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Michigan Autism Policy Update

Within the last ten years, there has been a tremendous push at both the state and federal level to ease the burden of families with children affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in paying for treatment and other support mechanisms. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, the estimated cost to care for an individual with autism over the course of his/her lifetime is $3.2 million. Another estimate shows that some families may spend upwards of $50,000 per year on therapeutic measures to treat autism. These insurmountable costs were coupled with little to no support from insurance companies or the government. This was due in large part to the misunderstanding about ASD and the l

The Evolution of Michigan Mental Health Policy

Similar to the trend that occurred throughout the whole of the United States, in Michigan the move to shy away from the institutionalization of mentally disabled individuals began to emerge in the 1960’s. Though the limit on who could be admitted into mental institutions at a federal level was in effect in 1963 under the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Centers Construction Act, the setup of the system of community mental health systems in Michigan was not codified at a state level until 1974. Under Public Act 258, which was incorporated into the Michigan Mental Health Code in 1974, a new design of community mental health boards (CMHB’s) was established throughout the state (now refe

Right to Work in Michigan – One Year Later

On December 11, 2012, Michigan became the 24th state to pass “right-to-work” legislation making it illegal for employers to collect union dues as a condition of employment. In the absence of right-to-work, employees in unionized workplaces a free to eschew union membership but cannot “opt out” of paying union dues. Thus, all employees are covered by their union’s contracts and receive the same benefits regardless of membership status. The same universal coverage applies to employees who choose not to pay dues under right-to-work, making them “free riders” who benefit from the union’s representation without supporting it financially.

Read more: Right to Work in Michigan – One Year Later

Updating the Renewable Energy Standard

Public Act 295 was enacted in 2008 as Michigan’s first step towards a renewable energy standard. This act required cooperatives and municipal electric utilities to generate 10% of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources by 2015. Unfortunately, Michigan was in the last group of states to adopt such a standard and the renewable energy target itself was one of the lowest nationwide. Several other states such as Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota have already increased their renewable energy targets beyond their original standard and have passed new legislation in recent years. With the failure of Proposal 3 in 2012, commonly known as 25% by 2025, Michigan currently does not have a plan in place

Read more: Updating the Renewable Energy Standard

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The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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