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Education Policy Fellowship Program

Michigan's Economic Outlook

February 2, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Center, MSU

The purpose of this session is to examine the Citizens Research Council's recent report "Michigan's Weakened Financial Position and the Problem of Dual Deficits." We will discuss the report's findings, its implications for state leaders and how Michigan's current fiscal condition will impact the FY 2010 budget process.


Resource Person

Craig Thiel (EPFP 2000-01)
Director of State Affairs
Citizens Research Council of Michigan
(517) 485-9444
cthiel [at]

Craig Thiel works for the Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan as the Director of State Affairs in its Lansing office. The CRC is a privately funded, not-for-profit public policy research organization that recently celebrated its 90th birthday. Craig joined the CRC in April of 2006 after working for 10 years for the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies to analyze and develop the annual state budget. Craig began his public service career with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago in 1991.

As the Director of State Affairs, Craig monitors the state budget, including annual spending decisions and monthly revenue collections. During his time with CRC, Craig has analyzed K-12 education finances, transportation policy, corrections policy, and state taxes. Craig helped lead CRC’s project to forecast the State of Michigan’s fiscal future based on its current spending and tax policies. He is currently working to examine issues that may face a constitutional convention, if one is called at the 2010 general election. Also, Craig is engaged in an effort to analyze corrections policy in other Great Lakes states with a focus on how Michigan compares to its neighbors. Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Kalamazoo College and a Masters in Public Administration degree from Wayne State University. He serves on various professional, non-profit, and local government boards/associations.

Resource Materials

Michigan's Weakened Financial Position and the Problem of Dual Deficits
Powerpoint Presentation

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