About the Center

The vision of the Center is based on the promotion of fiscally healthy and thriving local governments in Michigan and elsewhere.  This vision will be realized via outreach education, applied research and student classroom and internship training that guides and informs current and future policymakers.

The center’s foundation is built on a strong body of work by colleagues at Michigan State University going back to the 1960s, including Lynn Harvey, Sandra S. Batie, A. Allan Schmid, and Jim Schaffer, Alvin House, Ken VerBurg, David Schweikhardt and many others. The Center is also built on strong external partnerships with groups such as the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Townships, Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association, Citizens Research Council, Lansing Financial Health Team, many other organizations and many local governments across the state of Michigan.

The Center will continue to grow this significant body of work. This work can be viewed in two ways:

1. Playing By the Rules

State government is the architect of the local government system, and we explain how to play within those rules in sessions such as new commissioner training.

2. Changing the rules of the game

We work with the state government and other stakeholders to think about the impact of rule changes on the fiscal and overall health and stability of local governments.