Earlier this week, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to prevent the Michigan Citizens Redistricting Commission, established by last year’s Proposal 2, from violating Michiganians’ Constitutional rights.
“It’s important for citizens to simply have all the information they need and deserve so they can hold all of their elected officials accountable.”
Michigan Secretary of State and self-appointed transparency advocate Jocelyn Benson has come under fire for the hefty price tag her department is assigning to FOIA requests.Read more
Secretary of State Benson’s husband is the leader of the Office of Development and Grants.
On July 26, 2017, Governor Rick Snyder signed the “Good Jobs for Michigan” package of bills into law. It was a massive, $200 million taxpayer-funded giveaway, rushed through the legislature in a vain attempt to lure FoxConn to Michigan. But it didn’t work.
Instead, FoxConn went to Wisconsin, and Michigan is better off for it. Wisconsin ended up offering $4.5 billion in taxpayer funded subsidies. While FoxConn promised to create 13,000 jobs and invest billions in Wisconsin, recent news reports indicate it would only create 1,500 jobs. Instead of a 20 million-square-foot Generation 10.5 factory to make 65-inch TVs, they are only building a 1 million-square-foot Generation 6 facility that produces smaller LCDs. As is often the case with corporate welfare, they over-promised and severely under-delivered.Read more
Michigan’s roads aren’t the only thing in a state of crisis. Here in Michigan, our public school teachers’ pension plan is currently underfunded by about $40 billion, requiring huge annual investment just to keep up and ensure teachers receive their retirement benefits.
As the public demands that every tax dollar they pay at the pump go to fund road repairs, policymakers are left with a dilemma. Today, roughly $540 million in sales tax paid at the pump doesn’t go to roads – it goes to the school aid fund to help pay for those teacher pensions.
This column originally appeared in the Detroit News.
State lawmakers deserve no small measure of credit for their deliberate approach to improving the state’s crumbling infrastructure, in particular their determination to find solutions that solve the road funding problem without gouging taxpayers.
Their efforts stand in stark contrast to the economically devastating approach favored by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – a new and regressive 45 cent per gallon gas tax hike, opposed by 75% of state voters, and so deeply unpopular even among Democrats that not a single member of the governor’s own party has been willing to sponsor a bill to put her proposal before the legislature.Read more
Corporate welfare – using your tax dollars to subsidize Michigan businesses in the name of creating jobs – is not a new idea. But it is a terrible idea.
Michigan tried to go Hollywood in 2008 with $500 million in film subsidies… and that flopped harder than “The Love Guru.” No permanent jobs were created, and film studios bolted as soon as the taxpayer-funded handouts dried up.Read more
Corporate handouts are bad for business.
You would think this would make for an open and shut campaign finance complaint for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, but you would be wrong.
This past January, Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wrigglesworth knowingly used public resources to announce his re-election campaign. Wrigglesworth, a first term Democrat, admitted he “made the mistake of using a county owned platform [to announce his re-election], which I should not have done.''
If the admission of the accused wasn’t enough to persuade Secretary Benson to find a violation, you’d think fellow Democrat and Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum admonishing the law breaking lawman for his “clear intent to use County resources to further [his] election to office” would do the trick.
Again, you would be wrong.Read more