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MICHIGAN

Michigan

State Recovery Act Website: http://www.michigan.gov/recovery

Michigan's state Recovery Act website scored 35 out of 100 possible points (ranking 15th) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a better than average score by displaying allocations in broad and narrow program categories, award amounts by individual county, indication that the website was updated within the last month, and a centralized website with clear links. Contractor information: none.

Michigan scored 43 out of 100 (ranking 19th) on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  The score reflects the detail about award amounts county by county, projects and related contracts, the duration of the project, and when the data were last updated. Contractor information: available here and here.

For detailed scoring information, see the Michigan appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

The state is providing stimulus-related updates via Twitter, and the Recovery Office has created a Facebook page.

Coordination & Oversight

The Michigan Economic Recovery Office is tasked in part with maintaining the recovery website and providing information to the public, as well as creating strategies for oversight and tracking of stimulus funds. The Government Accountability Office reported in July that the Michigan State Budget Office is still in the midst of establishing the state's internal control structure including the auditing, tracking, and reporting systems.

Leslee Fritz, who was previously the Communication Director for the Michigan Budget Office and a member of Governor Granholm's communications staff, is overseeing the Recovery Office.

Policy Debates

Gov. Granholm has proposed using hundreds of millions of dollars from federal stimulus funds to help balance the state's budget. Republican state legislators have criticized this reliance on federal funds, and have been calling for deeper budget cuts.

While it does not seem to have generated much controversy within Michigan, the state has approved a new tax subsidy for makers of electric and hybrid vehicle batteries in an attempt to attract projects that would be also eligible for stimulus funds.  Rather than guarantee these projects for Michigan, however, the new tax breaks are prompting other states to follow suit with their own incentives. In August, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded grants to companies for research on advanced batteries and plug-in electric vehicles. Michigan will receive a total of $1.35 billion being distributed to 12 companies including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC, A123 Systems Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., Compact Power Inc., and KD ABG MI, LLC. The Governor claims the $700 million in tax credits was a key factor in the DOE's decision to send a large portion of the grants to Michigan.

Last updated on: 14 October, 2009

Quick Facts

Population:
10,003,422

Median Household Income:
$47,950

Unemployment Rate:
15.2%

Poverty Rate:
14%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$7.2 billion

Watchdog Groups

Michigan League for Human Services

PIRGIM (Public Interest Research Group in Michigan)

Common Cause of Michigan

Note: Common Cause of Michigan will be organizing a meeting of organizations concerned with how ARRA money is allocated in the state: "Our purpose is simple - to ensure that ARRA dollars are spent for what they are intended and that the process for allocating those dollars is transparent and results in a true reinvestment in Michigan's future." For more information contact Frank Houston at (734) 624-3555 or fhouston@commoncause.org

Resources

The Michigan League for Human Services has stimulus materials including the following:

  • A summary of state actions regarding stimulus funds, April 16, 2009; online here.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Balm for Michigan's Economic Pain, revised March 12, 2009; online here.
  • Other Voices: Stimulus Buys Time to Reform Tax System (op-ed), March 22, 2009; online here.

The Government Accountability Office issued an updated July report about its oversight activities; online here.

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