MLPP Blog: Factually Speaking

A stronger Michigan economy is within reach

Added June 25th, 2014 by Karen Holcomb-Merrill | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Yes we can grow Michigan’s economy, create good jobs and expand opportunities for all Michiganians with the right public policy decisions. A new report by Erica Williams at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlines how policymakers can make that happen.

Williams explains that states need to invest adequately in education, healthcare, transportation and workforce development. And in order to do that, they need to make decisions about how to raise and spend revenues with an eye toward the future. (more…)

State budget must offer economic opportunity

Added June 5th, 2014 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

Join us in urging state lawmakers to support the investments in children and families that are needed to reduce poverty, help low-wage workers, restore funding for public schools and universities, and ensure that communities have the revenues needed to provide the basic services that residents and employers need to thrive and help the economy grow.

Joint House/Senate conference committees are beginning to meet today to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget. After conferees sign a negotiated conference report, the budgets are sent to the full House and Senate, where they can be approved or rejected, but not amended. (more…)

State budget balancing act

Added May 27th, 2014 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

As Michigan lawmakers head off to Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce policy conference, they are scrambling to resolve several big ticket issues that have slowed down the budget process and could reduce the amount of money available for services critical to our state’s economic development.

First is how best to fund much-needed improvements in Michigan roads, bridges and public transit. The governor wants at least $1.3 billion a year for improvements while some think that isn’t enough. There is little controversy that something needs to be done, but much disagreement on how to pay for it. (more…)

Rolling back progress

Added January 30th, 2014 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

The Senate Finance Committee Wednesday approved a bill to reduce the state’s personal income tax rate from 4.25% to 3.9% by 2017, a move that would reduce state revenues by up to $874 million when fully implemented in Fiscal Year 2018.

While the purely political appeal of a tax cut during an election season is obvious, the League testified, based on a recently released report, that the risks to Michigan’s economy far outweigh any benefits. Low- and moderate-income workers will see little in return while the wealthiest taxpayers would benefit the most. (more…)

Tax cuts won’t grow the economy

Added January 15th, 2014 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

A new report by the League demonstrates that across-the-board cuts in the state’s personal income tax would not boost Michigan’s economy, but could affect long-term prosperity by locking in cuts in funding for public schools, community colleges, universities, health care and public safety—the very services that fuel economic growth.

Despite the claims of several legislative leaders advocating for a tax cut, there is no evidence that income tax cuts generate good jobs or economic growth. In fact, a study of 65 years of data by the Congressional Research Service found that top income tax rates have had no discernible impact on economic growth, and states that cut taxes the most during the 1990s and 2000s saw their economies fall behind in job creation, as well as production and income growth. (more…)

Two steps forward….

Added October 2nd, 2013 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs
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Tuesday marked two beginnings: The start of a new state budget year and the launch of the enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace — all while the specter of a federal shutdown begins.

The Oct. 1 start of the state fiscal year represents our big opportunity to address inequities, close gaps and set the investments for the future of Michigan. The new budget has a mixed record in that regard. To be applauded is the impressive bipartisan effort, led by Gov. Rick Snyder, to expand Medicaid in our state. As a result, we will be able to pay for the medical care of hundreds of thousands of uninsured adults in Michigan using available federal dollars. (more…)

For kids, deep disparities persist

Added July 9th, 2013 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

The Fiscal Year 2014 budget has been signed by the governor. Despite some exciting wins for low-income children and families, deep and persistent disparities based on race, ethnicity and income remain largely untouched, a new report concludes. (more…)

Fast track but off course

Added June 4th, 2013 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

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Before leaving town for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference and fudge fest last week, state lawmakers finished their work on the FY 2014 state budget, making decisions on the allocation of approximately $48 billion in state and federal revenues at nearly breakneck speed.

So how did low- and moderate-income families and children, the unemployed, seniors and other vulnerable residents of Michigan fare in this fast-track budget? On the positive side, the Michigan Legislature adopted several of the governor’s initiatives that serve to improve children’s health and school readiness. (more…)

Decisions harm military families

Added April 3rd, 2013 by Karen Holcomb-Merrill | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Karen Holcomb-Merrill

An estimated 10,000 members of the military in our state receive the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit. That credit was reduced by 70%, starting with the 2012 tax year. This amounts to a tax increase on these working military families and those re-entering civilian life.

More than 43,000 veterans and family members in Michigan stand to benefit from the expansion of Medicaid, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health recently passed a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion.

In addition to their failure to include Medicaid expansion in the Community Health budget, the subcommittee also rejected Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal to provide additional funding to improve mental health and substance abuse services for veterans and their families.

Those who are or have served in the military, and their families, make great sacrifices to serve our country.

What a shame that the Legislature is not supporting them and their families.

— Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Behind closed doors

Added February 19th, 2013 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

With the release of the governor’s budget earlier this month, lawmakers are tackling what is arguably their most important work—deciding how to carve up the state’s resources to fund important state services such as income supports for low-income children; child abuse and neglect prevention; early childhood, K-12 and higher education; and police and fire protection.

Never has there been a stronger need for Michigan residents to have their voices heard as the state budget is set. (more…)