The 2015 public policy forum dates are scheduled as January 21, March 18, April 15, and May 6. All forums, unless otherwise indicated, begin at 11:30 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. at the Anderson House Office Building, 5th Floor Mackinac Room, downtown Lansing, across from the Capitol Bldg. The street address is 124 N. Capitol Avenue in Lansing, Michigan.
Each panelist will discuss their perspective before the forum opens to audience discourse. The audience includes lobbyists, legislators and their staff members, Capitol research staff, academic university faculty and researchers, and citizens who are particularly interested in policy-relevant issues and the “state of the State.”
You are invited to register for this and all other IPPSR forums online or by calling 517-355-6672.
Proposal I in Review:
Roads for a Better Tomorrow or Tomorrow for Better Roads?
The final forum for the 2015 IPPSR Spring Series will bring together a panel to reflect on the process leading up to the May 5 vote on Proposal I and the outcome of the ballot voting results. The proposal is formally noted as the Michigan Sales Tax Increase for Transportation Amendment, Proposal 1. It is less formally noted as the “Road Ballot.” Simply put, the Road Ballot is intended to change the way transportation infrastructure is funded in Michigan. Instead of taking a percentage of the fuel purchase tax and a percentage of the annual vehicle registration fee to pay for our transportation grid, taxes paid at the fuel pump – aside from a federal tax - would go directly to supporting transportation infrastructure needs and maintenance. This would impact how those tax percentages are currently divided up among local governments, public education and the State’s general Fund. For the exact language of the ballot, see the Michigan Secretary of State website.
The Gray between Mental Health and Crime
We see it in the headlines nearly every week. There is a hard-to-define space that often links a person's mental health status with a committed crime. How does Michigan handle such cases? What kinds of diversion programs does the State offer to keep mentally ill citizens out of the criminal justice system? What role do mental health courts play in Michigan crime convictions and sentencing? What has been the impact over the last decade? How do other states manage the question of one's mental health when a crime is committed? What are the models for best practice when an accused person's mental health is questioned? During April's forum, we check in with mental health and criminal justice experts to address these questions.
Michigan’s connection to Asia
Michigan is in competition for Asian markets’ direct investment. Our State is calling Asia's attention to Michigan’s automobile exports, agricultural products, and technology innovation, in particular, as well as our natural resources tourism.
Governor Snyder’s fourth trade mission to Asia in Fall 2014 included the signing of a formal agreement between the State of Michigan and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Cooperation (SAIC). SAIC’s US subsidiary announced Madison Heights, Michigan as home to its new $15 million headquarters. The new digs will add onto about 1,100 jobs currently provided in the State by SAIC, China’s largest original equipment manufacturer. Agreements like this are attracting other foreign investors who recognize Michigan as a win-win opportunity.
The March forum will look at the State of Michigan’s business interest in Asia and the impact of a reciprocal interest. It will examine the geographic and political factors influencing our work relationship. Finally, the forum discussion will address the interchange of work culture and education systems.
Specific questions include: What is the outcome of our product and labor exchange with Asian markets? How does Asia's work culture impact our State? How will ties to Asia effect Michigan’s future? Given this deepening connection, are there policy implications to be considered by State legislators?
The Michigan Perspective - State Priorities for 2015
Please join us for a discussion of top agenda items for Michigan in 2015. With new policymakers taking seats in both the House and Senate, what will be the approach to raising employment in long-term jobs, enhancing Michigan cities as national and international attractions, increasing rural economic development opportunities, and further developing Michigan’s assets, including the Great Lakes and an international border? In this January forum, the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) will set focus on "Job One" and priority pieces of the State’s strategy intended to make 2015 a successful lead into Michigan's future.