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IPPSR is extending its popular springtime Public Policy Forum Series to the fall season with two new forums -- Sept. 7 and Sept. 14.

The Sept. 7 panel will focus on access to mental health. Reform of Michigan’s emergency manager laws will be on the Sept. 14 agenda.

September’s forums are scheduled for the Mackinac Room, fifth floor of the Anderson House Office Building, 124 N. Ottawa St., in downtown Lansing.

“Our public policy forums engage legislators, policy advocates, researchers and the public in a discussion of policies that affect their everyday lives,” said IPPSR Director Matt Grossmann, a nationally recognized political and policy analyst. “The September topics – access to mental health care and emergency managers – are topics of much needed dialogue.”

A light luncheon will be served at 11:30 a.m. The program is to begin at noon. Reservations are advised. Sign up online at or call IPPSR at 517-355-6672.

The Sept. 7 forum, Access to Mental Health Care Services, engages one of the state capital’s most debated topics as the Michigan Legislature considers how to pay for mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse treatment.

Confirmed panelists include Sheryl Kubiak, MSU professor of social work; Tom Watkins, president and chief executive officer at Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, and Adrian Blow, MSU associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Joseph J. Ruth, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Sparrow Health System, will deliver opening remarks.

Sparrow/MSU Center for Innovation and Research is event cosponsor.

The Sept. 14 forum, Emergency Manager Reform in Michigan, updates Michigan’s experiences with emergency managers. During the past three decades, several school districts and communities faced crippling deficits. In response, Michigan named emergency managers who were charged with returning schools and cities to solvency. New legislation to refine those approaches is now under debate.

The MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy is cosponsoring the emergency manager forum. Confirmed panelists include Center Director Eric Scorsone and Craig Thiel, senior research associate at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Joining them are Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and professor of law at Wayne State University, and Tony Saunders, Wayne County's chief restructuring officer and former Benton Harbor emergency manager.

IPPSR's spring 2017 forums are set for Wednesdays, Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15 and April 19.