report is part of a series occasioned by the city’s narrowly averted cash crisis, by state intervention under Public Act 4 of 2011 and the adoption of a consent agreement establishing a Financial Advisory Board, and by continuing efforts to find effective solutions to intractable municipal p...

Financing Special Education: Analyses and Challenges

Financing Special Education: Analyses and Challenges Report 378, March 2012 K-12 education and school funding have become perennial public policy issues discussed at local school board meetings, community and parent gatherings, and throughout the halls of the state Capitol. With respect to financial matters, debate often focuses on the near-term – budgets and funding decisions for the current and next years. However, this very important topic requires thoughtful debate that must consider the l...

State Oversight: The New York Approach

State Oversight: The New York Approach Note 2012-02, March 2012 As Detroit and Michigan officials work to resolve the financial crisis facing this state’s largest city, it may be instructive to revisit a similar situation: the 1975 financial crisis in New York City. Comparing the factors that led to the crisis, the negotiations, and the structure that was put in place to resolve the crisis and place New York City firmly on the road to financial recovery and sound budgeting and financial ma...

Differences in Proposed Consent Agreements between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan

Differences in Proposed Consent Agreements between the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan Note 2012-01, March 2012 The City of Detroit has projected that it may run out of cash in May. As the 30 day extension of the Review Team’s allotted time to evaluate the financial condition of Detroit city government neared its end without agreement on a plan that could prevent appointment of an emergency manager, State Treasurer Andy Dillon delivered a proposed draft consent agreement to the state...

Blog: CRC Column

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...

Recalling State Officials in Michigan

The State of Michigan was one of the first states (Oregon the other) to allow for the recall of state elected officials (except judges).  The 1908 Michigan Constitution (Article III, Section 8 ) provided the Michigan electorate with this tool of direct democracy; a power established during the Progressive Era of the early 20th century and carried forward into the 1963 Michigan Constitution (Article II, Section 8).  Recall allows citizens the power to remove an elected official before the end o...

  • 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