Michigan’s Initiative Petition Process Stands Alone: An Issue Ripe for Reform

A version of this post appeared in Bridge Magazine In a nutshell: Unlike other states with the citizen-initiative, Michigan does not have a process for identifying potential shortcomings in the substance of proposed constitutional and statutory law change...

Medicaid work requirements are meant to promote initiative, but can imperil health

In a nutshell: Michigan is proposing to add a work requirement to the eligibility criteria for the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s 2014 expansion of Medicaid. Following criticisms of the original proposal from groups like the Citizens Research Council...

On grass, the grassroots seem in favor. Does a vote risk reefer-madness headaches?

In a nutshell: Michigan Legislature has until June 5 to decide whether to approve citizen initiative to legalize pot for those 21 years and older. If the legislature does not act, it will go to the November ballot where public opinion suggests voters will...

Would public transit benefit Southeast Michigan? That’s the easy question. How to pay for it? That’s complicated.

In a nutshell: In Michigan, all types of local government levy property taxes to fund services. Many communities in Southeast Michigan are already levying property taxes at high rates, limiting the usefulness of the property tax as a funding source for re...

Revenue estimating projects a surplus. Now what to do with it.

In a nutshell: Economic growth is expected to continue at the same slow pace. Revised General Fund and School Aid Fund projections increase state revenues by about $500 million over the next two years; a 1 percent increase. Attention turns to the legislat...

Evaluating the Effects of Term Limits on the Michigan Legislature

A version of this post appeared in the May 8, 2018 Bridge Magazine In a Nutshell Legislative term limits in Michigan have failed to achieve their proponents’ stated goals: Ridding government of career politicians, increasing diversity among elected offi...

The Stakes for Michigan in the 2020 Census

A version of this post appeared in the May 3, 2108 Lansing State Journal In a Nutshell Besides counting people for apportioning representation in Congress, population count produced by census is used to allot federal and state funding Michigan’s pop...

When is a constitutional amendment not an amendment? When it’s a ‘general revision.’ It’s an important distinction this election year.

In a nutshell A citizen-led constitutional amendment to change Michigan’s redistricting process is aiming to get on the November 2018 ballot. The proposal has been challenged in court on the same grounds that prevented the 2008 Reform Michigan Governmen...