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December 12, 2018

2018 Media Citations

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Hostility for the holidays: The lame history of Michigan’s lame duck
Bridge Magazine, December 10, 2018
“That’s when it really morphed in full-time sessions, where they convene in January and go until the end of December,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
“Now we can’t get the buggers to go home.”


Redistricting panel will decide which Mich. U.S. House seat to kill
Detroit News, December 3, 2018
“Given that we’re going to have this independent redistricting commission, I would guess it won’t be an overtly political act of targeting a Republican or Democratic district,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


A recession is coming. Michigan’s not ready.
Detroit Free Press, December 2, 2018
“Detroit still gets less revenue from property tax, and is getting most of its revenue from casino gaming taxes, sales tax, and revenue sharing,” says Eric Lupher of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council. “And really, the casino gaming tax might be the most stable of three.”

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Why Democrats won more votes, but GOP won more legislative seats in Michigan
Detroit News, November 20, 2018
Gerrymandering, the practice of drawing political lines to benefit a particular party, “really affects the lower half of state” in areas like Southeast Michigan, Grand Rapids, the Lansing area and other pockets where there are heavy concentrations of Democratic voters, said Eric Lupher, president of the non-partisan Citizens Research Council.


Blue wave could not overcome gerrymandering
WIN 98.5 FM, November 18, 2018
The Citizens Research Council found that while 52% of the voters picked Democratic Candidates, and 47% voted for Republicans, the GOP still retained 53% of the seats and control in the State House and Senate, where gerrymanering makes the biggest difference.


CRC: November Results Showed Gerrymandering
Gongwer News Service, November 16, 2018
That Democrats took more votes but Republicans took more legislative seats shows Michigan’s political districts are at least somewhat gerrymandered, the Citizens Research Council said in a report released Friday.


CRC Report: ’18 Election Results Show Gerrymandered District
MIRS News, November 16, 2018
Data collected from the previous four elections show Michigan’s legislative districts exhibit gerrymandering in favor of Republicans, according to a post-election report released today by the Citizens Research Council (CRC).


Gretchen Whitmer inherits a stable economy, but an unforgiving budget
Bridge Magazine, November 15, 2018
All of which means Whitmer is unlikely to find the funding she needs for her ambitious programs without finding a new source of revenue or cutting back elsewhere, said Jordon Newton, a research associate at the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which studies state budget pressures.


Addressing adverse childhood experiences vital to Michigan’s future
Bridge Magazine, November 13, 2018
A Citizens Research Council of Michigan report shows that we spend more than $70 billion on health in Michigan without measurably improving health outcomes. (Editor’s note: Citizens Research Council says the above statement is an oversimplification of the findings in its report) More Michiganders smoke and/or are obese than the national average. Michigan has a higher rate of infant mortality and its residents have a shorter life expectancy at birth than the U.S. average. ACEs are an important factor.


Gerrymandered districts help Republicans keep control of Michigan Legislature
Bridge Magazine, November 8, 2018
“Clearly the way the lines have been drawn have been to give favor the Republican Party,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has studied gerrymandering for years.


Election 2018: People, not politicians to draw district maps
WLNS TV, November 7, 2018
According to BridgeMI.com, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found two benefits would be the transparency of how state and congressional lines are drawn and the reduction of partisan influence in drawing those districts.


Whitmer, Stabenow win as Democrats take key Michigan races
Seymour Tribune, November 7, 2018
Michigan residents age 21 or older now will be able to buy, grow and use marijuana for recreational purposes. The state legalized medical marijuana 10 years ago. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says police and jails might save money by not arresting people, but it also notes there will be a cost for abuse and other public health issues. Marijuana sales will carry a special 10 percent tax, with 70 percent of revenue going to schools and roads, on top of Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax.


Women in key races could shake up Michigan politics
Seymour Tribune, November 6, 2018
Ten years after Michigan voters approved medical marijuana, they will decide whether to allow anyone age 21 or older to buy, grow and use the drug for recreational purposes. Local governments could ban pot shops even if the proposal wins at the ballot box. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says police and jails might save money if marijuana becomes legal, but it also notes there will be a cost for abuse and other public health issues. Marijuana sales would carry a special 10 percent tax, with 70 percent of revenue going to schools and roads, on top of Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax.


Proposal 3 lets voters decide on voting rights
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, November 4, 2018
Craig Thiel, research director with the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, stated in a recent blog that Michigan legislators have tried three times to eliminate the straight-party voting option – in 1964, 2001 and 2015.


Proposal 1: Reefer madness or miracle?
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, November 4, 2018
“There is an apparent public knowledge gap regarding marijuana, with some opponents of marijuana legalization evoking a fictionalized ‘Reefer Madness’ that will tear society asunder, while many advocates suggest that marijuana is as harmless as a lunch of quinoa and kale salad,” states a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan on Proposal 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana use and possession for residents 21 and over.


Prop 1 explained
Stateside on Michigan Radio, November 2, 2018
Citizens Research Council President Eric Lupher discusses Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana.



Reader’s view: Proposal 2 gives power to people

Midland Daily News, November 1, 2018
I ask you to ignore the last-minute campaign the opposition is mounting which is filled with lies and distortions. Educate yourself. Bridge Magazine is an online non-partisan publication which has excellent articles addressing the demonizing of Proposal 2 by those who are currently profiting from gerrymandering. For more technically inclined people, the Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan research institute, will provide you with a history of gerrymandering in Michigan and why it is so insidious. I encourage you to educate yourself, “And the truth shall set you free” from distortion and lies. Vote “Yes” on Proposal 2.


Fate of gerrymandering up for vote
Agora, November 1, 2018
An analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan concludes the proposal gives the citizens an important choice about the redistricting process.


Redistricting plan seeks fair voting boundaries, but foes say it worsens problems
Detroit News, November 1, 2018
Most people can understand the risks of having a political party draw the maps, said Citizens Research Council president Eric Lupher, but “everything after that gets into the minutiae of it.”

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What you’re voting for: Michigan’s ballot measure to remodel redistricting
Fox 2 Detroit, October 29, 2018
Anything the commission didn’t spend would be given back to the fund, but if they spent more than they were given — the state would have to reimburse them. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan estimates that funding for the process would be about $10 million over a 10-year redistricting cycle, which is about .01 percent of the General Fund.


10 Questions for the Candidates: Kelly Rossman-McKinney
WILX, October 25, 2018
I strive to learn as much as I can about every issue from every source but I especially rely on non-partisan sources like Citizens Research Council. All my decisions will be driven by my commitment to be fair, reasonable and responsible and to represent the needs of the 24th district.


Two Ballot Proposals Would Impact Future Elections In Michigan
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, October 21, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has analyzed both Proposal 2 and Proposal 3. The public policy organization’s president Eric Lupher spoke with WMUK’s Gordon Evans.


Proposal 3 Dubbed ‘Trojan Horse’ For Partisan Advantage
MIRS News Service, October 22, 2018
Republican generally don’t like straight ticket voting while Democrats do because they tend to get a net bounce from it on Election Day. The Citizens Research Council (CRC) found that in 2000, 617,850 used straight ticket to vote for Democrats and 410,148 voted straight ticket Republican (See “46% Say They’ll Vote Straight Party Lines; Local Clerks Lining Up Behind Prop 3,” 10/4/18).


Paid sick leave law making some Michigan businesses feel queasy
Bridge Magazine, October 18, 2018
Ten states require paid sick leave, though none besides Michigan are in the Midwest. One difference in Michigan’s law as it is currently written is that it requires paid leave for more types of employers, and also requires more hours of paid time off, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


What you need to know about Proposal 2
Stateside on Michigan Radio, October 17, 2018
Eric Lupher, President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, helps explain the anti-gerrymandering proposal on November’s ballot. He describes the pros and cons of an independent commission, and answers questions about the cost of the redistricting process.


Professor explains redistricting process, details of proposal on November ballot
Cadillac News, October 14, 2018
According to an analysis conducted by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the state would appropriate up to $4.6 million to cover the cost of paying the apportionment committee members and fight legal challenges they say are bound to crop up.


a href=”https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/prop-3-shows-voters-distrust-michigan-constitution-best-remedy”>Prop 3 shows voters’ distrust. But is Michigan Constitution the best remedy?
Bridge Magazine, October 11, 2018
Some parts of Proposal 3 would seem to enjoy nearly universal support. It’s hard to argue, for instance, against the need to ensure secret ballots or for giving military personnel sufficient time to vote, said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which analyzed Proposal 3.


Michigan ballot issues: What to know about Prop 3 (voting rights)
Bridge Magazine, October 11, 2018
Other states that implemented similar voting reforms have said it has made it easier for citizens to vote and improved voter turnout, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Pot in the workplace: Prop 1 has Michigan employers flummoxed
Bridge Magazine, October 9, 2018
Data are mixed on whether legalization of recreational marijuana in other states contributed to increased use, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which analyzed the ballot initiative. The organization said, however, that economic principles would suggest that decriminalizing marijuana would lead more people to use it, though that effect is difficult to quantify.


Legalizing pot comes with costs
Port Huron Times Herald, October 4, 2018
Lupher is president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, an independent, non-partisan that has worked to improve Michigan government since 1916. The Citizens Research Council does not take positions on ballot issues, but it does warn that Proposal 1 will not be without costs.


CRC: Truth About Pot Difficult To Discern
Gongwer News Service, October 4, 2018
In analyzing Proposal 18-1 to legalize recreational marijuana, the Citizens Research Council said there is “an apparent knowledge gap” on the drug, with opponents pointing to “reefer madness” and supporters comparing its harmlessness to “a lunch of quinoa and kale salad.”


46% Say They’ll Vote Straight Party Lines; Local Clerks Lining Up Behind Prop 3
MIRS News Service, October 4, 2018
The poll numbers jibe with Citizens Research Council (CRC) data from 2000 that showed more Democrats use straight ticket voting than Republicans. The numbers are heavily swayed by the city of Detroit, where 70 percent of Detroiters voted straight ticket that year.


Reader’s view: Proposal 2 will end gerrymandering
Midland Daily News, October 3, 2018
A quote from the recent analysis by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan: “The redistricting process affects the core components of a representative democracy. It determines what candidates people are able to vote for and who an elected representative represents. The term ‘gerrymandering’ characterizes the eccentric boundaries of many legislative districts, drawn to unfairly privilege one party over another. Gerrymandering enables the creation of ‘safe’ districts that allow candidates to appeal only to their party base. In this way, gerrymandering facilitates polarization. Gerrymandering also erodes public trust in the political process.”

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Tracing the Many Revenue Threads That Led to Today’s Revenue Sharing System
Michigan Counties, September 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


It’s clear Lansing’s roads are in bad shape. But what would it take to fix them?
Lansing State Journal, September 30, 2018
It’s also based on the length of road mileage within a municipality, but does not take into account how wide those roads are. That’s a system that favors rural communities with lightly trafficked roads over dense cities with multi-lane roads, said Craig Thiel, a research director with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-partisan think tank.


Michigan voters to decide how their electoral maps are drawn
Associated Press, September 29, 2018
“Michigan is a purple state — fairly blue in some parts, fairly red in other parts. … It’s historically a swing state in presidential elections,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonpartisan public policy research group that takes no side on issues. “States like Michigan can make a difference, and I think we’re getting a lot of attention for this reason.”


How a shadow Republican group gerrymandered Michigan – sparking a backlash
Bridge Magazine, September 25, 2018
Recent studies by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan as well as Bridge’s own analysis based on testing in other states found that Michigan’s political boundaries are now among the most biased in the nation to favor Republicans.


Legal marijuana: Vote for it, even if you aren’t going to smoke it | Opinion
Detroit Free Press, September 23, 2018
Michigan legalized medical marijuana back in 2008, via a ballot initiative likewise approved by voters. Implementation of that law has been challenging, but the rocky road paved by the state’s shakedown cruise with medical pot augurs a more streamlined process for legal recreational marijuana, says Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council.


Medicaid expansion hangs in balance in Michigan gov race
Detroit News, September 19, 2018
“If it is triggered, the program will end and the state would then have to revisit that policy or deal with the consequences of the program ending,” said Tim Michling, a public health and policy research associate for the non-partisan Citizens Research Council.


New Research: Even Computers Can’t Remove Human Bias from Redistricting
IVN, September 17, 2018
Republication of September 17 Bridge Magazine guest column


Forged signatures raise concerns about ballot petition efforts in Michigan
Detroit Free Press, September 17, 2018
Although three bills are pending in Lansing to regulate signature gathering for petitions, state lawmakers should keep in mind Michigan’s long history of using the process to good effect, said Eric Lupher, president of the Livonia-based Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit think tank.


Why computers alone can’t fix Michigan gerrymandering
Bridge Magazine, September 12, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


St. Joseph city commissioners hear term limits report
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, September 11, 2018
Citing a study by the Citizens Research Council, Walcott said there has been little or no impact on diversity in elected offices in Michigan following the …


CRC: Redistricting Commission Expertise May Not Differ From Legislature
Gongwer News Service, September 10, 2018
If voters approve Proposal 18-2 to change Michigan’s redistricting system, commissioners chosen to oversee that process are not likely to have educational backgrounds in policy related to districting issues, an analysis released Monday by the Citizens Research Council said, but that may not be at a substantial disadvantage compared to legislators who would otherwise draw the lines.

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CRC Report: Michigan Near Bottom In Public Health Expenditures
MIRS News Service, August 31, 2018
The public often attributes improvements in heath to better medical care, but the real reasons that life expectancy has jumped from less than 50 years in 1900 to 78 years today are public health programs like sanitation, clean drinking water, food inspections and infectious disease control including vaccinations, according to Timothy MICHLING, Research Associate for Citizens Research Council (CRC).


Michigan redistricting ballot language rejects partisan phrasings
Bridge Magazine, August 30, 2018
Eric Lupher of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has researched the level of partisan gerrymandering in the state, said that this will be the first time Sally Williams has done this but that traditionally the state does “a pretty good job of coming up with fair and even-handed language that describes the (ballot) question.”


Report On Public Health Finds Michigan An “Unhealthy State”
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, August 27, 2018
Citizens Research Council of Michigan President Eric Lupher says when the state has faced tough financial times programs for public health often got cut. He says that means Michigan is now an “unhealthy state.”


Going Straight to Hell
Lessenberry Ink, August 25, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan, one of the state’s oldest and perhaps most reliable think tanks, revealed that in recent years, Michigan has been dangerously under-spending on public health – that is, doing what we need to protect our citizens from polluted water, diseases, guaranteeing the safety and cleanliness of food from contamination, etc., etc.


Gerrymandering in Michigan among worst in U.S.
Macomb Daily, August 23, 2018
A report by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that in 2014 and 2016, Republicans and Democrats received close to equal numbers of statewide votes in state House races. Yet Republicans hold a 63-47 seat majority.


CRC Report: State Has Disinvested In Public Health Over 15 Years
MIRS, August 21, 2018
Michiganders are paying the price in terms of health problems and greater risk for health problems because of a disinvestment by the state in public health expenditures over the past 15 years, according to a Citizens Research Council (CRC) report issued today.


Public Health Fragmented, Under Funded, Paper Says
Gongwer News Service, August 21, 2018
Michigan’s public health system is fragmented among departments, underfunded and too reliant on uncertain federal funding, a paper released Tuesday by the Citizens Research Council said, and the Flint drinking water crisis is an example of how the state has not prioritized public health.


Report: Lack Of Funding For Public Health Is Catching Up To The State
WKAR Public Radio, August 21, 2018
Michigan hasn’t prioritized public health – and now it’s paying for it. That’s according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-profit public affairs research organization.


Michigan’s underfunded public health system is failing, says report
Stateside on Michigan Radio, August 21, 2018
Michigan is one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to investing in public health. According to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the results of underinvestment are clear.


State’s public health system is sick
Port Huron Times Herald, August 21, 2018
That should be the indictment. It isn’t that Lyons might have been culpable. It is that Michigan has been dismantling its public health systems for decades. It is too weak to recognize or respond to a serious public health issue, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan makes clear in a report issued Tuesday.


Opinion | The primary election is over: Let’s talk about public health
Bridge Magazine, August 21, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The battle over district boundaries
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, August 19, 2018
In June, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan issued a report titled “Quantifying the Level of Gerrymandering in Michigan.”


Where Michigan governor primary winners Schuette and Whitmer stand on issues
Bridge Magazine, August 8, 2018
Eliminate the Michigan Strategic Fund, a state agency that doles out a host of tax credits that divert over $500 million per year from the state government per year, according to the Citizens Research Council.


Caring for Alpena: Local medical student joins push to train doctors to treat their home towns
The Alpena News, August 4, 2018
A 2015 study by the Citizens Research Council titled “Where are the Primary Care Doctors?” found that “physicians born in a rural location are 2.4 times more likely to practice in a rural area. Physicians born in rural areas were twice as likely to practice family medicine and their odds of choosing primary care were 50 percent higher than non-rural born students.”


WXYZ TV 7, August 1, 2018
Below are photos of each congressional district that shows just how gerrymandered Michigan congressional districts are. A report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that the state is highly-gerrymandered, failing several tests. Check out the photos and descriptions below.

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Michigan politicians, others react to Supreme Court redistricting decision
Bridge Magazine, July 31, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan: “Given our reading of the constitution and our understanding of past cases in this area I’m not surprised that they affirmed the Court of Appeals and found that this qualifies as an amendment and not a revision.
“(I’m not surprised) for the reason that they list at the outset — (the proposal) solitary in its purpose, singular in its purpose. And while it is long, that length all pertains to the single subject of creating a commission to carry out this task. The comparison is from one constitutional provision to another proposed provision, and the ad hoc system that was created because of the unconstitutional nature of the 1963 Constitution is external to this consideration.”


Voting results deliver on Michigan Chamber VP’s gerrymandering promise
Bridge Magazine, July 31, 2018
“On the whole, we’re a pretty purple state – the overall statewide voting pattern is pretty close to 50-50,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. A report issued by CRC last month concluded that Michigan’s current voting maps fail several tests currently used to evaluate partisan gerrymandering.
“You can only come to the understanding that this is about gerrymandering,” Lupher said Tuesday. “You just can’t explain it away when you look at all the factors Bridge has looked at and (CRC) have looked at.”


Mich. Supreme Court: Redistricting plan goes on Nov. ballot
Detroit News, July 31, 2018
Michigan’s political maps fail several advanced tests of partisan neutrality, according to a recent report by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council, which analyzed election outcomes and determined strong signs of GOP gerrymanders here in 2001 and 2011.


Affirmative action guides college admission
Lansing State Journal, July 29, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


“Emails Are the Tools of the Devil”
Slate, July 28, 2018
These map-makers didn’t run afoul of any laws—partisan gerrymandering is not illegal. Also, the impact of their work hasn’t been a secret. Multiple studies have demonstrated the historic, durable nature of the Republican gerrymanders in Wisconsin and North Carolina. And just last month, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan used several statistical tests to show the tilt embedded into the state’s maps, conclusively dismissing natural clustering or the state’s geography as the cause, and finding that “the Michigan legislature has gone beyond justifiable factors in drawing districts to advantage one political party.”


Michigan GOP aides emails revealed in court case suggest bias in redistricting
The Hill, July 25, 2018
A June study by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan concluded that Michigan is highly gerrymandered and designed to ensure that Republicans hold majorities on the state and local level. Michigan’s political gerrymandering is one of the most extreme examples in the nation, studies have found.


Emails suggest Republicans gerrymandered Michigan to weaken ‘Dem garbage’
Bridge Magazine, July 25, 2018
“All political parties’ hands are dirty,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which issued a report in June that used three statistical tests that revealed gerrymandering in Michigan legislative and congressional districts, which became worse when Republicans controlled redistricting in 2011.
“It’s not something only Republicans do or Democrats do, but neither side wants to admit they are drawing districts to tip the scales,” Lupher said.


Biz groups oppose redistricting proposal
MiBiz.com, July 20, 2018
A June report by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan Inc. ran three different tests to see whether Michigan’s districts were unfairly drawn over the past two decades based on election outcomes.


It’s up to voters to fix Michigan’s rigged electoral system
Syndicated Column, July 13, 2018
Mark Brewer, who represents the League of Women Voters in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s political map, says his clients are prepared to clear the hurdles Kagan and her colleagues have established. And although justices have yet to indicate how they will determine when partisan gerrymandering has illegally distorted a state’s election results, an exhaustive study scheduled for publication this week by Michigan’s non-partisan Citizens Research Council suggests the state’s current political map is doomed to fail any fairness test the Supreme Court decides to adopt.


Chamber, Deloitte should let the people vote
Macomb Daily, July 12, 2018
Michigan is one of the worst gerrymandered states in America. According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the state’s 14 congressional and legislative district maps fail several tests to evaluate partisan gerrymandering. The grassroots coalition called Voters Not Politicians gathered 425,000 signatures to put the anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in November. Many of my fellow Represent.Us volunteers in Michigan helped gather signatures to earn the right to a vote.


New metrics quantify Michigan’s extreme gerrymandering problem
Metro Times, July 6, 2018
The Citizens Research Council used several statistical measures to put an objective number on the problem, and determined that the state’s districts are indeed gerrymandered. That’s significant because the crux of the argument against gerrymandering is that votes cast by residents who live in gerrymandered districts don’t count as much as votes in non-gerrymandered districts.


Report quantifies Michigan’s very real gerrymandering problem
Michigan Radio, July 2, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan put the state’s Congressional and state legislative districts through three statistical tests. The tests aim to objectively measure whether the state’s district lines reflect a deliberate attempt to skew election results in one party’s favor, or are the natural result of complying with federal Voting Rights Act requirements, geographic considerations, or other non-partisan factors that could influence how district lines are drawn.

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Report Shows Gerrymandered Congressional, Legislative Districts Favor Republicans
MItechnews.com, June 27, 2018
Tests now being used by some to evaluate whether congressional and legislative districts have been gerrymandered do show that Michigan fails several of those tests, which could argue that the state’s districts somewhat favor Republicans, a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan said.


Bill Schuette asks Michigan Supreme Court to reject redistricting proposal
Bridge Magazine, June 26, 2018
Voters Not Politicians’ proposal would create a 13-member commission responsible for drawing voting district lines. Right now, legislators hold the pen, with the party in power controlling the process. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan released a report Tuesday morning indicating the state’s voting districts have been drawn in a way that would constitute partisan “gerrymandering” based on several different statistical testing methods.


Policy Meets the People: Introducing the Issue of Gerrymandering
WDET Public Radio, June 25, 2018
“The big issue is that we have legislators making the rules for redistricting and legislators doing the redistricting so they are choosing their electors rather than the electors choosing their representatives,” says Eric Lupher, the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonpartisan group with offices in Livonia and Lansing.


CRC: Michigan Fails Some Gerrymandering Tests
Gongwer News Service, June 25, 2018
Tests now being used by some to evaluate whether congressional and legislative districts have been gerrymandered do show that Michigan fails several of those tests, which could argue that the state’s districts somewhat favor Republicans, a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan said.


Fixing Michigan’s roads can be a political hot potato
Manistee News Advocate, June 25, 2018
Some believe it’s time to rethink this funding structure. A report from the Citizens Research Council concluded it’s “nearly impossible to address the funding needs of heavily traveled roads or roads in greater need of repair without significantly increasing the allocation of revenues to those roads with less traffic or that have relatively lesser needs.”


It’s up to voters to fix Michigan’s rigged electoral system
Detroit Free Press, June 24, 2018
Mark Brewer, who represents the League of Women Voters in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s political map, says his clients are prepared to clear the hurdles Kagan and her colleagues have established. And although justices have yet to indicate how they will determine when partisan gerrymandering has illegally distorted a state’s election results, an exhaustive study scheduled for publication this week by Michigan’s non-partisan Citizens Research Council suggests the state’s current political map is doomed to fail any fairness test the Supreme Court decides to adopt.


How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering
Detroit Free Press, June 24, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


‘Big lies’ worse than ‘fake news’
Detroit News, June 21, 2018
At the same time, an analysis this spring by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that Michigan teachers are the highest paid in the nation, continuing a 20 year trend.


Challenge to Michigan redistricting initiative show need for reform
Bridge Magazine, June 21, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The political implications and the process for getting initiatives before voters in Michigan
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, June 18, 2018
How those initiatives get on the ballot is the subject of a new blog post from Citizens Research Council of Michigan president Eric Lupher. He says Michigan’s “laissez-faire” system of proposing ballot proposals does not serve its citizens well. Lupher says Michigan should look at how other states review initiatives before signatures are collected.


Michigan Justices Supported By Opponents Of Redistricting Proposal May Decide Its Fate
Bridge Magazine and Michigan Campaign Finance Network, June 11, 2018
Likewise, the nonpartisan and influential research group, Citizens Research Council, concluded the scope of the Voters Not Politicians proposal is “limited” and seems to meet standards laid out by the courts to qualify for the ballot.
“The VNP petition deals with a single subject; legislative redistricting … While it is long and complex, the scope of the proposal is limited,” the Citizens Research Council analysis found.


UP organizations receive more than $800,000 in grant funding to improve health
TV 6 News, June 5, 2018
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula residents face barriers to health care. A 2015 study conducted by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan showed Keweenaw County as consistently falling below the recommended ratio of primary care physicians to population. Mackinac, Luce and Baraga counties rank in the bottom 20 counties for overall health outcomes in Michigan, which measures resident’s length and quality of life. Chippewa County, the second largest in the Upper Peninsula, ranks in the bottom 10 Michigan counties for overall health factors, which identifies health behaviors, clinical care, social, economic and environmental factors within each community.

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Michigan’s new local pension board offers no solutions
Bond Buyer, May 29, 2018
The MSB was originally envisioned as holding broader powers to implement a plan of action but through the legislative process it was settled that the board would function more as an information gathering exercise that would request of local governments, if they are behind in funding, what sort of action they would take to address those, said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, an independent policy research organization.


The case for ending Michigan’s system for term limits
Bridge Magazine, May 22, 2018
All this came to my mind upon reading a recent report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a century-old outfit that does nonpartisan, unbiased policy research and has been a priceless jewel for our state during the century-plus it’s been around. I don’t know anybody with even a passing interest in the empirical basis for public policy who doesn’t depend on the work done regularly by CRC.


Study: Term-limits Failed To Deliver On Claims
MItechnews.com, May 18, 2018
A Citizens Research Council of Michigan study claims the state’s 1992 voter-initiated term-limits constitutional amendment has failed to broom out career politicians, increase diversity or make more elections competitive.


What happened to Detroit schools? Mismanagement, student losses contribute to decade of failure
Crains Detroit Business, May 16, 2018
But state control over Detroit’s schools has failed, said Craig Thiel, of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit policy research group.
“The model is focused almost exclusively on the finances and has very little to do with the academics,” he said. “If you don’t give time for academic reforms to work, the revenue comes down too quickly.”


Study: Michigan’s Experiment with Term Limits Has Failed
Detroit Today on WDET, May 16, 2018
A new study from Citizens Research Council (CRC) shows term limits have failed to deliver on its promises — that races would become more competitive and bring in fresh, capable talent to replace tired and corrupt career politicians.


Surprise — term limits don’t work in Michigan
The Marquette Daily Mining Gazette, May 16, 2018
If you’ve ever wondered what is wrong with the Michigan Legislature, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has bad news for you. Michigan voters prefer it that way.


Op-Ed: Term limits sounded good, but they’ve failed
Traverse City Record-Eagle, May 10, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The truth about term limits
Jack Lessenberry – Michigan Radio, May 10, 2018
That’s been apparent for years to anyone familiar with Lansing. But that’s further validated by an important new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has done high-quality, non-partisan policy research for more than a century.


Study Takes Aim At Michigan Term Limits Law
Michigan Radio, May 9, 2018
Eric Lupher of the Citizens Research Council says there are limits to the study. But he says one of the findings is that Michigan has not retired career politicians. He says what’s changed is state lawmakers are more focused now on their next jobs.


Report Recommends Changes To Term Limits
94.9 WSJM, May 8, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has issued a new report on the effect of term limits in Michigan. President Eric Lupher tells Michigan News Network 70% of Lansing lawmakers will be new to their chamber next January. He suggests changing the term limits law.


Term limits not working in Michigan
Port Huron Times Herald, May 8, 2018
If you’ve ever wondered what is wrong with the Michigan Legislature, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has bad news for you. Michigan voters prefer it that way.


Study Takes Aim at Michigan Term Limits Law
WKAR Radio, May 8, 2018
Eric Lupher is with the Citizens Research Council.
He says there are limits to the study, but some trends have emerged.


Michigan term limits sounded good, but they’ve failed
Bridge Magazine, May 8, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Lessons learned while studying urban, rural communities
The (Lapeer) County Press, May 6, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Costs show need for no-fault reform
Crain’s Detroit Business, May 6, 2018
According to a Citizens Research Council of Michigan report on the medical costs associated with our broken, outdated auto no-fault system, a hospital’s ability to overcharge patients means “providers are not prevented from, and may benefit in, ordering and charging more for services that may provide little, no or even negative health value to the patient.”


Confessions of a recovering elitist
Detroit Free Press, May 6, 2018
I hadn’t yet heard of the Citizens Research Council, the venerable Michigan think tank known for its exhaustive, meticulously documented analyses of public policy, but I would have enthusiastically applauded its slogan: “The right to criticize government is also the obligation to know what you are talking about.”


Census is more than a head count, affects funding for Michigan
Lansing State Journal, May 3, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


Lessons learned while studying Michigan’s urban and rural communities
Michigan Farm News, May 1, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher

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Citizens Research Council researches divide between Michigan’s urban and rural mindsets
The Peninsula, April 25, 2018
A new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan titled Exploring Michigan’s Urban/Rural Divide determined that despite major differences in political opinion, the state’s divided areas have a great deal in common, making for a complicated portrait.


Can urban and rural Michiganders get along?
Detroit Free Press, April 22, 2018
So says the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, at least, which analyzed a heap of U.S. Census data to find the common ground between Michigan’s urban and rural residents.


Why isn’t healthcare affordable to even the common man or woman working 40 plus hours a week?
Craig Fahle Show on New Radio Media, April 19, 2018
Findings in our assessment of the Healthy Michigan Plan were discussed throughout the segment on the Senate’s efforts in include work requirements for able bodied recipients.


Lawmakers to Snyder: Kick Macomb Twp. trustee Bucci in corruption scandal out of office
Detroit Free Press, April 19, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said while he is not a lawyer, from a plain person’s reading of the law and the constitution, it appears that an indictment for federal bribery charges would constitute malfeasance or misfeasance in office, allowing the governor to play a role in removing a public official.
“We don’t do this on a regular basis,” Lupher said, adding that officials often have “fallen on their sword before the governors taken action.”


It’s Time To Get Serious About Michigan’s Infrastructure
Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroiter Magazine, March/April 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Snyder takes aim at program steering public money to private schools
Detroit Free Press, April 9, 2018
Craig Thiel, the research director at the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, which has been ringing alarms about the shared time expansion, says additional oversight could help the state better define what constitutes “core” courses.


Big business grows from shared classes
Crain’s Detroit Business, April 1, 2018
“Brighton and Berkley have just figured out they can be a staffing agency for these private schools,” said Craig Thiel, research director at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Would Counties Relieve Local Governments of Service Responsibilities if they had More Money to Pay for It?
Michigan Counties (see p. 8), April 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher

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Chamber: Michigan Medicaid expansion ‘out of control’
Detroit News, March 22, 2018
Policy analysts writing for groups such as the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the conservative Heritage Foundation have warned that Medicaid work requirements “won’t work” because of likely difficulties enforcing and administering the program. Most able-bodied Medicaid beneficiaries already work, according to the national Kaiser Family Foundation.


Roads, Money And The “Third Rail” Of Michigan’s Pothole Crisis
WMUK, March 21, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan says part of the reason Michigan’s roads continue to crumble is that the formula the state uses for distributing money for road repair is complex, and inefficient.


Leaders Concur More Resources Needed; Finding Them Not So Easy
MIRS News, March 20, 2018
That was the consensus of a leadership forum hosted this morning on the state of Michigan’s roads, sponsored by MIRS, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation.


The Capital City Recap with Ed Rivet
WILS Radio, March 20, 2018
Citizens Research Council Research Director, Craig Thiel, discusses the inefficiencies of Act 51 for highway funding.


Here’s Why Moving People Off Healthy MI Costs The State More
MIRS News, March 19, 2018
Asked if this issue was anticipated, Pallone said, “I don’t think it was anticipated.” Tim MICHLING, a research associate with the Citizens Research Council (CRC), said it probably wasn’t realized at the time how cost-effective Medicaid could be.


The Capital City Recap with Ed Rivet
WILS Radio, March 19, 2018
Citizens Research Council President, Eric Lupher, discusses financial stress in Michigan suburban communities.


How does MDOT decide which roads to fix first?
Michigan Radio, March 19, 2018
On that note, Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, believes taxpayers aren’t going to get the bang for their buck, thanks to Michigan’s outdated road funding formula that he says doesn’t address the way we use our roads today.


Recruiting physicians to rural Northern Michigan takes diligence
Petoskey News-Review, March 19, 2018
At the same time, an aging population is demanding more primary care services, while an increasing number of physicians are retiring due to age, a study by the nonprofit Lansing-based Citizens Research Council reported.
The same report, citing a 2012 survey of Michigan physicians, noted 46 percent said they plan to leave medicine within a decade.


Ousting Macomb County clerk Spranger from plum job rests on: Did she lie?
Detroit Free Press, March 19, 2018
The hearing that starts today revolves around the dilapidated bungalow in Warren that Spranger inherited from her mother, and where county authorities said she could not have been living on the day in April 2016 when she filed to run for clerk. What Cusumano called a “technicality” actually is a cornerstone of election law, said Eric Lupher, president of the Michigan Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan think tank in Livonia.
When running for elective office in virtually every state, a candidate must designate where he or she lives by signing an affidavit, a legal form that creates a sworn record admissible in court.
“It’s a matter akin to contract law. You’re making a legal representation that this fact is true,” Lupher said.


Philanthropy as Economic Development? Foundations increasingly step up to kickstart risky community initiatives
MiBiz, March 18, 2018
“These nonprofits and foundations get involved in a housing trust to make housing affordable for those people who most need it,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan Inc. based in Livonia. “Foundations and nonprofits are getting involved to bridge those gaps.”


Michigan’s economy is improving. But suburbs may face next fiscal crisis.
Bridge Magazine, March 15, 2018
His comments came Wednesday during a panel discussion Wednesday at The Center for Michigan’s Solutions Summit in East Lansing. Joining him to discuss problems facing municipalities were Jill Roof, research associate at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, and three mayors: Mark Huizenga of Walker, Karen Majewski of Hamtramck and Bill Wild of Westland.


Metro Detroit roads are bad, but the cost to fix them is the real shocker
Detroit Free Press, March 13, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, headquartered in Livonia, said the $1.2 billion the state previously approved for road projects was “a good number at one point” but “we continue to neglect our roads.”


Proposed work requirements for Healthy Michigan
WOOD-TV, March 12, 2018
While the bill was introduced only last week, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan was quick to object, saying that while the premise of requiring work while on government assistance appeals to some, “in practice … numerous challenges and questions surrounding work requirements for a program like Medicaid and this policy change may do more harm than good.”


How Michigan cities can escape property tax constraints
The Bond Buyer, March 6, 2018
Local option revenue streams can help Michigan cities become less dependent on property taxes, according to a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Bridge Magazine, March 6, 2018
The Citizens Research Council’s white paper on the state’s indebtedness does not mince words: By 2006, its combined general fund and school aid fund cash balances were $1.3 billion in the red. The lost-jobs numbers are also accurate. Again, Truth Squad’s earlier analysis of these figures stands: In January 2003, non-farm private sector employment in Michigan stood at 4,445,700. In December 2008, it stood at 4,054,600 – a drop of more than 390,000.

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Road conditions offer opportunity for change
Crain’s Detroit Business, February 25, 2018
Thirty-seven other states allow some kind of locally-assessed vehicle tax and eleven states allow cities to impose local fuel taxes, according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Michigan Truth Squad: Schuette says tax hikes put family dreams at risk
Bridge Magazine, February 22, 2018
While the broad numbers are correct, Schuette’s portrayal of the tax burden faced by Michigan families lacks some critical context. As Bridge Magazine has noted, Michigan is ranked near the bottom when it comes to total taxes paid. Michigan ranked 34th nationally in 2013 for its personal income tax burden, both per capita and as a percentage of personal income, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


CRC Urges More Regional Tax Options
Gongwer News Service, February 22, 2018
Michigan’s tax structure does not give local governments the flexibility that other states provide to allow those units to control their resources and react to economic trends, the Citizens Research Council said in a report released Thursday.


Give local governments more tax options
Detroit News, February 22, 2018
Guest Column


‘Detroit Rising’: Primary care doctors in city neighborhoods in short supply
Crain’s Detroit Business, February 20, 2018
On a countywide basis, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan found in a 2015 study of the data that the number of primary care physicians in Wayne County would appear sufficient.


K-12 Boost Contingent on Cutting Cyber Schools, Shared Time
U.S. News & World Report, February 18, 2018
Craig Thiel, research director with the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said the way Snyder is framing his K-12 budget is clear.
“The way they’ve set it up is if you want to increase the foundation grant, you’ve got to give these things,” he said.


Governor’s order, recall are the only options to remove a Michigan sheriff
MLive.com, February 13, 2018
“The bottom line is: It’s not easy to remove an elected official from office, nor should it be,” says Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan in Livonia, who’s studied Michigan’s state, county and local government for 30 years.


Rethinking accountability at Michigan’s universities
Detroit Free Press, February 11, 2018
Guest Column


Rick Snyder’s last budget: Relentless positive mediocrity
Detroit Free Press, February 8, 2018
And aside from a diffident suggestion that the Legislature might want to bulk up the state’s rainy day fund (currently resting at right around $1 billion) this parsimonious budget deals only indirectly with the looming $2 billion shortfall predicted by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, and the slower economic growth forecast by the Legislature’s own fiscal agencies.


Snyder’s Michigan: Business taxes fall, burden shifts to residents
Bridge Magazine, February 6, 2018
Until the MEGA credits expire, estimated around 2032, net business tax revenue likely will continue to be a small portion of total state revenue, said Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
“When we look at the revenue that’s brought in, it’s not as balanced as an ideal system might be,” Thiel said. “The business tax piece, but for the credits, would play a larger share. But for the time being, structurally, I would say it’s much more balanced than it’s playing out in practice because of these (MEGA) commitments that were made seven to eight years ago.”


Snyder’s Michigan: More spending, but Michigan government remains small
Bridge Magazine, February 6, 2017
One reason for the Headlee gap is a weakening state economy during the 2000s, even before the 2007-09 recession, according to the Citizens Research Council. Some of it is due to tax cuts, exemptions and other constraints that have been written into the tax code.
Many Republicans could point to the constitutional revenue limit as evidence that they have restrained government spending, said Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council.
“There’s no doubt about it that people would use this as the barometer to say, ‘You sent me here to do something, and here’s proof I’ve done something,’” Thiel said.


It may be time for constitutional convention
Traverse City Record-Eagle, February 4, 2018
They have also largely made government harder. “A common theme of amendments, especially since 1992, has been that of weakening the legislature,” a study by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan concluded in 2010.

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What’s the Real Price of a City Income Tax?
The Review, January/February 2018
Faced with this financial squeeze, cities have cut services and underinvested in streets, parks, transit and other amenities that contribute to their economic vitality, and attract new workers and residents. These are the kinds of placemaking investments that companies such as Amazon, which is looking to establish a second headquarters employing 50,000 workers, are seeking when considering where to invest. “The bottom line is that something has got to give,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. “Local governments are doing all they can with less money. It’s affecting the quality of life for these communities.”


Gov. Snyder’s swan song exposes challenges for down the road
Lansing State Journal, January 25, 2018
Guest Column


Taxes are good. No, really.
Detroit Free Press, January 14, 2018
On top of that, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council is warning that the state isn’t prepared for another recession — and there will always be another recession. Michigan’s rainy day fund may not have the capacity to buffer the state through another downturn, and funding for key economy-boosting programs, like the state’s Medicaid expansion, is in jeopardy.

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2018 Media Citations

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Hostility for the holidays: The lame history of Michigan’s lame duck
Bridge Magazine, December 10, 2018
“That’s when it really morphed in full-time sessions, where they convene in January and go until the end of December,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
“Now we can’t get the buggers to go home.”


Redistricting panel will decide which Mich. U.S. House seat to kill
Detroit News, December 3, 2018
“Given that we’re going to have this independent redistricting commission, I would guess it won’t be an overtly political act of targeting a Republican or Democratic district,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


A recession is coming. Michigan’s not ready.
Detroit Free Press, December 2, 2018
“Detroit still gets less revenue from property tax, and is getting most of its revenue from casino gaming taxes, sales tax, and revenue sharing,” says Eric Lupher of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council. “And really, the casino gaming tax might be the most stable of three.”

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Why Democrats won more votes, but GOP won more legislative seats in Michigan
Detroit News, November 20, 2018
Gerrymandering, the practice of drawing political lines to benefit a particular party, “really affects the lower half of state” in areas like Southeast Michigan, Grand Rapids, the Lansing area and other pockets where there are heavy concentrations of Democratic voters, said Eric Lupher, president of the non-partisan Citizens Research Council.


Blue wave could not overcome gerrymandering
WIN 98.5 FM, November 18, 2018
The Citizens Research Council found that while 52% of the voters picked Democratic Candidates, and 47% voted for Republicans, the GOP still retained 53% of the seats and control in the State House and Senate, where gerrymanering makes the biggest difference.


CRC: November Results Showed Gerrymandering
Gongwer News Service, November 16, 2018
That Democrats took more votes but Republicans took more legislative seats shows Michigan’s political districts are at least somewhat gerrymandered, the Citizens Research Council said in a report released Friday.


CRC Report: ’18 Election Results Show Gerrymandered District
MIRS News, November 16, 2018
Data collected from the previous four elections show Michigan’s legislative districts exhibit gerrymandering in favor of Republicans, according to a post-election report released today by the Citizens Research Council (CRC).


Gretchen Whitmer inherits a stable economy, but an unforgiving budget
Bridge Magazine, November 15, 2018
All of which means Whitmer is unlikely to find the funding she needs for her ambitious programs without finding a new source of revenue or cutting back elsewhere, said Jordon Newton, a research associate at the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which studies state budget pressures.


Addressing adverse childhood experiences vital to Michigan’s future
Bridge Magazine, November 13, 2018
A Citizens Research Council of Michigan report shows that we spend more than $70 billion on health in Michigan without measurably improving health outcomes. (Editor’s note: Citizens Research Council says the above statement is an oversimplification of the findings in its report) More Michiganders smoke and/or are obese than the national average. Michigan has a higher rate of infant mortality and its residents have a shorter life expectancy at birth than the U.S. average. ACEs are an important factor.


Gerrymandered districts help Republicans keep control of Michigan Legislature
Bridge Magazine, November 8, 2018
“Clearly the way the lines have been drawn have been to give favor the Republican Party,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has studied gerrymandering for years.


Election 2018: People, not politicians to draw district maps
WLNS TV, November 7, 2018
According to BridgeMI.com, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found two benefits would be the transparency of how state and congressional lines are drawn and the reduction of partisan influence in drawing those districts.


Whitmer, Stabenow win as Democrats take key Michigan races
Seymour Tribune, November 7, 2018
Michigan residents age 21 or older now will be able to buy, grow and use marijuana for recreational purposes. The state legalized medical marijuana 10 years ago. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says police and jails might save money by not arresting people, but it also notes there will be a cost for abuse and other public health issues. Marijuana sales will carry a special 10 percent tax, with 70 percent of revenue going to schools and roads, on top of Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax.


Women in key races could shake up Michigan politics
Seymour Tribune, November 6, 2018
Ten years after Michigan voters approved medical marijuana, they will decide whether to allow anyone age 21 or older to buy, grow and use the drug for recreational purposes. Local governments could ban pot shops even if the proposal wins at the ballot box. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan says police and jails might save money if marijuana becomes legal, but it also notes there will be a cost for abuse and other public health issues. Marijuana sales would carry a special 10 percent tax, with 70 percent of revenue going to schools and roads, on top of Michigan’s 6 percent sales tax.


Proposal 3 lets voters decide on voting rights
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, November 4, 2018
Craig Thiel, research director with the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, stated in a recent blog that Michigan legislators have tried three times to eliminate the straight-party voting option – in 1964, 2001 and 2015.


Proposal 1: Reefer madness or miracle?
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, November 4, 2018
“There is an apparent public knowledge gap regarding marijuana, with some opponents of marijuana legalization evoking a fictionalized ‘Reefer Madness’ that will tear society asunder, while many advocates suggest that marijuana is as harmless as a lunch of quinoa and kale salad,” states a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan on Proposal 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana use and possession for residents 21 and over.


Prop 1 explained
Stateside on Michigan Radio, November 2, 2018
Citizens Research Council President Eric Lupher discusses Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana.



Reader’s view: Proposal 2 gives power to people

Midland Daily News, November 1, 2018
I ask you to ignore the last-minute campaign the opposition is mounting which is filled with lies and distortions. Educate yourself. Bridge Magazine is an online non-partisan publication which has excellent articles addressing the demonizing of Proposal 2 by those who are currently profiting from gerrymandering. For more technically inclined people, the Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan research institute, will provide you with a history of gerrymandering in Michigan and why it is so insidious. I encourage you to educate yourself, “And the truth shall set you free” from distortion and lies. Vote “Yes” on Proposal 2.


Fate of gerrymandering up for vote
Agora, November 1, 2018
An analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan concludes the proposal gives the citizens an important choice about the redistricting process.


Redistricting plan seeks fair voting boundaries, but foes say it worsens problems
Detroit News, November 1, 2018
Most people can understand the risks of having a political party draw the maps, said Citizens Research Council president Eric Lupher, but “everything after that gets into the minutiae of it.”

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What you’re voting for: Michigan’s ballot measure to remodel redistricting
Fox 2 Detroit, October 29, 2018
Anything the commission didn’t spend would be given back to the fund, but if they spent more than they were given — the state would have to reimburse them. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan estimates that funding for the process would be about $10 million over a 10-year redistricting cycle, which is about .01 percent of the General Fund.


10 Questions for the Candidates: Kelly Rossman-McKinney
WILX, October 25, 2018
I strive to learn as much as I can about every issue from every source but I especially rely on non-partisan sources like Citizens Research Council. All my decisions will be driven by my commitment to be fair, reasonable and responsible and to represent the needs of the 24th district.


Two Ballot Proposals Would Impact Future Elections In Michigan
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, October 21, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has analyzed both Proposal 2 and Proposal 3. The public policy organization’s president Eric Lupher spoke with WMUK’s Gordon Evans.


Proposal 3 Dubbed ‘Trojan Horse’ For Partisan Advantage
MIRS News Service, October 22, 2018
Republican generally don’t like straight ticket voting while Democrats do because they tend to get a net bounce from it on Election Day. The Citizens Research Council (CRC) found that in 2000, 617,850 used straight ticket to vote for Democrats and 410,148 voted straight ticket Republican (See “46% Say They’ll Vote Straight Party Lines; Local Clerks Lining Up Behind Prop 3,” 10/4/18).


Paid sick leave law making some Michigan businesses feel queasy
Bridge Magazine, October 18, 2018
Ten states require paid sick leave, though none besides Michigan are in the Midwest. One difference in Michigan’s law as it is currently written is that it requires paid leave for more types of employers, and also requires more hours of paid time off, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


What you need to know about Proposal 2
Stateside on Michigan Radio, October 17, 2018
Eric Lupher, President of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, helps explain the anti-gerrymandering proposal on November’s ballot. He describes the pros and cons of an independent commission, and answers questions about the cost of the redistricting process.


Professor explains redistricting process, details of proposal on November ballot
Cadillac News, October 14, 2018
According to an analysis conducted by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the state would appropriate up to $4.6 million to cover the cost of paying the apportionment committee members and fight legal challenges they say are bound to crop up.


a href=”https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/prop-3-shows-voters-distrust-michigan-constitution-best-remedy”>Prop 3 shows voters’ distrust. But is Michigan Constitution the best remedy?
Bridge Magazine, October 11, 2018
Some parts of Proposal 3 would seem to enjoy nearly universal support. It’s hard to argue, for instance, against the need to ensure secret ballots or for giving military personnel sufficient time to vote, said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which analyzed Proposal 3.


Michigan ballot issues: What to know about Prop 3 (voting rights)
Bridge Magazine, October 11, 2018
Other states that implemented similar voting reforms have said it has made it easier for citizens to vote and improved voter turnout, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Pot in the workplace: Prop 1 has Michigan employers flummoxed
Bridge Magazine, October 9, 2018
Data are mixed on whether legalization of recreational marijuana in other states contributed to increased use, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which analyzed the ballot initiative. The organization said, however, that economic principles would suggest that decriminalizing marijuana would lead more people to use it, though that effect is difficult to quantify.


Legalizing pot comes with costs
Port Huron Times Herald, October 4, 2018
Lupher is president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, an independent, non-partisan that has worked to improve Michigan government since 1916. The Citizens Research Council does not take positions on ballot issues, but it does warn that Proposal 1 will not be without costs.


CRC: Truth About Pot Difficult To Discern
Gongwer News Service, October 4, 2018
In analyzing Proposal 18-1 to legalize recreational marijuana, the Citizens Research Council said there is “an apparent knowledge gap” on the drug, with opponents pointing to “reefer madness” and supporters comparing its harmlessness to “a lunch of quinoa and kale salad.”


46% Say They’ll Vote Straight Party Lines; Local Clerks Lining Up Behind Prop 3
MIRS News Service, October 4, 2018
The poll numbers jibe with Citizens Research Council (CRC) data from 2000 that showed more Democrats use straight ticket voting than Republicans. The numbers are heavily swayed by the city of Detroit, where 70 percent of Detroiters voted straight ticket that year.


Reader’s view: Proposal 2 will end gerrymandering
Midland Daily News, October 3, 2018
A quote from the recent analysis by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan: “The redistricting process affects the core components of a representative democracy. It determines what candidates people are able to vote for and who an elected representative represents. The term ‘gerrymandering’ characterizes the eccentric boundaries of many legislative districts, drawn to unfairly privilege one party over another. Gerrymandering enables the creation of ‘safe’ districts that allow candidates to appeal only to their party base. In this way, gerrymandering facilitates polarization. Gerrymandering also erodes public trust in the political process.”

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Tracing the Many Revenue Threads That Led to Today’s Revenue Sharing System
Michigan Counties, September 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


It’s clear Lansing’s roads are in bad shape. But what would it take to fix them?
Lansing State Journal, September 30, 2018
It’s also based on the length of road mileage within a municipality, but does not take into account how wide those roads are. That’s a system that favors rural communities with lightly trafficked roads over dense cities with multi-lane roads, said Craig Thiel, a research director with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-partisan think tank.


Michigan voters to decide how their electoral maps are drawn
Associated Press, September 29, 2018
“Michigan is a purple state — fairly blue in some parts, fairly red in other parts. … It’s historically a swing state in presidential elections,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonpartisan public policy research group that takes no side on issues. “States like Michigan can make a difference, and I think we’re getting a lot of attention for this reason.”


How a shadow Republican group gerrymandered Michigan – sparking a backlash
Bridge Magazine, September 25, 2018
Recent studies by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan as well as Bridge’s own analysis based on testing in other states found that Michigan’s political boundaries are now among the most biased in the nation to favor Republicans.


Legal marijuana: Vote for it, even if you aren’t going to smoke it | Opinion
Detroit Free Press, September 23, 2018
Michigan legalized medical marijuana back in 2008, via a ballot initiative likewise approved by voters. Implementation of that law has been challenging, but the rocky road paved by the state’s shakedown cruise with medical pot augurs a more streamlined process for legal recreational marijuana, says Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council.


Medicaid expansion hangs in balance in Michigan gov race
Detroit News, September 19, 2018
“If it is triggered, the program will end and the state would then have to revisit that policy or deal with the consequences of the program ending,” said Tim Michling, a public health and policy research associate for the non-partisan Citizens Research Council.


New Research: Even Computers Can’t Remove Human Bias from Redistricting
IVN, September 17, 2018
Republication of September 17 Bridge Magazine guest column


Forged signatures raise concerns about ballot petition efforts in Michigan
Detroit Free Press, September 17, 2018
Although three bills are pending in Lansing to regulate signature gathering for petitions, state lawmakers should keep in mind Michigan’s long history of using the process to good effect, said Eric Lupher, president of the Livonia-based Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit think tank.


Why computers alone can’t fix Michigan gerrymandering
Bridge Magazine, September 12, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


St. Joseph city commissioners hear term limits report
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, September 11, 2018
Citing a study by the Citizens Research Council, Walcott said there has been little or no impact on diversity in elected offices in Michigan following the …


CRC: Redistricting Commission Expertise May Not Differ From Legislature
Gongwer News Service, September 10, 2018
If voters approve Proposal 18-2 to change Michigan’s redistricting system, commissioners chosen to oversee that process are not likely to have educational backgrounds in policy related to districting issues, an analysis released Monday by the Citizens Research Council said, but that may not be at a substantial disadvantage compared to legislators who would otherwise draw the lines.

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CRC Report: Michigan Near Bottom In Public Health Expenditures
MIRS News Service, August 31, 2018
The public often attributes improvements in heath to better medical care, but the real reasons that life expectancy has jumped from less than 50 years in 1900 to 78 years today are public health programs like sanitation, clean drinking water, food inspections and infectious disease control including vaccinations, according to Timothy MICHLING, Research Associate for Citizens Research Council (CRC).


Michigan redistricting ballot language rejects partisan phrasings
Bridge Magazine, August 30, 2018
Eric Lupher of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has researched the level of partisan gerrymandering in the state, said that this will be the first time Sally Williams has done this but that traditionally the state does “a pretty good job of coming up with fair and even-handed language that describes the (ballot) question.”


Report On Public Health Finds Michigan An “Unhealthy State”
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, August 27, 2018
Citizens Research Council of Michigan President Eric Lupher says when the state has faced tough financial times programs for public health often got cut. He says that means Michigan is now an “unhealthy state.”


Going Straight to Hell
Lessenberry Ink, August 25, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan, one of the state’s oldest and perhaps most reliable think tanks, revealed that in recent years, Michigan has been dangerously under-spending on public health – that is, doing what we need to protect our citizens from polluted water, diseases, guaranteeing the safety and cleanliness of food from contamination, etc., etc.


Gerrymandering in Michigan among worst in U.S.
Macomb Daily, August 23, 2018
A report by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that in 2014 and 2016, Republicans and Democrats received close to equal numbers of statewide votes in state House races. Yet Republicans hold a 63-47 seat majority.


CRC Report: State Has Disinvested In Public Health Over 15 Years
MIRS, August 21, 2018
Michiganders are paying the price in terms of health problems and greater risk for health problems because of a disinvestment by the state in public health expenditures over the past 15 years, according to a Citizens Research Council (CRC) report issued today.


Public Health Fragmented, Under Funded, Paper Says
Gongwer News Service, August 21, 2018
Michigan’s public health system is fragmented among departments, underfunded and too reliant on uncertain federal funding, a paper released Tuesday by the Citizens Research Council said, and the Flint drinking water crisis is an example of how the state has not prioritized public health.


Report: Lack Of Funding For Public Health Is Catching Up To The State
WKAR Public Radio, August 21, 2018
Michigan hasn’t prioritized public health – and now it’s paying for it. That’s according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a non-profit public affairs research organization.


Michigan’s underfunded public health system is failing, says report
Stateside on Michigan Radio, August 21, 2018
Michigan is one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to investing in public health. According to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the results of underinvestment are clear.


State’s public health system is sick
Port Huron Times Herald, August 21, 2018
That should be the indictment. It isn’t that Lyons might have been culpable. It is that Michigan has been dismantling its public health systems for decades. It is too weak to recognize or respond to a serious public health issue, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan makes clear in a report issued Tuesday.


Opinion | The primary election is over: Let’s talk about public health
Bridge Magazine, August 21, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The battle over district boundaries
St. Joseph Herald Palladium, August 19, 2018
In June, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan issued a report titled “Quantifying the Level of Gerrymandering in Michigan.”


Where Michigan governor primary winners Schuette and Whitmer stand on issues
Bridge Magazine, August 8, 2018
Eliminate the Michigan Strategic Fund, a state agency that doles out a host of tax credits that divert over $500 million per year from the state government per year, according to the Citizens Research Council.


Caring for Alpena: Local medical student joins push to train doctors to treat their home towns
The Alpena News, August 4, 2018
A 2015 study by the Citizens Research Council titled “Where are the Primary Care Doctors?” found that “physicians born in a rural location are 2.4 times more likely to practice in a rural area. Physicians born in rural areas were twice as likely to practice family medicine and their odds of choosing primary care were 50 percent higher than non-rural born students.”


WXYZ TV 7, August 1, 2018
Below are photos of each congressional district that shows just how gerrymandered Michigan congressional districts are. A report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that the state is highly-gerrymandered, failing several tests. Check out the photos and descriptions below.

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Michigan politicians, others react to Supreme Court redistricting decision
Bridge Magazine, July 31, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan: “Given our reading of the constitution and our understanding of past cases in this area I’m not surprised that they affirmed the Court of Appeals and found that this qualifies as an amendment and not a revision.
“(I’m not surprised) for the reason that they list at the outset — (the proposal) solitary in its purpose, singular in its purpose. And while it is long, that length all pertains to the single subject of creating a commission to carry out this task. The comparison is from one constitutional provision to another proposed provision, and the ad hoc system that was created because of the unconstitutional nature of the 1963 Constitution is external to this consideration.”


Voting results deliver on Michigan Chamber VP’s gerrymandering promise
Bridge Magazine, July 31, 2018
“On the whole, we’re a pretty purple state – the overall statewide voting pattern is pretty close to 50-50,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan. A report issued by CRC last month concluded that Michigan’s current voting maps fail several tests currently used to evaluate partisan gerrymandering.
“You can only come to the understanding that this is about gerrymandering,” Lupher said Tuesday. “You just can’t explain it away when you look at all the factors Bridge has looked at and (CRC) have looked at.”


Mich. Supreme Court: Redistricting plan goes on Nov. ballot
Detroit News, July 31, 2018
Michigan’s political maps fail several advanced tests of partisan neutrality, according to a recent report by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council, which analyzed election outcomes and determined strong signs of GOP gerrymanders here in 2001 and 2011.


Affirmative action guides college admission
Lansing State Journal, July 29, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


“Emails Are the Tools of the Devil”
Slate, July 28, 2018
These map-makers didn’t run afoul of any laws—partisan gerrymandering is not illegal. Also, the impact of their work hasn’t been a secret. Multiple studies have demonstrated the historic, durable nature of the Republican gerrymanders in Wisconsin and North Carolina. And just last month, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan used several statistical tests to show the tilt embedded into the state’s maps, conclusively dismissing natural clustering or the state’s geography as the cause, and finding that “the Michigan legislature has gone beyond justifiable factors in drawing districts to advantage one political party.”


Michigan GOP aides emails revealed in court case suggest bias in redistricting
The Hill, July 25, 2018
A June study by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan concluded that Michigan is highly gerrymandered and designed to ensure that Republicans hold majorities on the state and local level. Michigan’s political gerrymandering is one of the most extreme examples in the nation, studies have found.


Emails suggest Republicans gerrymandered Michigan to weaken ‘Dem garbage’
Bridge Magazine, July 25, 2018
“All political parties’ hands are dirty,” said Eric Lupher, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which issued a report in June that used three statistical tests that revealed gerrymandering in Michigan legislative and congressional districts, which became worse when Republicans controlled redistricting in 2011.
“It’s not something only Republicans do or Democrats do, but neither side wants to admit they are drawing districts to tip the scales,” Lupher said.


Biz groups oppose redistricting proposal
MiBiz.com, July 20, 2018
A June report by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan Inc. ran three different tests to see whether Michigan’s districts were unfairly drawn over the past two decades based on election outcomes.


It’s up to voters to fix Michigan’s rigged electoral system
Syndicated Column, July 13, 2018
Mark Brewer, who represents the League of Women Voters in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s political map, says his clients are prepared to clear the hurdles Kagan and her colleagues have established. And although justices have yet to indicate how they will determine when partisan gerrymandering has illegally distorted a state’s election results, an exhaustive study scheduled for publication this week by Michigan’s non-partisan Citizens Research Council suggests the state’s current political map is doomed to fail any fairness test the Supreme Court decides to adopt.


Chamber, Deloitte should let the people vote
Macomb Daily, July 12, 2018
Michigan is one of the worst gerrymandered states in America. According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the state’s 14 congressional and legislative district maps fail several tests to evaluate partisan gerrymandering. The grassroots coalition called Voters Not Politicians gathered 425,000 signatures to put the anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in November. Many of my fellow Represent.Us volunteers in Michigan helped gather signatures to earn the right to a vote.


New metrics quantify Michigan’s extreme gerrymandering problem
Metro Times, July 6, 2018
The Citizens Research Council used several statistical measures to put an objective number on the problem, and determined that the state’s districts are indeed gerrymandered. That’s significant because the crux of the argument against gerrymandering is that votes cast by residents who live in gerrymandered districts don’t count as much as votes in non-gerrymandered districts.


Report quantifies Michigan’s very real gerrymandering problem
Michigan Radio, July 2, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan put the state’s Congressional and state legislative districts through three statistical tests. The tests aim to objectively measure whether the state’s district lines reflect a deliberate attempt to skew election results in one party’s favor, or are the natural result of complying with federal Voting Rights Act requirements, geographic considerations, or other non-partisan factors that could influence how district lines are drawn.

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Report Shows Gerrymandered Congressional, Legislative Districts Favor Republicans
MItechnews.com, June 27, 2018
Tests now being used by some to evaluate whether congressional and legislative districts have been gerrymandered do show that Michigan fails several of those tests, which could argue that the state’s districts somewhat favor Republicans, a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan said.


Bill Schuette asks Michigan Supreme Court to reject redistricting proposal
Bridge Magazine, June 26, 2018
Voters Not Politicians’ proposal would create a 13-member commission responsible for drawing voting district lines. Right now, legislators hold the pen, with the party in power controlling the process. The nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan released a report Tuesday morning indicating the state’s voting districts have been drawn in a way that would constitute partisan “gerrymandering” based on several different statistical testing methods.


Policy Meets the People: Introducing the Issue of Gerrymandering
WDET Public Radio, June 25, 2018
“The big issue is that we have legislators making the rules for redistricting and legislators doing the redistricting so they are choosing their electors rather than the electors choosing their representatives,” says Eric Lupher, the president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonpartisan group with offices in Livonia and Lansing.


CRC: Michigan Fails Some Gerrymandering Tests
Gongwer News Service, June 25, 2018
Tests now being used by some to evaluate whether congressional and legislative districts have been gerrymandered do show that Michigan fails several of those tests, which could argue that the state’s districts somewhat favor Republicans, a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan said.


Fixing Michigan’s roads can be a political hot potato
Manistee News Advocate, June 25, 2018
Some believe it’s time to rethink this funding structure. A report from the Citizens Research Council concluded it’s “nearly impossible to address the funding needs of heavily traveled roads or roads in greater need of repair without significantly increasing the allocation of revenues to those roads with less traffic or that have relatively lesser needs.”


It’s up to voters to fix Michigan’s rigged electoral system
Detroit Free Press, June 24, 2018
Mark Brewer, who represents the League of Women Voters in its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s political map, says his clients are prepared to clear the hurdles Kagan and her colleagues have established. And although justices have yet to indicate how they will determine when partisan gerrymandering has illegally distorted a state’s election results, an exhaustive study scheduled for publication this week by Michigan’s non-partisan Citizens Research Council suggests the state’s current political map is doomed to fail any fairness test the Supreme Court decides to adopt.


How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering
Detroit Free Press, June 24, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


‘Big lies’ worse than ‘fake news’
Detroit News, June 21, 2018
At the same time, an analysis this spring by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan found that Michigan teachers are the highest paid in the nation, continuing a 20 year trend.


Challenge to Michigan redistricting initiative show need for reform
Bridge Magazine, June 21, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The political implications and the process for getting initiatives before voters in Michigan
WestSouthwest on WMUK FM, June 18, 2018
How those initiatives get on the ballot is the subject of a new blog post from Citizens Research Council of Michigan president Eric Lupher. He says Michigan’s “laissez-faire” system of proposing ballot proposals does not serve its citizens well. Lupher says Michigan should look at how other states review initiatives before signatures are collected.


Michigan Justices Supported By Opponents Of Redistricting Proposal May Decide Its Fate
Bridge Magazine and Michigan Campaign Finance Network, June 11, 2018
Likewise, the nonpartisan and influential research group, Citizens Research Council, concluded the scope of the Voters Not Politicians proposal is “limited” and seems to meet standards laid out by the courts to qualify for the ballot.
“The VNP petition deals with a single subject; legislative redistricting … While it is long and complex, the scope of the proposal is limited,” the Citizens Research Council analysis found.


UP organizations receive more than $800,000 in grant funding to improve health
TV 6 News, June 5, 2018
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula residents face barriers to health care. A 2015 study conducted by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan showed Keweenaw County as consistently falling below the recommended ratio of primary care physicians to population. Mackinac, Luce and Baraga counties rank in the bottom 20 counties for overall health outcomes in Michigan, which measures resident’s length and quality of life. Chippewa County, the second largest in the Upper Peninsula, ranks in the bottom 10 Michigan counties for overall health factors, which identifies health behaviors, clinical care, social, economic and environmental factors within each community.

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Michigan’s new local pension board offers no solutions
Bond Buyer, May 29, 2018
The MSB was originally envisioned as holding broader powers to implement a plan of action but through the legislative process it was settled that the board would function more as an information gathering exercise that would request of local governments, if they are behind in funding, what sort of action they would take to address those, said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, an independent policy research organization.


The case for ending Michigan’s system for term limits
Bridge Magazine, May 22, 2018
All this came to my mind upon reading a recent report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a century-old outfit that does nonpartisan, unbiased policy research and has been a priceless jewel for our state during the century-plus it’s been around. I don’t know anybody with even a passing interest in the empirical basis for public policy who doesn’t depend on the work done regularly by CRC.


Study: Term-limits Failed To Deliver On Claims
MItechnews.com, May 18, 2018
A Citizens Research Council of Michigan study claims the state’s 1992 voter-initiated term-limits constitutional amendment has failed to broom out career politicians, increase diversity or make more elections competitive.


What happened to Detroit schools? Mismanagement, student losses contribute to decade of failure
Crains Detroit Business, May 16, 2018
But state control over Detroit’s schools has failed, said Craig Thiel, of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit policy research group.
“The model is focused almost exclusively on the finances and has very little to do with the academics,” he said. “If you don’t give time for academic reforms to work, the revenue comes down too quickly.”


Study: Michigan’s Experiment with Term Limits Has Failed
Detroit Today on WDET, May 16, 2018
A new study from Citizens Research Council (CRC) shows term limits have failed to deliver on its promises — that races would become more competitive and bring in fresh, capable talent to replace tired and corrupt career politicians.


Surprise — term limits don’t work in Michigan
The Marquette Daily Mining Gazette, May 16, 2018
If you’ve ever wondered what is wrong with the Michigan Legislature, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has bad news for you. Michigan voters prefer it that way.


Op-Ed: Term limits sounded good, but they’ve failed
Traverse City Record-Eagle, May 10, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


The truth about term limits
Jack Lessenberry – Michigan Radio, May 10, 2018
That’s been apparent for years to anyone familiar with Lansing. But that’s further validated by an important new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, which has done high-quality, non-partisan policy research for more than a century.


Study Takes Aim At Michigan Term Limits Law
Michigan Radio, May 9, 2018
Eric Lupher of the Citizens Research Council says there are limits to the study. But he says one of the findings is that Michigan has not retired career politicians. He says what’s changed is state lawmakers are more focused now on their next jobs.


Report Recommends Changes To Term Limits
94.9 WSJM, May 8, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan has issued a new report on the effect of term limits in Michigan. President Eric Lupher tells Michigan News Network 70% of Lansing lawmakers will be new to their chamber next January. He suggests changing the term limits law.


Term limits not working in Michigan
Port Huron Times Herald, May 8, 2018
If you’ve ever wondered what is wrong with the Michigan Legislature, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has bad news for you. Michigan voters prefer it that way.


Study Takes Aim at Michigan Term Limits Law
WKAR Radio, May 8, 2018
Eric Lupher is with the Citizens Research Council.
He says there are limits to the study, but some trends have emerged.


Michigan term limits sounded good, but they’ve failed
Bridge Magazine, May 8, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Lessons learned while studying urban, rural communities
The (Lapeer) County Press, May 6, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Costs show need for no-fault reform
Crain’s Detroit Business, May 6, 2018
According to a Citizens Research Council of Michigan report on the medical costs associated with our broken, outdated auto no-fault system, a hospital’s ability to overcharge patients means “providers are not prevented from, and may benefit in, ordering and charging more for services that may provide little, no or even negative health value to the patient.”


Confessions of a recovering elitist
Detroit Free Press, May 6, 2018
I hadn’t yet heard of the Citizens Research Council, the venerable Michigan think tank known for its exhaustive, meticulously documented analyses of public policy, but I would have enthusiastically applauded its slogan: “The right to criticize government is also the obligation to know what you are talking about.”


Census is more than a head count, affects funding for Michigan
Lansing State Journal, May 3, 2018
Guest column by Eric Lupher


Lessons learned while studying Michigan’s urban and rural communities
Michigan Farm News, May 1, 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher

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Citizens Research Council researches divide between Michigan’s urban and rural mindsets
The Peninsula, April 25, 2018
A new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan titled Exploring Michigan’s Urban/Rural Divide determined that despite major differences in political opinion, the state’s divided areas have a great deal in common, making for a complicated portrait.


Can urban and rural Michiganders get along?
Detroit Free Press, April 22, 2018
So says the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, at least, which analyzed a heap of U.S. Census data to find the common ground between Michigan’s urban and rural residents.


Why isn’t healthcare affordable to even the common man or woman working 40 plus hours a week?
Craig Fahle Show on New Radio Media, April 19, 2018
Findings in our assessment of the Healthy Michigan Plan were discussed throughout the segment on the Senate’s efforts in include work requirements for able bodied recipients.


Lawmakers to Snyder: Kick Macomb Twp. trustee Bucci in corruption scandal out of office
Detroit Free Press, April 19, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said while he is not a lawyer, from a plain person’s reading of the law and the constitution, it appears that an indictment for federal bribery charges would constitute malfeasance or misfeasance in office, allowing the governor to play a role in removing a public official.
“We don’t do this on a regular basis,” Lupher said, adding that officials often have “fallen on their sword before the governors taken action.”


It’s Time To Get Serious About Michigan’s Infrastructure
Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroiter Magazine, March/April 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher


Snyder takes aim at program steering public money to private schools
Detroit Free Press, April 9, 2018
Craig Thiel, the research director at the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, which has been ringing alarms about the shared time expansion, says additional oversight could help the state better define what constitutes “core” courses.


Big business grows from shared classes
Crain’s Detroit Business, April 1, 2018
“Brighton and Berkley have just figured out they can be a staffing agency for these private schools,” said Craig Thiel, research director at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Would Counties Relieve Local Governments of Service Responsibilities if they had More Money to Pay for It?
Michigan Counties (see p. 8), April 2018
Guest Column by Eric Lupher

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Chamber: Michigan Medicaid expansion ‘out of control’
Detroit News, March 22, 2018
Policy analysts writing for groups such as the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the conservative Heritage Foundation have warned that Medicaid work requirements “won’t work” because of likely difficulties enforcing and administering the program. Most able-bodied Medicaid beneficiaries already work, according to the national Kaiser Family Foundation.


Roads, Money And The “Third Rail” Of Michigan’s Pothole Crisis
WMUK, March 21, 2018
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan says part of the reason Michigan’s roads continue to crumble is that the formula the state uses for distributing money for road repair is complex, and inefficient.


Leaders Concur More Resources Needed; Finding Them Not So Easy
MIRS News, March 20, 2018
That was the consensus of a leadership forum hosted this morning on the state of Michigan’s roads, sponsored by MIRS, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation.


The Capital City Recap with Ed Rivet
WILS Radio, March 20, 2018
Citizens Research Council Research Director, Craig Thiel, discusses the inefficiencies of Act 51 for highway funding.


Here’s Why Moving People Off Healthy MI Costs The State More
MIRS News, March 19, 2018
Asked if this issue was anticipated, Pallone said, “I don’t think it was anticipated.” Tim MICHLING, a research associate with the Citizens Research Council (CRC), said it probably wasn’t realized at the time how cost-effective Medicaid could be.


The Capital City Recap with Ed Rivet
WILS Radio, March 19, 2018
Citizens Research Council President, Eric Lupher, discusses financial stress in Michigan suburban communities.


How does MDOT decide which roads to fix first?
Michigan Radio, March 19, 2018
On that note, Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, believes taxpayers aren’t going to get the bang for their buck, thanks to Michigan’s outdated road funding formula that he says doesn’t address the way we use our roads today.


Recruiting physicians to rural Northern Michigan takes diligence
Petoskey News-Review, March 19, 2018
At the same time, an aging population is demanding more primary care services, while an increasing number of physicians are retiring due to age, a study by the nonprofit Lansing-based Citizens Research Council reported.
The same report, citing a 2012 survey of Michigan physicians, noted 46 percent said they plan to leave medicine within a decade.


Ousting Macomb County clerk Spranger from plum job rests on: Did she lie?
Detroit Free Press, March 19, 2018
The hearing that starts today revolves around the dilapidated bungalow in Warren that Spranger inherited from her mother, and where county authorities said she could not have been living on the day in April 2016 when she filed to run for clerk. What Cusumano called a “technicality” actually is a cornerstone of election law, said Eric Lupher, president of the Michigan Citizens Research Council, a nonpartisan think tank in Livonia.
When running for elective office in virtually every state, a candidate must designate where he or she lives by signing an affidavit, a legal form that creates a sworn record admissible in court.
“It’s a matter akin to contract law. You’re making a legal representation that this fact is true,” Lupher said.


Philanthropy as Economic Development? Foundations increasingly step up to kickstart risky community initiatives
MiBiz, March 18, 2018
“These nonprofits and foundations get involved in a housing trust to make housing affordable for those people who most need it,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan Inc. based in Livonia. “Foundations and nonprofits are getting involved to bridge those gaps.”


Michigan’s economy is improving. But suburbs may face next fiscal crisis.
Bridge Magazine, March 15, 2018
His comments came Wednesday during a panel discussion Wednesday at The Center for Michigan’s Solutions Summit in East Lansing. Joining him to discuss problems facing municipalities were Jill Roof, research associate at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, and three mayors: Mark Huizenga of Walker, Karen Majewski of Hamtramck and Bill Wild of Westland.


Metro Detroit roads are bad, but the cost to fix them is the real shocker
Detroit Free Press, March 13, 2018
Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, headquartered in Livonia, said the $1.2 billion the state previously approved for road projects was “a good number at one point” but “we continue to neglect our roads.”


Proposed work requirements for Healthy Michigan
WOOD-TV, March 12, 2018
While the bill was introduced only last week, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan was quick to object, saying that while the premise of requiring work while on government assistance appeals to some, “in practice … numerous challenges and questions surrounding work requirements for a program like Medicaid and this policy change may do more harm than good.”


How Michigan cities can escape property tax constraints
The Bond Buyer, March 6, 2018
Local option revenue streams can help Michigan cities become less dependent on property taxes, according to a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Bridge Magazine, March 6, 2018
The Citizens Research Council’s white paper on the state’s indebtedness does not mince words: By 2006, its combined general fund and school aid fund cash balances were $1.3 billion in the red. The lost-jobs numbers are also accurate. Again, Truth Squad’s earlier analysis of these figures stands: In January 2003, non-farm private sector employment in Michigan stood at 4,445,700. In December 2008, it stood at 4,054,600 – a drop of more than 390,000.

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Road conditions offer opportunity for change
Crain’s Detroit Business, February 25, 2018
Thirty-seven other states allow some kind of locally-assessed vehicle tax and eleven states allow cities to impose local fuel taxes, according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


Michigan Truth Squad: Schuette says tax hikes put family dreams at risk
Bridge Magazine, February 22, 2018
While the broad numbers are correct, Schuette’s portrayal of the tax burden faced by Michigan families lacks some critical context. As Bridge Magazine has noted, Michigan is ranked near the bottom when it comes to total taxes paid. Michigan ranked 34th nationally in 2013 for its personal income tax burden, both per capita and as a percentage of personal income, according to the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.


CRC Urges More Regional Tax Options
Gongwer News Service, February 22, 2018
Michigan’s tax structure does not give local governments the flexibility that other states provide to allow those units to control their resources and react to economic trends, the Citizens Research Council said in a report released Thursday.


Give local governments more tax options
Detroit News, February 22, 2018
Guest Column


‘Detroit Rising’: Primary care doctors in city neighborhoods in short supply
Crain’s Detroit Business, February 20, 2018
On a countywide basis, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan found in a 2015 study of the data that the number of primary care physicians in Wayne County would appear sufficient.


K-12 Boost Contingent on Cutting Cyber Schools, Shared Time
U.S. News & World Report, February 18, 2018
Craig Thiel, research director with the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan, said the way Snyder is framing his K-12 budget is clear.
“The way they’ve set it up is if you want to increase the foundation grant, you’ve got to give these things,” he said.


Governor’s order, recall are the only options to remove a Michigan sheriff
MLive.com, February 13, 2018
“The bottom line is: It’s not easy to remove an elected official from office, nor should it be,” says Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan in Livonia, who’s studied Michigan’s state, county and local government for 30 years.


Rethinking accountability at Michigan’s universities
Detroit Free Press, February 11, 2018
Guest Column


Rick Snyder’s last budget: Relentless positive mediocrity
Detroit Free Press, February 8, 2018
And aside from a diffident suggestion that the Legislature might want to bulk up the state’s rainy day fund (currently resting at right around $1 billion) this parsimonious budget deals only indirectly with the looming $2 billion shortfall predicted by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council, and the slower economic growth forecast by the Legislature’s own fiscal agencies.


Snyder’s Michigan: Business taxes fall, burden shifts to residents
Bridge Magazine, February 6, 2018
Until the MEGA credits expire, estimated around 2032, net business tax revenue likely will continue to be a small portion of total state revenue, said Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
“When we look at the revenue that’s brought in, it’s not as balanced as an ideal system might be,” Thiel said. “The business tax piece, but for the credits, would play a larger share. But for the time being, structurally, I would say it’s much more balanced than it’s playing out in practice because of these (MEGA) commitments that were made seven to eight years ago.”


Snyder’s Michigan: More spending, but Michigan government remains small
Bridge Magazine, February 6, 2017
One reason for the Headlee gap is a weakening state economy during the 2000s, even before the 2007-09 recession, according to the Citizens Research Council. Some of it is due to tax cuts, exemptions and other constraints that have been written into the tax code.
Many Republicans could point to the constitutional revenue limit as evidence that they have restrained government spending, said Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council.
“There’s no doubt about it that people would use this as the barometer to say, ‘You sent me here to do something, and here’s proof I’ve done something,’” Thiel said.


It may be time for constitutional convention
Traverse City Record-Eagle, February 4, 2018
They have also largely made government harder. “A common theme of amendments, especially since 1992, has been that of weakening the legislature,” a study by the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan concluded in 2010.

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What’s the Real Price of a City Income Tax?
The Review, January/February 2018
Faced with this financial squeeze, cities have cut services and underinvested in streets, parks, transit and other amenities that contribute to their economic vitality, and attract new workers and residents. These are the kinds of placemaking investments that companies such as Amazon, which is looking to establish a second headquarters employing 50,000 workers, are seeking when considering where to invest. “The bottom line is that something has got to give,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. “Local governments are doing all they can with less money. It’s affecting the quality of life for these communities.”


Gov. Snyder’s swan song exposes challenges for down the road
Lansing State Journal, January 25, 2018
Guest Column


Taxes are good. No, really.
Detroit Free Press, January 14, 2018
On top of that, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council is warning that the state isn’t prepared for another recession — and there will always be another recession. Michigan’s rainy day fund may not have the capacity to buffer the state through another downturn, and funding for key economy-boosting programs, like the state’s Medicaid expansion, is in jeopardy.

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