League In The News

Public News Service: Report Ties MI Road Funding Gridlock to Business Tax Cuts

As state legislators move to approve a plan to end the gridlock over road funding, a new report points to business tax cuts as the source of the funding debacle. According to the findings from the Michigan League for Public Policy, the state budget and individual taxpayers suffered because of the $1.6 billion tax cuts four years ago. Gilda Jacobs, the league’s chief executive, said it resulted in less money for roads, cuts to schools and higher taxes – without boosting the economy. Nov. 4, 2015 — Public News Service


Gladwin County Record and Beaverton Clarion: Poverty challenges Michigan schools

Alicia Warren, the league’s Kids Count project director, agrees with that it’s more difficult for low-income students to graduate on time.

“Low-income students are more likely to struggle to complete school than those with more financial and other resources,” Warren said. “For those economically disadvantaged students, their completion rate is 65.6 percent, and the dropout rate is 15.7 percent.”

The league said the proportion of children in poverty got worse despite the economic recovery.

“For the 2014-15 school year, the five counties with the highest poverty ranking are Lake, Oceana, Roscommon, Iosco and Cheboygan,” said Alex Rossman, communications director of Michigan League for Public Policy. “We can measure poverty for schools districts by the free/reduced-lunch counts, which Michigan Kids Count does by county and not school district.” Nov. 3, 2015 — Gladwin County Record and Beaverton Clarion


MLive: Michigan road deal heads to Snyder’s desk

Michigan League for Public Policy: Plan jeopardizes schools and public safety, perpetuates roads problem

“Today’s ‘new’ road funding plan contains many of the things that the previous flawed plans included and should be rejected,” MLPP vice president Karen Holcomb-Merrill said in a statement. “Our schools, public safety and local communities will all be put into jeopardy with $600 million in unspecified future budget cuts and an income tax rollback that will further starve dollars available for many of the things Michigan residents value. Finally, this plan doesn’t get us where we need to be funding-wise for years, when our roads will be even worse than they are now. It perpetuates the problem instead of offering a true solution.” Nov. 3 — MLive


Lansing State Journal: Letters to the Editor: 11.2, Protect children, don’t let tax credits expire

I urge Congress to act before key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expire.

If Congress doesn’t act, more than 727,000 children in Michigan — enough to fill Spartan Stadium more than nine times over — would lose a crucial piece of their family’s budgets.

Washington inaction would push hundreds of thousands of children into poverty, or even deeper into poverty.

Our children do better when their families do better. Children in families who benefit from the EITC and CTC are healthier, do better in school, are more likely to go to college, and earn more as adults. Congress must stand up for Michigan’s children and their families this year, by saving the key provisions of the EITC and CTC.

I am outraged by the fact that more than 22 percent of children in Michigan are living in poverty. We need fewer children in poverty, not more.

Charles Ballard
East Lansing
Nov. 2, 2015 — Lansing State Journal


The Times Herald: Trinity students help moms-to-be

Port Huron was identified as one of the top ten cities in Michigan as having the highest teen pregnancy rates in the years 2011-2013, according to a 2015 report from the Michigan League for Public Policy. Nov. 1, 2015 — The Times Herald



Grand Rapids Business Journal: Homelessness still an issue statewide despite improvement

Peter Ruark, senior policy analyst for the league, said the minimum wage is a problem for homeless people. The league is advocating the minimum wage to be raised from $10 per hour to $11 per hour. Who qualifies for homeless benefits is also a problem.

“We advocate for a higher minimum wage,” Ruark said. “If people are earning more, then they are less likely to become homeless. We also want to see public assistance more available to people that need it — for example, making it easier for people below the poverty line to get cash assistance.” Oct. 23, 2015 — Grand Rapids Business Journal


Detroit Free Press: Everything we know about the House roads package

The road builders are backing the plan through the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association. At least two business groups, Business Leaders for Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber, have come out against the plan as irresponsible because it relies too much on general fund revenues. The Michigan League for Public Policy, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Townships Association also are opposed, saying it will force cuts to other needed spending priorities. Oct. 22, 2015 — Detroit Free Press


The Detroit News: Tiny NW Michigan town sends nearly all to college

Baldwin is in an area rich in natural resources, with dozens of lakes, and outdoor activities such as snowmobiling, fly fishing and biking are popular. But it’s also impoverished. Many high school students hail from homes where their parents are unemployed or underemployed. Baldwin is the county seat of Lake County, which has the highest child poverty rate in the state at 52.2 percent, according to the most recent Michigan Kids Count Data Report, which tracks and compares trends in child well-being. But poverty isn’t the only area where Lake County ranks at the bottom in the state. It has Michigan’s highest rate of teen pregnancies and the lowest rate of students graduating from high school on time. Oct. 22, 2015 — The Detroit News


The Detroit News: Editorial: Fight poverty by curbing teen pregnancy

The Michigan League for Public Policy reports that concentrated state and local efforts over the past 20 years have resulted in a 40 percent drop in Michigan’s teen births. As Alicia Guevara Warren, of the Michigan League for Public Policy, notes “When we look at what’s going on in the communities, the solution isn’t a one size fits all. Each community needs to see what works for them and we need to fund those programs.” Oct. 20, 2015 — The Detroit News


MLive: Meekhof urges action on ‘last best deal’ for Michigan roads

The faint glimmer of possible action on road funding bills piqued interest outside the Capitol on Tuesday, with groups such as Business Leaders for Michigan, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan League for Public Policy each issuing optimistic statements. Oct. 20, 2015 — MLive



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