Month: May 2012

American Enterprise Institute: NEW STUDY: Wisconsin After Act 10

American Enterprise Institute Press Release: In a new American Enterprise Institute (AEI) study on public employee pay in Wisconsin, AEI resident scholar Andrew G. Biggs and Jason Richwine, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, compare the salaries and benefits received by state and local government employees in Wisconsin to those received by private sector workers with similar education and experience. They find that: Fringe benefits: after Act 10 (Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law), Wisconsin state workers receive health benefits more than twice as valuable and pension benefits more than 4.5 times as valuable as what workers in large private firms receive. Total compensation (salary plus benefits): before Act 10, Wisconsin state employees received total compensation (salary plus benefits) about 28 percent higher than comparable private sector workers. After Act 10, public employee compensation is about 22 percent higher. In dollar terms, the average Wisconsin state worker after Act 10 receives total compensation including benefits of $81,637 approximately versus $67,068 for a similarly-skilled private worker — a difference of $14,569. The study is available here. Bookmark It Hide...

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Michigan Democratic Party: GOP Supreme Court Candidate Colleen O’Brien Would Fit Perfectly on the Anti-Family, Pro-Insurance Company, Pro-Big Bank Court

Press Release of Michigan Democratic Party: Oakland County Circuit Judge is Clone of GOP Justices Who Rule for Special Interests LANSING – If voters are looking for more of the same – Justices who don’t protect Michigan families and children and instead protect special interests like insurance companies, big banks, oil companies, and drug companies – then Judge Colleen O’Brien is the ideal candidate. O’Brien has a history of ruling for special interests in Oakland County and taking their campaign donations. As a judge, she ruled for big banks when they foreclosed on a couple’s home after the couple were victims of a mortgage fraud scam (Edwards v. Gustavo, Case No. 2006-072665-CZ, 2006). As an insurance company attorney, O’Brien fought to deny medical benefits to a cancer patient, claiming the cancer was a “pre-existing condition.” And special interests like insurance companies have even helped to fund her campaigns. “Colleen O’Brien is just more of the same,” Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said. “We need Justices on the Michigan Supreme Court who will stand up for Michigan families and children. We need justices who won’t be afraid to stand up to the special interests. O’Brien will continue to rule against Michigan families and children and for insurance companies, oil companies, drug companies, and big banks over victims.” “It’s time the Supreme Court started standing up for justice,” added Brewer....

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Governor Makes Appointments to Military Appeals Tribunal

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Thomas Bourque, of Ann Arbor, and Michael Distel, of East Grand Rapids, to the Military Appeals Tribunal. Created in 1980 and housed within the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Military Appeals Tribunal has appellate jurisdiction to hear and review the records of all court-martial decisions upon petition of an accused military member. “With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, I am confident that Thomas and Michael will be fair, effective members of the tribunal,” said Snyder. Bourque brings more than 30 years of legal experience and serves as the primary litigator with Eby, Conner, Smillie & Bourque PLLC, a civil litigation practice in Ann Arbor. He has appellate experience in the Court of Appeals in Michigan and Florida, and previously owned and operated the Law Offices of Thomas B. Bourque. Bourque is a former board member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association and regularly volunteers as a judge for moot court trials, mock trials and client counseling competitions at the University of Michigan Law School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Miami University and a law degree from the University of Michigan. Bourque replaces James Naddeo. Distel is a senior attorney with Bolhouse, Baar & Lefere PC, a statewide legal practice specializing in business law and financial casework. Previously, he worked...

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Summer Events Abound in Michigan State Parks and Recreation Areas

With more activities than ever now taking place in Michigan’s state parks, recreation areas, forest campgrounds and harbors, there’s something happening “close to home” in just about every part of the state – giving families the opportunity to visit state parks, explore the great outdoors and discover where Pure Michigan summer memories are made. Whether you’re into canoeing and kayaking, want to learn about the new sport of paddleboarding, or just want to get in some fishing, June is all about getting out on the water. Mark the calendar for Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, and take part in the DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend when all fishing license fees will be waived for the two days, and residents and out-of-state visitors can enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. Just remember that creel limits and fish size minimums still apply during Free Fishing Weekend. For a list of events, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing. Get out and support our military veterans and active-duty men and women during the annual “Hookin Up Heroes” fishing tournament set for the morning of Saturday, June 9 on Hardy Pond at Newaygo State Park in Newaygo County. The military appreciation event teams vets with some great anglers for a friendly competition. Be a tournament spectator or line the route to cheer on the participants of the motorcycle charity ride for...

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HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS BRING INAUGURAL SUMMER TOUR TO NORTHERN MICHIGAN JULY 31 TO AUGUST 4

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will visit Northern Michigan during the summer for the first time in team history. The Hall of Fame organization, featuring world-class basketball players and entertainers, will play four games and much more from July 31-Aug. 4 – coordinated by the YMCA of Northern Michigan.. The festivities will include Globetrotter Previews on July 31 at Mackinac Island, where fans will experience one-hour extravaganzas showcasing the team’s best material. On Aug. 2 in Bay View, the team will present their new summer skills clinic for kids, and Harlem Globetrotters Legend Curly Neal will share exciting and humorous stories from Globetrotter lore. The Globetrotters will also bring their spectacular game to in Harbor Springs (Aug. 1), Petoskey (Aug. 2 and Aug. 4), and Charlevoix (Aug. 3). The schedule for the summer festival includes: Tuesday, July 31 Globetrotter Previews: 11:00 a.m.-Noon & 1:00-2:00 p.m. at Mackinac Island High School. General admission tickets are $20.00 and go on sale June 15 online at Ticketweb.com or the Mackinac Island Tourism office. Wednesday, Aug. 1 Game: 7:00 p.m. at Harbor Springs High School.  Tickets are $25.00 and are on sale now at Ticketweb.com, the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce, or the Northern Michigan YMCA in Petoskey. Thursday, Aug. 2 •    Summer Skills Clinic for kids ages 6-14: 9:00-10:00 a.m., hosted by the Bay View Association. Cost is $15.00 and limited to...

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