Proposed Government Expansions / Limitations Count in Governor’s Address Available Tonight

Mackinac Center policy experts available to comment on Gov. Snyder’s remarks

MIDLAND — Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director Michael D. LaFaive will count and categorize new initiatives proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder in tonight’s State of the State address. Mackinac Center analysts will examine expansions and limitations of government offered by the administration, as they have with such speeches dating back to 1969.

“Last year’s address set a precedent for greatly understating proposed limitations of state government,” said LaFaive. “I was initially disappointed in the speech — which contained three proposed limitations — only to watch the governor and Legislature dramatically rein in and improve many aspects of state government throughout 2011.”

Labor reform may be on Gov. Snyder’s agenda in 2012, whether he mentions it in his speech tonight or not. Labor Policy Director Paul Kersey notes that Indiana’s likely adoption of a right-to-work law may force the governor’s hand.

“On the labor front, the difference between Indiana and Michigan is already stark,” said Kersey. “The Hoosier State may become the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state while Michigan can’t even get Senate Republicans — who have a substantial majority — to prevent the forced unionization of home health care workers by Big Labor.”

The Service Employees International Union, using a shell employer known as the Michigan Quality Community Care Council, has “organized” self-employed home health aides for the purpose of skimming dues from their ailing and disabled clients’ Medicaid subsidy checks. The state House passed a bill to end this practice last summer, but it has not moved in the Senate.

LaFaive, who recently wrote on the “State of the State: How to Move Michigan Forward, said some of the governor’s ideas may originate from the advisory committees created last year through the Office of Regulatory Reinvention, including liquor control reform.

“This area is ripe for change,” he said. “It would be ideal if the governor proposed stripping government-mandated monopolies from millionaire beer and wine wholesalers. Short of that, there are probably 100 or more good alcohol-related reform ideas that could be adopted without much controversy.”

The 2012 “scorecard” of limitations and expansion proposals will be published at shortly after the Governor’s speech.

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