Why Snyder's government reform plan may sound familiar

(Originally published March 22, 2011)

Gov. Rick Snyder’s speech Monday aimed at reinventing local government actually reinvented (or at least reiterated) numerous reform ideas offered in recent years by the Center for Michigan and other public interest groups.


• Intensifying local government consolidation and service sharing was a key recommendation of the Center’s citizens’ agenda emerging from nearly 600 Community Conversations across Michigan. By a nine-to-one margin, participants in larger citizen “Action Group” meetings hosted by the Center favored intensified government consolidation and service sharing.

The Center for Michigan’s reform summit in May 2009 as well as the Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s bipartisan Emergency Financial Advisory Panel and the Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency, among many other groups, have called for the elimination of barriers to service sharing and consolidation.

• The Center, among other groups, has repeatedly called for reform of Act 312, the Urban Cooperation Act and other measures which currently impede service sharing and consolidation.

• Snyder alluded in his reform speech to benchmarking and identifying best practices in local government. Citing research by former MSU and state of Michigan fiscal analyst Eric Scorsone, the Center has pointed to benchmarking consortiums in other regions of the country that have saved up to 2.5 percent of total local government budgets. (See page 7 of our May 2009 report.)

• The Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency recommended – and the Center for Michigan trumpeted in 2009 – the notion of a new revenue sharing formula to reward efficiency, collaboration, and best practices. (See page 8 in our May 2009 report.)

• The Center pointed to the opportunity for tightened local government pension eligibility and the move to 401k-styled plans in May 2009. (See page 10 in our May 2009 report.)

• The Center, among many other groups, has pointed to the possible choice of increasing health care co-pays on local government workers as a cost saving approach. (See page 11 in our May 2009 report.)

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.