Audits point to short-term relief, long-term challenges for Flint Community Schools

JANUARY 21, 2022 | EAST VILLAGE MAGAZINE (FLINT, MICHIGAN) | by Harold Ford

By Harold Ford, includes “Flint Community Schools (FCS) can expect a rosier financial picture in the short-term due to an infusion of Federal COVID relief funds and debt relief, according to an audit report by the accounting firm Plante Moran. ”

Flint, Michigan taps university researchers to boost financial transparency

DECEMBER 6, 2021 | STATESCOOP | by Ryan Johnston

By Ryan Johnston, includes “Researchers at the University of Michigan on Wednesday announced plans to help Flint, Michigan, develop new open-data standards to improve the city’s financial transparency. … The city plans to base the system on a software standard called Extensive Business Reporting Language — or XBRL — which is designed to make it easy to compile and share financial data.”

New study measures financial transparency among state governments

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

PRESS RELEASE

Financial Transparency Score 2021

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

To encourage the publication of transparent and accurate government financial information, Truth in Accounting has created a transparency score for financial reporting by the states. 

The school choice showdown in Michigan

NOVEMBER 2, 2021 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | by Editorial

Editorial, includes “This has been a banner year for school choice across much of the U.S., and Michigan is the latest state to advance the cause. The GOP-led Legislature last week passed choice legislation that will force Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to choose between students and teachers unions. … The bills meet growing demand fueled by parental frustration with public schools that has increased during the pandemic. …”

Michigan ignored warnings about loose pandemic aid criteria

OCTOBER 19, 2021 | GOVERNING | by Beth LeBlanc

By Beth LeBlanc (The Detroit News), includes “The federal government warned Michigan in May 2020 to avoid adopting overly lenient qualifications for pandemic unemployment assistance as it carried out the federal jobless aid program. … The state didn't send letters asking people to recertify under different qualifications until late June — more than a year after the Department of Labor initially warned about the loose criteria.”

Majority of state finances worsened during beginning of pandemic

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Financial State of the States 2021

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Truth in Accounting's twelfth annual Financial State of the States report, a nationwide analysis of the most recent state government financial information.

How Michigan families will benefit from a $1.4 billion investment in child care

SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 | CHALKBEAT DETROIT | by Koby Levin

By Koby Levin, includes “… Those are just a few features of a $1.4 billion investment in Michigan’s child care system. The new state budget, which draws heavily on federal COVID aid dollars, is expected to have an immediate impact on families with young children, and to close funding gaps in the early education system that have destabilized the early childhood workforce and left wide swathes of the state in ‘child care deserts.”

$400 million donation to fund Kalamazoo government projects

AUGUST 6, 2021 | HOLLAND SENTINEL (MICHIGAN) | by Drew Lindsay

By Drew Lindsay, includes “ It began with a highly unusual offer from two business executives — who both have billions in wealth — to bankroll a distressed city government."

Unprecedented federal borrowing floods state budgets

JUNE 7, 2021 | THE HILL | by David Guenther

Op-ed by David Guenther, includes “… At best, the American Rescue Plan Act was unnecessary. A worse and more likely scenario is that larding hundreds of billions of federally borrowed dollars onto state governments will enable ill-conceived spending that costs taxpayers twice — once for higher federal debt payments and again for ongoing spending paid for initially with one-time funds. ”

States’ COVID-era budget surpluses could pay for infrastructure

MARCH 29, 2021 | PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS | by Jenni Bergal

By Jenni Bergal, includes “Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to replace or repair it and more than 119 other local bridges in serious or critical condition, using one-time money coming from a state surplus. She and leaders in other states who have wound up with unexpected budget surpluses despite the COVID-19 pandemic are planning to use a chunk of the money to tackle long infrastructure to-do lists.”

Flint mayor’s proposed budget is balanced, but forecasts rough financial waters ahead

MARCH 3, 2021 | MLIVE (MICHIGAN) | by Ron Fonger

By Ron Fonger, includes “Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s proposed $71-million budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 is balanced, doesn’t forecast layoffs and includes $33 million in pension contributions. But after using a one-time boost from an internal service fund, the budget also forecasts a shrinking fund balance …”

Sixteen states lost population in 2020

FEBRUARY 1, 2021 | BALLOTPEDIA | by Scott Rasmussen

By Scott Rasmussen, includes “… On a percentage basis, the biggest increases were found in Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.”

Shutdown orders loom as states ask for federal aid

NOVEMBER 18, 2020 | MIDLAND DAILY NEWS (MICHIGAN) | by Mitchell Kukulka

With more shutdowns looming and a vaccine months away from wide distribution, governors across the country are pleading for more help from Washington ahead of what is shaping up to be a bleak winter.

Beaumont Health paid CEO $2.6 million bonus weeks before bailout

NOVEMBER 17, 2020 | DETROIT FREE PRESS | by Jennifer Dixon

Beaumont Health paid its chief executive a $2.6 million bonus weeks before the state'slargest hospital system turned to the federal government for a financial bailout.

Michigan’s unemployment claims jump 54%, state budget earns ‘D’ grade on fiscal health

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 | MICHIGAN FARM NEWS | by Bruce Walker

Michigan’s new unemployment claims rose more than 50% over the previous week. The news arrived on the same day the U.S. Commerce Department announced third-quarter numbers reflecting a 33.1% growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

Towards fiscally healthy Michigan local governments

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 | LINCOLN INSTITUTE OF LAND POLICY

The state of Michigan has long incubated financial stress among its localities. Though not the state’s intention, limits on local governments’ ability to raise revenues, coupled with reduced state aid, have decimated local budgets.

Commission releases Detroit Public Schools … from active state oversight

OCTOBER 27, 2020 | MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY

The Detroit Financial Review Commission (FRC) voted unanimously today to immediately grant a waiver that releases both Detroit Public Schools (DPS) and Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) from active state oversight. The elected DPSCD School Board and its appointed Superintendent manage the district along with DPS, which solely functions to manage the district’s legacy debt.

State budget recovers from pandemic

OCTOBER 22, 2020 | MACKINAC CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY | by James Hohman

What’s it called if you bail someone out who’s not in trouble?

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