Read Jim Townsend’s Op-Ed on the State Oversight Academy

Read our director’s op-ed in the Detroit Free Press on our newly launched State Oversight Academy!

Opinion: New Levin Center academy offers Michigan better legislative oversight

Jim Townsend, Levin Center Director

“Congressional hearings receive a lot of attention in the media. That makes sense, given the amount of money at stake, and the global impact of the federal government. But under the U.S. Constitution, state governments —especially state legislatures tasked with writing the law and monitoring its execution — are responsible for much of what happens in our communities. States are often the filter through which federal funding and authority flow, and they profoundly influence the quality of government and whether Americans view our system as fair and just.

The federal government spends more than all state governments combined, according to the National Academy of Public Administration. But a vast amount of that federal spending goes to the states to build and maintain our infrastructure, educate our children and keep our communities safe and healthy, or to entities like hospitals, drug makers and insurance companies that are licensed and regulated by the states.”