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CRC Column

The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about. 
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC  

State Government Organization Issues

State Government Organization

Article V -- Executive Branch
Report 360-05 ( May 2010 ) 7 pages

The eighth in the Citizens Research Council of Michigan's series of papers about state constitutional issues focuses on the executive branch of government -- Article V of the 1963 Michigan Constitution.

At the same time that Michigan voters will be asked whether or not to call a constitutional convention, voters will be asked to elect a new chief executive for state government. In addition to Governor Granholm, three other statewide-elected executive branch officials (lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general) will be required to exit their respective offices due to the term limitation provisions provided for in Article V, Section 30. This complete turnover in the executive branch of state government will usher in new officials that will be responsible for executing state laws and delivering services to Michigan residents.

"A constitutional convention, if called, would likely examine the broad issues dealing with the powers of the governor and other officials as they pertain to the structure and organization of the executive branch of government," stated Craig Thiel CRC's Director of State Affairs.

For 47 years, Michigan state government has operated under a constitutional framework that centralizes executive power in a single office and provides for a strong governor. With the exception of two amendments to Article V, the original constitutional provisions governing the operations of the executive branch remain basically intact. Despite this consistency over the years, a number of issues might be considered by a potential constitutional convention charged with looking at Article V dealing with: executive reorganization powers, single versus plural executive, filling legislative vacancies, office vacancies of executive officials, the governor's role in the state budget process, and the governor's appointment powers.

While it is likely that a con-con would examine these and other issues related to Article V of the 1963 Constitution, Craig Thiel added, "Nothing in Article V has prevented the executive branch from governing effectively since its enactment nearly 50 years ago and no issues have risen to the level of crisis that would suggest immediate modification is necessary."

CC 1009, pdf File Executive Reorganization of State Government, Reviewed the history of the gubernatorial reorganization provision, analyzed the impact of past executive reorganizations, and reviewed the active use of this constitutional authority by the then current Governor ( July 92 ) 8 pages [47,496 bytes]

Report 260, Taxation and the Referendum in Michigan ( March 80 ) 32 pages

PDF File Organization of State of Michigan Education Functions,
Report 335, ( January 2003 ) 39 pages

PDF File Among and Within Not More Than Twenty Principal Departments
CC 775, ( July 65 ) 5 pages

The 1963 State Constitution required the legislature to reduce the number of state departments to not more than 20. This difficult task was accomplished by the Executive Organization Act of 1965. This paper describes how this task was accomplished.

Public Administration & Theory of Organization

The Governor & Office

Report 313-5, pdf File The Executive Branch, Examines provisions of Article 3 that a constitution convention might consider: the governor's executive reorganization power; the role of the Civil Service Commission; the election of state executive officials; and the need for a constitutional Transportation Commission ( July 94 ) 6 pages [35,191 bytes]

pdf File State Ballot Issues, August 6, 1968
CC 806, ( July 68 ) 4 pages

State Ballot Issues:
   #1 -- Judicial Tenure Commission;
   #2 -- State Officers Compensation Commission;
   #3 -- Filling of Judicial Vacancies.

Administrative Management, Work Performance

Size of State Government

Michigan Private and Public Sector Employment Levels over the Business Cycle
Note 2009-01 ( October 2009 ) 12 pages

Michigan has been shedding jobs continuously since June 2000, and Michigan employment is now more than 20 percent below the June 2000 peak. In its most recent publication, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, focuses on the job losses in the public sector over this time period, comparing public sector outcomes with what has occurred in the private sector. Michigan Private and Public Sector Levels over the Business Cycle finds that the changes in public sector employment have been multifaceted, with the public sector employment changes dependent on a number of factors.

In the short-term, public sector employment levels tend to be more stable than the private sector. This is attributable to a host of factors, including the composition of state and local government employment, the relative stability of the underlying revenues supporting state and local jobs, and the "countercyclical" nature of some governmental programs. As a result, state and local government employment may not react as quickly to the ups and downs of the business cycle. Over the longer-term, however, public sector budgets are forced to cope with declining resources and adjust personnel levels accordingly.

Over Michigan's prolonged recession, dating back to 2000, trends in public sector employment levels mirror what has occurred in the private sector, but without the severity. Since its high water mark in August 2001, the size of the public sector in Michigan has contracted. Within the public sector, however, there has been considerable variance with respect to composition. Generally, higher education and hospital employment levels are up and K-12 education and State of Michigan classified employment levels are down.

State Government Employment, A Comparative Analysis
Memo 1084, ( December 2007 ) 16 pages

The State of Michigan has relatively fewer state and local employees than other states, but tends to compensate the state employees better than most other states according to a new report released by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

According to the study, State and Local Government Employment: A Comparative Analysis, in 2006:

  • Michigan ranked 45th of 50 states in the number of state and local employees per 10,000 residents, and 39th of 50 when only state employees are considered.
  • Because of its extensive system of community colleges and public universities, Michigan has more public employees relative to population in higher education.
  • In other areas, including police and fire protection and corrections, Michigan is below the national average.

With respect to state employees only, the average base salary ranged from $28,100 in Mississippi to $69,100 in California, with 41 states participating in a February 2007 survey conducted by the Association of State Personnel Executives. Michigan ranked 6th at $49,700. Average fringe benefits for Michigan state employees, largely consisting of pension and health care benefits, were $25,700, which ranked 3rd behind Alaska and Nebraska.

Employment Trends in State Government, FY1966-FY2003,
Report 336 ( February 2004 ) 26 pages

Changing state policies have resulted in dramatic shifts in the composition of state employment since FY1965. A new report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan documents these changes and reflects on their impact.

CC 1004, pdf File Downsizing the State Classified Work Force ( March 92 ) 4 pages [35,020 bytes]

Public Relations and Reporting

Records Management

Administrative Rules & Regulations




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Last Updated May 27, 2010