This course will provide an inside view of how state government works from the perspective of an executive branch leader attempting to set and execute on a policy agenda. It will consider the variety of tools, powers, and constraints faced, from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Topics will include: the budget process, Medicaid and other state-federal joint programs, federalism, civil service and management of state employees, state constitutional requirements and rights, administrative enforcement and oversight powers, use of consent decrees as a policy tool, and FOIA/open records rules. In a series of case studies drawn from recent Michigan examples, students will put themselves in the shoes of a senior legal counsel or department director. For each case study, students will write a short memo assessing policy, strategic, operational, budgetary, and legal options; identifying risks; and making recommendations.
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