Resource Person: Dr. Michael Boulus (EPFP 1976-77)
Middle Cities Education Association
Dr. Michael Boulus is the Executive Director of the Middle Cities Education Association and Professor of Educational Finance at Michigan State University.
The Middle Cities Education Association is a consortium of 27 urban school districts in Michigan formed out of a shared commitment to improving educational opportunities for the urban learner. The unique mission emphasis of Middle Cities is to serve as an advocate for at-risk students.
Boulus' public policy involvement includes work on Michigan's new school finance reform plan and Michigan's current public policy debate on redesigning the School Code. Because of his leadership, MCEA is considered the most effective school lobbying organization in Michigan.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A.) and Michigan State University (Ph.D.), Boulus has authored several papers on school finance and education reform in Michigan. He is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on these topics.
Resource Person: State Representative Kirk Profit
House Taxation Committee
Kirk A. Profit is serving his fifth term in the Michigan House of Representatives. The Democratic legislator from Ypsilanti represents the 54th House District. Born September 12, 1952 in Mt. Pleasant, Kirk has lived in the Ypsilanti area since 1954 and has served the community in a variety of capacities. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University and obtaining his Doctor of Law degree from the University of Detroit, he became legal advisor to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department, and in 1981 he served the community as Undersheriff for Washtenaw County.
This term Kirk was appointed Chair of the House Committee on Tax Policy. As the Chair of this committee, he will continue to pursue his efforts to make Michigan individual and business taxation fairer and more competitive. Specifically, he is continuing his efforts to eliminate those features of the single business tax that excessively burden productivity, job creation, and international competitiveness; he continues to work to eliminate the intangibles tax and the personal property tax; and he is aggressively pursuing income tax relief to make it more family-friendly and supportive of investment and savings, rather than consumption. His other committee assignments include serving as a member of the House Committees on Health Policy, Insurance, Public Utilities, and Regulatory Affairs.
Kirk's previous legislative efforts have included leadership in the challenge to provide equal opportunity in education, which he will continue to pursue this legislative session, and establishment of limited liability companies and limited liability parterships. For the 1993-94 legislative session, Kirk was identified by the Detroit News as the leader in the House of Representatives in legislative production inasmuch as he has authored 119 legislative initiatives and had 23 public acts signed by the Governor. For the 1995-96 legislative session, he had 12 public acts signed by the Governor, which tied for the leading number introduced by a Democratic sponsor.
Kirk is married and has three children--Jennifer, Kristine and Kirk.
Resource Person: Louise Alderson
Director of Legislative Affairs
Office of the Governor
Louise Alderson is a native of Lansing, Michigan. She is a 1976 graduate from Lansing Eastern High School and holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. From 1986 to 1988, she worked for the Senate Majority Counsel and then as legislative counsel to State Senator Rudy Nichols. She served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Clinton County from 1989 to 1992, working in the District, Circuit and Probate Courts. In 1992, she joined the House Republican Programs and Research staff as legal counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. She accepted an appointment as the Federal Legislative Liaison for the Michigan Department of Transportation in 1995. In September of 1996, Louise joined the staff of the Governor's Office of Legislative Affairs as Associate Director and assumed the duties of Director in May of 1997.
Louise currently sits on the Board of Directors of Relief After Violent Encounter (RAVE), serving as vice-president. She is active with the Big Sister/Big Brother Program and sits on the MSU Criminal Justice Alumni Board of Directors.
Resource Person: Dan Loepp
Chief of Staff
Office of the Speaker of the House
As Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and previously as Chief of Staff to the House Minority Leader, Dan is responsible for administration, policy and business operations for the Speaker and the Michigan House. He supervises the Speaker's personal staff of seven, the House Central Staff of six deputy directors and 45 additional employees, and a budget exceeding $2.5 million. He also has oversight and consulting responsibility for the House Business Office and the House Fiscal Agency.
Dan worked to negotiate an historic power-sharing agreement in the Michigan House, helped restructure the House Fiscal Agency, provided leadership for reshaping the House Central staff, House Clerk, and Sergeants Staffs's offices. He supervises all policy issues for the Speaker and develops a coherent policy program for the Speaker and members of the caucus on issues including, but not limited to, auto insurance, appropriations process, school finance reform, campaign finance and ethics reform, medical malpractice and business tax reform.
Prior to joining state government he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Service Station Dealers Association of Michigan, Inc., Director of Communications for the Office of the Michigan Attorney General, and Administrative Assistant to US Congressman Dennis Hertel in the 14th District of Michigan. He earned both B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wayne State University.
Resource Person: Dr. Douglas B. Roberts
State of Michigan
Resource Person: Ms. Cheryl Chapko (EPFP 1996-97)
Chief of Staff
Office of State Senator Harry Gast
Ms. Cheryl Chapko has worked in the legislative arena since 1980 and has been on Senator Gast's staff since 1982. She has done every job in the office, including constituent work and legislation, and has moved up to her current position as Chief of Staff. Her main function is to develop and implement strategies for achieving the short and long-term public policy and political objectives of Senator Gast, act as a liaison with the executive branch, legislators, and public and private interest groups, with specific emphasis on budget and capital outlay issues. Additionally, she oversees and manages the office and staff. Cheryl has a BA from Michigan State University and an MPA from Western Michigan University.