"Knowledge ... shall always bear witness like a clarion to its creator" -- Leonardo Da Vinci.
* The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports a record year for lobbyist spending inLansingin 2011. The $35.3 million spent is more than the state general fund budget this year for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs ($33 million):
* Jobs in Michigan local governments are shrinking, the Center for Local, Urban and State Policy in Ann Arbor has found via its survey of local officials. CLOSUP has pointed out a new national report that puts Michigan's public sector contraction in context: "Using employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the (Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York, Albany) report shows that between 2007 and 2011, the percentage decrease in combined state and local government employment in Michigan was the 5th largest among all the states. In other words, only 4 states shrank their combined state and local government employment levels more than Michigan did in this time period.
"Looking at just local government employment,Michigan's decrease was 2nd largest in the nation. OnlyNevada, with a 10.2% reduction, shrank its local government employment levels more than we did (10.1%)":
* More from the eagle-eyed folks at CLOSUP: "Meanwhile, a new report from Gallup based on ongoing employment surveys, estimates that among all the states, Michigan now has the second smallest percentage of its work force employed in state or local governments. Compared to a national average of 11.6%,Michigancomes in at 9.1%. OnlyPennsylvania, at 8.8%, has a smaller percentage of its work force employed in state and local government":
* Lou Glazer at Michigan Future, Inc., suggests that if Gov. Rick Snyder and Business Leaders forMichiganwant role models on places where private sector wages and employment are high, they should look not to the South, but to the Northeast, Upper Midwest and California: