* A new analysis by the Senate Fiscal Agency says, "During 2013, both the U.S. and Michigan economies are expected to expand at a slightly slower rate than during 2012. Both the U.S. and Michigan economies are forecast to exhibit both income and employment growth during 2013, although Michigan is expected to grow more slowly than the nation as a whole."
* You may have noticed a few wind turbines on the horizon in the past year: "DTE started operating its newest clean energy generator, the Thumb Wind Park in Huron and Sanilac counties, on Friday. The park's 69 turbines are spread out among 15,000 leased acres of farmland in Bloomfield, McKinley, Sigel, Minden and Delaware townships. It's the first wind park the utility has constructed itself. The company said it also plans to open the Echo Wind Park on 16,000 acres in Oliver and Chandler townships in late 2013. ... CMS completed its 56-turbine Lake Winds Energy Park on 16,000 acres of leased parcels in Riverton and Summit townships in Mason County. The $235-million park, which finished construction in September and is owned by CMS, opened Nov. 22."
1. "The American Wind Energy Association spent more than $1.8 million on lobbying in 2012 – much of it explicitly for the tax credit – and contributed $294,778 to Senate and House races in 2011-2012 election cycle, according to the campaign finance website, OpenSecrets.org."
2. "The Senate Finance Committee projected that new tax credits awarded in 2013 would cost the federal government $12.1 billion over their 10-year lifespan."
* More work for the Legislature in 2013?: "Medical marijuana bills sent to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk don't address whether dispensaries are legal or how patients can legally obtain the drug — two key areas of debate over the past four years, local attorney Denise Pollicella said."
* The state of Michigan is 80 percent white. The city of Detroit is 83 percent black. Saul Anuzis, who used to run the state Republican Party and who is an advocate for changing how Michigan allocates its electoral votes, says the shift to allocating most of the votes by congressional district would end the problem so Detroit's votes "don't distort the rest of the state."
"Congressional districts are divided equally based on population," said Anuzis. "This is the question: Is the one man one vote principle more important than the overall state vote? If you move away from that, and into something proportional, then the city of Detroit's votes don't distort the rest of the state. Each area is represented."
* This item probably has nothing to do with the item above: "Blacks voted at a higher rate this year than other minority groups and for the first time in history may also have voted at a higher rate than whites, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data, election day exit poll data and vote totals from selected cities and counties."