Report 389 ( March 2015 ) 32 pages
Proposal 15-1, which will appear on the statewide ballot at a special election on May 5, 2015, has the dual objective of increasing state funding for transportation repair and maintenance and modifying the taxation of motor fuels to guarantee that all taxes paid at the pump are directed to transportation purposes. If approved by voters, the proposal would change Michigan’s tax structure to generate additional revenue for transportation infrastructure improvements as well as address the funding displacement to public schools and local governments caused by removing motor fuels from the base of the sales tax. The CRC analysis provides voters with an accessible and objective explanation of the issues surrounding the proposal and its ramifications for Michigan residents.
Memo 1133 ( March 2015 ) 9 pages
The 2015-16 legislative session is underway and the Michigan legislature is again up to the standard practice of granting immediate effect to almost every law enacted. A new Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) report examines this practice in context of the provision of the 1963 Constitution for the effective date of state laws. CRC’s analysis identifies the need for reform – either of the Constitution to reflect legislative practice or of legislative practice to reflect the Constitution.
Memo 1132 ( February 2015 ) 8 pages
Summary of Report 388
Report 388 ( February 2015 ) 70 pages
Introduction of the Governor’s budget proposal last week once again draws attention to a long-standing program of distributing state funding to local governments. Michigan’s state revenue sharing program has provided a decreasing amount of assistance to lcoal governments over the last decade. Not only does the law fail to provide a method to distribute funds, but policymakers have been diverting funding from state revenue sharing to balance the state’s budget. This report describes the role of the revenue sharing program and provides alternatives that would provide a better foundation for the future distribution of revenue sharing dollars.
Memo 1131 ( January 2015 ) 8 pages
State policymakers have altered school funding and governance policy to fit the circumstances of the day. This new report suggests that policymakers once again need to alter state policies because of statewide declining student enrollment. The new report examines the causes, challenges, and possible state policy responses to declining student enrollment.
Joint Report ( November 2014 ) 57 pages
A new report released by CRC and Public Sector Consultants (PSC) suggests that state policymakers can make targeted investments in evidence-based programs to help ensure Michigan’s youngest children are ready to succeed when they reach kindergarten. The jointly authored report analyzed current research on early childhood programs with the goal of identifying those most likely to produce the best outcomes for Michigan’s children and for the state as a whole.
Memorandum 1130 ( October 2014 ) 7 pages
Education funding has taken a front row seat in the current political debate. Claims and counter-claims about changes in state funding for K-12 education abound. As a result, citizens are left scratching their heads about what to believe.
Memo 1129 ( September 2014 ) 8 pages
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) has released an analysis of the two statewide questions appearing on the November ballot. This analysis continues a long history of CRC providing relevant, unbiased information about statewide ballot questions to help voters make informed decisions.
Report 387 ( August 2014 ) 64 pages
As a state, Michigan has a weight problem. With almost a third of its adult population classified as obese, Michigan has one of the highest average rates of obesity in the country. This report explores why high obesity rates are a problem, the potential causes driving high rates in Michigan, and the most effective solutions at the school, local, and state levels.
Appendix A was updated on August 20 to correct a spreadsheet error. Access the revised Appendix A.
Memo 1128 ( July 2014 ) 10 pages
Proposal 1, the only statewide measure on the August 5 ballot, asks Michigan voters to approve the conversion of a portion of the state’s current use tax to a new local tax as part of a plan to reimburse local governments for the cost of recently enacted exemptions of business property from the personal property tax. The Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) has released its analysis of the ballot proposal to explain the ballot measure for voters.
Memo 1127 ( June 2014 ) 10 pages
Between fiscal year 2012 (FY2012) and FY2013, 85 percent of all traditional public school districts in Michigan saw their fiscal health improve or remain steady according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC), School District Fiscal Health Improves, But Some Long-Term Challenges Remain. This is a marked improvement from FY2012, when over 70 percent of traditional districts experienced increased fiscal stress and a decline in their health. The report also notes that the number of severely stressed districts (deficit districts) has hovered around 50 over the past three years, contrary to earlier warnings from state officials that the number of deficit districts could grow to 100.