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.

Read More

Latest Publications

Exploring the Potential Effects of Evenwel v. Abbott

Exploring the Potential Effects of Evenwel v. Abbott CRC Note 2016-01, March 2016 A case before the United States Supreme Court could have implications for how district lines are drawn for the election of representatives to government offices in Michigan and across the nation. The underlying question at hand in Evenwel v. Abbott is whether the “one per-son, one vote” principle outlined in Reynolds v. Sims and the equal protection provisions set forth by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United...

Survey of Economic Development Programs in Michigan

Survey of Economic Development Programs in Michigan Third Edition Report 392, February 2016 Introduction While state and federal agencies offer ample information on economic development programs in Michigan, the absence of a central repository of major programs prompted the Citizens Research Council to attempt such a compendium in 2001. CRC’s Survey of Economic Development Programs in Michigan, (CRC Report No. 334, May 2001), categorized and described over 40 federal and state economic develop...

Detroit Public Schools’ Legacy Costs and Indebtedness

Detroit Public Schools’ Legacy Costs and Indebtedness Memo 1138, January 2016 The Detroit Public Schools (DPS) recently submitted its audited financial statement for fiscal year 2014-15 (FY2015) to the State of Michigan. Because of recent changes to accounting and financial reporting standards, the report provides a much richer picture of the district’s overall financial condition than previous reports. In addition to the liabilities associated with various debt instruments that routinely ap...

Earmarking State Tax Revenues: Tying Policymakers’ Hands or Protecting Policy Priorities?

Earmarking State Tax Revenues: Tying Policymakers’ Hands or Protecting Policy Priorities? Memorandum #1137, September 2015 Michigan is among a few states that rely heavily on the practice of dedicating, or “earmarking”, state tax revenue to specific purposes. While this practice safeguards funding for select public services from changing political climates, earmarking encumbers the ability of state lawmakers to carry out the task most essential to their job responsibilities. A substantial ...

Blog: CRC Column

blog-grid

Michigan’s Fiscal Future

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. Michigan’s Fiscal Future was the last in a series of analyses on Michigan’s chronic budget problem.  Beginning in 2001, CRC published a series of papers showing that a state budget deficit was inevitable and that by Fiscal Year 2003, the deficit would become difficult to manage. ...

  • April 8, 2016
blog-grid

CRC and the Con-Con

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization.  This is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. The drafters of Michigan’s state constitution, approved by voters in 1963, were largely and integrally informed by objective, nonpartisan research conducted by the Citizens Research Council in 1961 and 1962.  In fact, CRC’s work for the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) was th...

SCOTUS rejects arguments in redistricting case

April 4, 2016 – The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the arguments that legislative redistricting should be based on a citizens of voting age population instead of the total population that has been used throughout the nation’s history. The case of Evenwel v. Abbott challenged the way that Texas draws political districts improperly expanding the voting power of urban areas and therefore violated the guarantee of equal protection under the law under the Constitution’s 14th Amen...

blog-grid

CRC’s “Top Ten” in Honor of 100 Years of Policy Research

Over CRC’s 100 year history, it has made an outsized impact for such a small organization. This is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting CRC’s top projects and reports since its inception in 1916. This April marks 100 years of operation for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. In 1916, we were known as the Detroit Bureau of Governmental Research, had offices in the Buhl building in Detroit, and were led by governmental research titan Lent D. Upson. In 1951, the Detroit Burea...

  • April 1, 2016
  • 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

JOIN THE CITIZENS RESEARCH COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN'S MAILING LIST