Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate Growing, Preparing for November Ballot

While the State Board of Canvassers today certified that there are enough valid petition signatures to ask for a vote on a statutory education spending mandate, the coalition opposed to the proposal announced it has tripled in size. The Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate, first formed in February with 15 organizations, has now grown to include 45 statewide organizations including taxpayer, local government, law enforcement, healthcare, and human service organizations. At the same time, the K-16 Coalition for Michigan's Future is shrinking due to lack of support.

"It is clear to Michigan State Police Troopers that this proposal is bad public policy and is wrong for Michigan," said Matt Wesaw, Government Affairs Director of the Michigan State Troopers Association of Michigan. "The Troopers joined the Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate because if this proposal passes citizens could see drastic cuts in state funding of law enforcement and other critical services," added Wesaw.

The Michigan Education Association is leading an effort to provide a guaranteed spending mandate for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and state public universities. The non-partisan House Fiscal Agency has estimated that this proposal would cost state government approximately $1.1 billion above current spending on education -- in the first year alone.

If the Legislature approves the proposal, it becomes law. If the Legislature rejects the proposal over the next 40 days, the proposal will go before voters on the November 2006 ballot. The Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate is urging the Legislature and voters to reject the spending mandate, and for educators to drop their support for the spending mandate.

"Our polling shows that once people understand the extraordinary cost of this spending mandate, the threats to critical services and their wallets, support plummets," said Bill Martin, CEO for the Michigan Association of Realtors. "It would be irresponsible to put this spending on auto-pilot with no accountability to taxpayers. This plan would have a negative impact on Michigan's economy and should be rejected."

"The number and range of groups who are opposed to this plan says a lot about how devastating this proposal would be," added Wesaw. "This coalition is committed to defeating this ill-conceived plan," concluded Wesaw.

The Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate today announced it has hired Marketing Resource Group, a Lansing-based firm with a 100 percent track record of defeating this type of proposal, to provide campaign and coalition services.

For more information on the K-16 spending proposal, visit the Web site of the Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate at .

        Members Of the Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate
                             (AS OF 6/05/06)

  Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce
  Brandt Coultas, (734) 214-0101

  Conference of Western Wayne
  Helen Foster, (734) 953-8834

  Concerned Taxpayers Group of Livingston County
  Bill Johnston, (517) 546-4642

  Detroit Regional Chamber
  Sarah Hubbard, (517) 372-2278

  Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
  Jared Rodriguez, (616) 771-0359

  Health Care Association of Michigan
  Kim Ringlever, (517) 627-1561

  Kalamazoo County Taxpayers Association
  Isaac Morehouse, (269) 778-9177

  Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce
  Marty Dodge, (269) 381-4000

  Life Insurance Association of Michigan
  Larry Kish, (517) 482-7058

  Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police
  Chief Ervin Portis (517) 788-4127

  MI Assoc of Community Mental Health Boards
  Scott Dzurka, (517) 374-6848

  Michigan Association of Counties
  Tom Hickson, (517) 372-5374

  Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs
  Dan Hagen, (989) 213-6641

  Michigan Association of Health Plans
  Christine Shearer, (517) 371-3181

  Michigan Association of Home Builders
  Dawn Crandall, (517) 322-0224

  Michigan Association for Local Public Health
  Mark Bertler, 485-0660

  Michigan Association of Police Organizations
  Richard Weiler, (248) 524-3200

  Michigan Association of REALTORS®
  Bill Martin, (517) 372-8890

  Michigan Business & Professional Association
  Bonnie Bochniak, (517) 374-9128

  Michigan Chamber of Commerce
  Tricia Kinley, (517) 371-7669

  Michigan County Social Services Association
  Mel Hagan, (517) 371-5303

  The Michigan Food & Beverage Association
  Bonnie Bochniak, (517) 374-9128

  Michigan Grocers Association
  Linda Gobler, (517) 372-6800

  Michigan Health & Hospital Association
  David Finkbeiner, (517) 703-8601

  Michigan Licensed Beverage Association
  Lance Binoniemi, (517) 374-9611

  Michigan Catholic Conference
  Paul Long, (517) 372-9310

  Michigan Distributors And Vendors Association
  Polly Reber, (517) 372-2323

  Michigan Municipal League
  Arnold Weinfeld, (517) 485-1314

  Michigan Oil And Gas Association
  Frank Mortl, (517) 487-1092

  Michigan Osteopathic Association
  Doug Borruso, (517) 347-1555

  Michigan Railroads Association
  Robert Chaprnka, 482-9413

  Michigan Restaurant Association
  Andy Deloney, (517) 377-3931

  Michigan Retailers Association
  Eric Rule, (517) 372-5656

  Michigan Soft Drink Association
  Bill Lobenherz, (517) 371-4499

  Michigan State Police Command Officers Association
  Diane Garrison, (517) 974-2266

  Michigan State Police Troopers Association
  Matt Wesaw, (517) 336-7782

  Michigan State Police Troopers Association Retirees
  Matt Wesaw, (517) 336-7782

  Michigan Townships Association
  David Bertram, (517) 321-6467

  Midland Area Chamber of Commerce
  Sid Allen, (989) 839-9522

  Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce
  Jim Kostrava, (989) 772-2396

  Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce
  Fran Toney, (734) 453-1540

  Police Officers Association of Michigan
  Ken Grabowksi, (313) 937-9000

  Prosecuting Attorney's Association of Michigan
  KC Steckelberg, 334-6060

  Small Business Association of Michigan
  Paul Bukowski, (517) 482-8788

  Wayne County Taxpayers Association
  Rose Bogaert, (313) 278-8383

Paid for by the Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate with regulated funds, 600 S. Walnut St., Lansing, MI 48933. Contributions not eligible for charitable deductions on federal tax returns.

SOURCE: Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate

CONTACT: Dave Doyle of Marketing Resource Group, +1-517-372-4400, for
Coalition to Stop the K-16 Spending Mandate

Web site: