Bridge Magazine presents this nonpartisan, easy-to-use guide about many of the facts and issues that matter most as the Michigan governorship, all 148 seats in the state legislature, and other statewide offices are all up for election in 2018.
If K-12 achievement in Michigan were a trendline, it is clearly pointing the wrong direction. By just about any measuring stick, the state is losing the race to educational excellence.
Some 1.5 million students attend some 3,000 public schools in Michigan. As academic performance has lagged, competing school reform proposals have sprouted like Michigan summer corn.
As student performance in Michigan has plummeted, one strategy where many elected officials, educators, business leaders and state residents agree is bolstering future student success through early childhood programs.
A commonly shared premise among economic experts: a well-educated work force is key to high-wage jobs and prosperity in the 21st century.
Michigan’s economy has long centered around manufacturing — especially autos. But reliance on a single industry produces boom and bust cycles.
Michigan paydays aren’t what they used to be. Many paychecks are smaller than a generation ago. Still, the current climate for workers is measurably better than the depths of the Great Recession.
The incomes of Michigan workers took a big hit during the Great Recession. Incomes have recovered somewhat in recent years, but Michigan has not returned to its high-wage reputation.
Incentives generally are not the deciding factor for a company looking to move or expand. But incentives are at the center of an economic development arms race, one in which states that don’t play can find themselves losing out on high-profile projects.
If Michigan’s nearly 10 million residents received a collective physical exam, the result would be a mixed bag – and likely a frown from the doctor.
In 2010, an estimated 1.2 million Michigan residents had no health insurance. By 2016, that fell to approximately 527,000. But, as of this writing in early 2018, the future of health care is unclear.
For more than a quarter century, policy makers have tinkered with Michigan’s social safety net. Whether reforms have improved the state’s welfare system remains a matter of ongoing debate.
Michigan’s lakes and rivers face a wave of challenges. At the same time, the state continues to grapple with new threats to drinking water in communities besides Flint.
Debates about Michigan land resources — and how best to use them — are as old as Michigan itself.
As it enters its second decade, the Pure Michigan campaign has become a flashpoint for critics who say its success is evaluated based on flawed assumptions about its return on investment.
We see the problem every time we drive into a pothole or read headlines about sinkholes, broken water mains and flooded freeways. Yet state leaders haven’t yet done much.
Michigan is a tale of two kinds of cities. Some have healthy and diverse economies. Others face deep and long-term financial crisis and depressed local economies. And Detroit, the state’s flagship city, is a complex chowder of economic revival downtown and deeply troubled neighborhoods on the periphery.
Take a drive along Michigan’s rural roads and you will encounter treasures we know as Pure Michigan. But rural Michigan holds other, often hidden, stories… Poverty, uneven medical care and lack of high-speed Internet access. Young adults continue to leave rural communities for jobs elsewhere.