Public Sector

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.

Articles

Where they stand: Michigan governor candidates’ infrastructure policies

March 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

From roads to drinking water, Michigan doesn’t spend enough money on upkeep. What would candidates to succeed Rick Snyder do to make long-term fixes, and how would they pay for it?

Where Michigan governor candidates stand on ‘red flag’ gun bills

February 20, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Bridge asked Michigan candidates for governor if they support “red flag” legislation, that would allow police to seize firearms from ag person deemed dangerous before they commit violence.

Will Florida school shooting nudge Michigan to pass ‘red flag’ gun laws?

February 20, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

A Republican committee chair promises to give a good look to stalled bills to allow relatives and police to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from those who pose risks.

Chaos in Traverse City, as county government wrestles with pension debt

February 20, 2018 | Bob Campbell

Grand Traverse County is searching for its fourth administrator in three years as county workers go to war over benefit cuts. Could the political upheaval be a bellwether for other distressed communities?

Michigan cities and counties haunted by retiree liabilities

February 20, 2018 | Bob Campbell

While the political chaos playing out in Grand Traverse County is bizarre, it’s a harbinger of local troubles throughout the state.

Search Michigan counties for the biggest budget shortfalls

February 20, 2018 | Mike Wilkinson

Using new state data, Bridge ranks each of Michigan’s 83 counties on how they are handling retiree debt, taxes and revenue.

Want info on Michigan governments? Get out your wallet and prepare to wait

February 15, 2018 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan’s open records laws remain more barrier than gateway. Government officials, though, say they’re besieged by requests.

Map: Use this tool to get information from Michigan governments

February 15, 2018 | Melissa Mason

Interactive map allows residents to file electronic Freedom of Information Act requests in southeast Michigan

Five tips on getting info from Michigan governments without going broke

February 15, 2018 | Sandra Svoboda

Filing a FOIA is often an exercise in frustration in Michigan. Here’s some tips on making the process somewhat less painful.

Want to fill out a FOIA in Michigan? Here’s a sample request form

February 15, 2018 | Bridge Staff

Use this form to make your life slightly easier when filing a Freedom of Information Act request in Michigan.

Early Michigan governor debates heavy on big ideas, light on details

February 8, 2018 | Riley Beggin

Six months out from the primary, Michigan’s candidates for governor are on the town hall circuit. As for now, they’re still mostly talking in broad strokes.

Five takeaways from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s final budget

February 8, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

How will a desire for tax cuts among GOP lawmakers affect Snyder’s plans for more money for roads and schools?

Six ways Gov. Snyder has changed how Michigan spends taxpayer dollars

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Over Gov. Rick Snyder’s two terms as Michigan governor, state spending has risen overall, but has gone down for prisons, and spending remains far below 2000 levels.

Snyder’s Michigan: Fewer prisoners, less prison spending

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has backed efforts to lower the price tag on corrections costs and programs designed to keep offenders from returning to prison. In this series we examine seven years of Gov. Rick Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

Snyder’s Michigan: Less crime, but more funding for State Police

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Does the drop in Michigan crime suggest State Police now get too much funding? Or did a beefed up agency help bring crime numbers down? In this series we examine seven years of Gov. Rick Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

Snyder’s Michigan: Budgets for executive branch and Legislature grow

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan Republican leaders have preached the mantra of smaller government, but funding for the governor’s office and Legislature have grown more than 40 percent since Gov. Rick Snyder took office.  In this series we examine seven years of Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

Snyder’s Michigan: Business taxes fall, burden shifts to residents

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Michigan has seen more than $2 billion in business tax cuts from 2008 through 2016. In this series we examine seven years of Gov. Rick Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

Snyder’s Michigan: More spending, but Michigan government remains small

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

Total state of Michigan spending is up 10 percent since 2012, when adjusted for inflation. But the state still has the second smallest state and local government workforce. In this series we examine seven years of Gov. Rick Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

Snyder’s Michigan: Agriculture spending has spiked 64 percent since 2011

February 6, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle

The state is building staff and investment in helping Michigan farmers “stay ahead of the curve.” In this series we examine seven years of Gov. Rick Snyder's budgets as he prepares to present his final budget proposal.

MSU trustee defends Engler hire despite past differences with governor

February 2, 2018 | Ted Roelofs

Democrat Dianne Byrum says John Engler is right choice as interim president of Michigan State despite her criticisms of his treatment of female prisoners’ claims as governor.

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