Michigan Government

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.


Six ways Trump budget could threaten Michigan environment (SLIDESHOW)

May 4, 2017 | Nancy Derringer

A budget deal granted a reprieve to a popular Great Lakes program. But rivers, lakes and air could still be at risk, environmentalists warn.

Gerrymandering in Michigan is among the nation’s worst, new test claims

April 13, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Heard of the ‘efficiency gap’? You may soon. It’s key to a Wisconsin redistricting lawsuit that could eventually affect how Michigan’s lines are drawn.

Interactive map: See how districts are drawn in YOUR community

April 13, 2017 | Mike Wilkinson

How gerrymandered are YOUR political districts? Check our maps.

An uphill fight to take redistricting out of politicians’ hands

April 13, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Grassroots activists seek a referendum on alternatives to gerrymandering. The odds are stacked against them.

Is the Michigan Supreme Court trying to make it harder to punish bad judges?

April 4, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

The high court is considering rule changes that critics say will make it harder to prosecute inept or crooked judges and delay the public release of misconduct charges.

Obamacare survives, but some rural hospitals may not

March 28, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Rural residents depend on small medical facilities for chemotherapy, emergency care and other critical procedures. Hospital chiefs across northern Michigan say that ongoing efforts to dismantle Obamacare could put them out of business.  

Is Lansing trying to steer funds reserved for recreation land?

March 28, 2017 | Ron French

For decades, a nonpartisan trust enshrined in the Michigan Constitution has decided how to expand public recreation areas in the state. Now, a northern Michigan senator is saying the Legislature should have a voice in the trust’s spending choices.

Michigan residents to Lansing: We don’t trust you to do the basics

March 21, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

People across the state told The Center for Michigan they have fundamental doubts about the government’s ability to deliver on education, public health, campaign transparency and other critical functions

Michiganders say emergency managers wield too much power

March 21, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

With Flint on their minds, state residents are overwhelmingly opposed to Michigan’s divisive emergency manager law and want the state should work more collaboratively with locally elected officials.  

Download a copy of "Fractured Trust: Lost faith in state government and how to restore it"

March 21, 2017 | Bridge Staff

Download a PDF of the final report of The Center for Michigan's 2016 statewide public engagement campaign

Retired diplomats bring the world, and a dose of civility, to Traverse City

March 16, 2017 | Bob Campbell

State Department veterans Jack Segal and Karen Puschel are selling out lecture halls in Northwest Michigan discussing American foreign policy in the Age of Trump. No shouting. No fistfights. What’s their secret?

Study claims Michigan has more blackouts than most states. Not true, says DTE

March 16, 2017 | Ron French

Last week’s windstorm left more than a million Michigan customers in the dark. Would more modernization and prevention efforts limit damage from future storms?

State Commission: Consider abolishing Board of Education

March 9, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

An education commission created by Gov. Rick Snyder has concluded that one way to reverse the slide of public schools is to give the governor’s office more control over education policy. Other recommended reforms would require significant state money.

Death to government mumbo jumbo

March 2, 2017 | Bridge Staff

Lansing is experimenting with turning jargon-filled public documents into something resembling English.

Trump’s travel ban could spark crisis in state’s doctor shortage, healthcare leaders say

February 16, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Foreign-born doctors play a huge role in underserved areas of Michigan, particularly among the state’s rural and urban poor. The president’s immigration policies are causing many to reconsider their future in Michigan.

Broken: The human toll of Michigan's unemployment fraud saga

February 7, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Even with settlement of a federal lawsuit, thousands of Michigan workers accused of unemployment insurance fraud await justice

In bid to eliminate state income tax, fears of another Kansas

January 31, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan Republican lawmakers propose eliminating a $9 billion source of revenue, the state income tax. Bridge dives into the numbers to see how that revenue would be replaced, if it is replaced.

Adding population until the cows come home

January 26, 2017 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to goose the state’s population over the next four years. But getting to 10 million may be impossible

From lawmaker to lobbyist. Should the state slow down the revolving door?

January 18, 2017 | Craig Mauger, Ted Roelofs

Most states have a “cooling-off” period before a departing lawmaker can become a lobbyist. Not so in Michigan, where most who take the leap are lobbying their former colleagues within six months.

The Michigan counties most vulnerable if Obamacare is repealed

January 12, 2017 | Nancy Derringer, Mike Wilkinson

Nearly a million residents now get healthcare through the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid expansion, coverage that faces an uncertain future if Obamacare is scrapped with no replacement. At highest risk: several counties that voted for Trump.