Public Policy Advisor

A periodic series that examines such subjects as fiscal and tax policy, health and environmental issues, and education policy and offers commentary on current or emerging political, social, and policy issues.

Michigan Roundup

A one‐​page summary of Michigan legislative activity and political news of significance to government operations, public policy, and voter attitudes. Published weekly during legislative sessions and intermittently during legislative recesses. 

Health Policy Bulletin

A monthly publication that provides analysis of important health care issues under consideration by the legislature, executive branch, and professional associations.

Written by Peter Pratt, Ph.D., Frances L. Faverman, and Corina Andorfer

Michigan Economic Bulletin

A monthly review of economic indicators, state revenue receipts, appropriations and tax developments, and sources of additional information. Each issue contains an article of special focus, and each quarter a special insert analyzes economic data for ea of the seven Michigan regions. 

Written by Robert J. Kleine, Frances Spring, Laurie A. Cummings, and Alec Rodney.

Michigan Commentary

A periodic publication that offers insight into current or emerging political, social, and policy issues. 

  • A Naive and Immodest Proposal
    by Peter Pratt, Ph.D.
    In anticipation of a federal effort at health care reform, calls for special interests to work for the common good. Argues that several of the major ideological divisions in the health care debate (for example, health care as a right versus health care as a privilege) are specious.
    January 8
  • An Institution in Peril
    by Gerald A. Faverman, Ph.D.
    Remarks on the public’s disquietude and anger with the Michigan Legislature, intensified by the House Fiscal Agency scandal. Urges openness, reorganization, and a shift in focus from the politics of appropriations to the tasks of policy making and strategic planning.
    January 22
  • Representative Richard A. Young: A Profile
    by David L. Kimball 
    Takes a look at Rep. Dick Young (D‑Dearborn Heights), one of the longest‐​serving members of the Michigan House of Representatives and likely to become co‐​chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
    February 7
  • Reforming the Michigan Tax System
    by Robert Kleine 
    Makes the case that a large portion of Michigan’s continuing budget problems can be traced to an inadequate state revenue system. Recommends ways to make the state tax structure more responsive to economic growth, able to produce revenue sufficient to fund an adequate level of public services, more equitable and simple, and more balanced among the major revenue sources, yet maintain an overall burden close to the national average.
    February 12
  • The President’s Economic Program: The Right Medicine?
    by Robert Kleine
    Discusses President Clinton’s economic plan — why the program is needed and the potential short‐ and long‐​range implications for the U.S. economy.
    February 26
  • Public Involvement: Rebuilding Trust in an Age of Uncertainty
    by David Gruber
    Presents the case for public involvement in the decision making and implementation processes of public and private institutions, including government. Puts forth characteristics and steps required.
    March 5
  • Shared Sacrifice, 3‑D Glasses, Certificate of Need, and Hillary
    by Peter Pratt, Ph.D.
    Makes observations about issues prominent at the 1992 Michigan Department of Public Health Director’s Conference on regional health systems, attended by many of the nation’s and state’s leading health policy makers.
    March 12
  • Recodify Environmental and Natural Resource Management Laws in Twelve Months: An Unreasonable Expectation? 
    by Jack D. Bails
    Describes the charge to the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Code Commission and implores it to take the broad view of its task.
    March 12
  • The Politics of 1993: Renaissance of Action
    by Craig Ruff
    Opines that 1993 looms as an active year for policy making at both federal and state levels, in contrast to a decade of partisan stalemate in both Washington and Lansing.
    March 19
  • Governor Engler and Health Care Reform in Michigan
    by Peter Pratt, Ph.D.
    Examines the governor’s reaction to President Clinton’s managed competition reform proposal and the likelihood of state‐​initiated comprehensive reform.
    April 2
  • Telecommunications Technologies
    by Craig Ruff 
    Reflects on the telecommunications technologies‐​wires, gadgets, and gizmos, that fascinate and/​or temfy and stupefy and/​or serve people in their workplaces and homes. Makes some practical suggestions for understanding, using, and living with integrated technology.
    April 2
  • Reinventing Michigan Government
    by State Representative H. Lynn Jondahl 
    Presents views on ways to improve how Michigan state government works. Suggests implementation of three budgetfiscal processes that can be applied to most major issues and problems
    April 9
  • Proposal A: Our Last Best Chance
    by Gerald A. Faverman, Ph.D.
    Supports the passage of a ballot question to change the method of financing Michigan public schools.
    May 21
  • Term Limits and New Political Realities
    by Craig Ruff and William Rustem 
    Comments on the changes to the Michigan Legislature wrought by term limitation and speculates on long‐​term ramifications.
    June 4
  • Beyond Proposal A
    by Craig Ruff and Robert Kleine 
    Examines the dynamics of the defeat by voters of the ballot question to change school financing and the effect on school funding and reform.
    June 11
  • Playing Chicken with America’s Future
    by Robert Kleine 
    Opines that much of the debate in Congress about the president’s plan to reduce the federal deficit is based on myths and examines them.
    June 18
  • The Role of Public Involvement in Accomplishing Community Change
    by David Gruber 
    Discusses the concept of the ideal community as it exists in people’s minds and the threat posed by change, and suggests how public involvement can minimize conflict between the public and the leading brokers of changebusiness and government.
    July 9
  • What’s All the Fuss about Restricting Choice of Physicians?
    by Peter Pratt, Ph.D.
    Suggests that patient allegiance to doctors is weakening and discusses the role of performance information and cost considerations in physician choice.
    July 30
  • Exploring the Unknown: A New Approach to School Finance Reform
    by Robert Kleine 
    Examines some of the possible implications of the legislature’s and the governor’s repeal of property taxes for school operating purposes without enactment of replacement revenue. Presents options for replacing the school property tax, for distributing the replacement funds, and for reforming Michigan’s system of K – 12 education.
    August 6
  • Playing Public Poker for High Stakes
    by Gerald A. Faverman, Ph.D., and David L. Kimball
    Comments on the formidable task of fixing the education and tax systems of the state in the aftermath of the abolition of property taxes for school operations and suggests that state leaders’ actions will be measured in the future as a test of their courage and vision.
    August 13
  • Public Money for Private Education: The Ghost of 1970
    by Robert H. Longstaff, Affiliated Consultant
    October 1
  • Miles to Go and Promises to Keep: Clinton’s Health Care Plan
    by Peter Pratt, Ph.D., Vice President, Health Policy
    October 15
  • School Finance Reform Will Affect All Local Governments
    by Robert Kleine, Vice President and Senior Economist. and Janet L. Lazar, Affiliated Consultant
    October 22
  • Political Musings
    by Craig Ruff, President and Senior Consultant for Public Policy
    November 12
  • The Cooperation Conundrum: Participatory Management, Insecurity, and Power
    by Michael French Smith, Senior Consultant for Public Policy
    December 3
  • The Facts, Fears, and Politics of Crime 
    by Craig Ruff, President
    December 30

Public Opinion Monitor

A periodic publication that reports results from our own statewide polls of public opinion on issues of the day and analyzes the implications. Most include trend data on the governor’s and legislature’s approval ratings, economic confidence of the public, and respondents’ political party affiliation.

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