state budget

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently told the media to talk about what she would like to see in a supplemental spending bill.
Cheyna Roth

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants Republican leaders to come back to the bargaining table.

Earlier this week Whitmer announced more than 100 line item vetoes that she made in the state budgets, and she moved money around within departments. That’s something she can do without the approval of the Legislature.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s line item vetoes in the state budget include cuts to funding for rural hospitals.

MPRN

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed all of the state’s budgets for the new spending year — and used a lot of red ink in the process.

One of the many items Whitmer said “no” to was millions of dollars in one-time funding toward the state’s roads. She also vetoed the School Aid budget.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been presented a budget by the state Legislature, and one area Whitmer might have an issue with the budget is the state’s new redistricting commission.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (left) and House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez (right) speak to the press after the House finished its budget votes on Tuesday.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

MichiganGov. Gretchen Whitmer says the budgets on their way to her desk are “a mess.”

The school year is about to begin in Michigan without contracts between many districts and teachers. That’s because the state Legislature has not adopted a K-12 schools budget to let school boards and teachers unions know how much money they’ll have to work with.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer toured an elementary school in Flint Monday to call attention to the fact that schools have started their academic year, but they don’t know how much financial support to expect from the state.

The state is hammering out its budget. And lawmakers are having a sharp disagreement with the governor’s office over one of Michigan’s biggest price tags – the corrections budget. Both sides agree rehabilitation and lowering recidivism is the way to go. But they can’t agree on how much money to spend this year.

At stake are programs – like the Vocational Village in Ionia – that have helped lower the state’s incarceration rate.

With the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan to set the scene, Governor Snyder on Wednesday signed the new $38.8 billion state budget. 

There were some unexpected revenue shortfalls to deal with. State revenues came up more than $300 million short, largely due to corporate tax credits. There was also a $100 million spike in Medicaid payments. 

Cafemama/Flickr

The Legislature has approved budgets for the coming fiscal year.

The K-through-12 schools budget was enthusiastically endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. Every school district in the state will see a funding bump of $70 to $140 per student under the new K-through-12 budget the Legislature just sent to Governor Rick Snyder.

Snyder (R) says he’s pleased money for an early literacy project is part of the budget that’s now on its way to his desk.

Can future budget growth pay for Michigan roads?

May 14, 2015

Republicans in the state House have rolled out their plan to boost road funding after Proposal One’s historic failure.

They say their proposal would raise $1.05 billion for roads, mainly by relying on projected growth in the state budget. It would also eliminate the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor families and Michigan’s film incentives.

The only new revenue would come from indexing the state’s gas tax to inflation and higher taxes and fees on electric, hybrid, and diesel vehicles.

Peter Payette

Michigan voters have soundly rejected Proposal One, Governor Rick Snyder’s $2 billion dollar plan to fund road repairs without siphoning money from schools and local governments. The loss sends the governor and the Legislature back to the bargaining table because almost everyone still agrees the roads are bad.

    

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

In one of many concessions to the budget crisis of the 1990s, the state Capitol in Lansing was closed to the public on weekends. Now, almost 20 years later, finances have improved, and the historic building will re-open to visitors on Saturdays.

The decision was made by the Michigan Capitol Commission, which governs operations of the Victorian-era structure listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The decision to close the Capitol on weekends came as the state was in a deep recession and short on money.

Governor Snyder is set to deliver his budget proposal for the next fiscal year tomorrow morning in Lansing. The just released Michigan Radio/Public Sector Consultants poll takes a look at where the voters of Michigan would like to see the state invest.

The top Democrat in the state House says a road funding solution will probably have to wait until after the November election.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says too many lawmakers are not willing to make the tough vote until they’re past their reelection bids. That’s because boosting infrastructure spending by more than a billion dollars a year would likely mean raising taxes to pay for it.

“I think there’s a very high likelihood that it doesn’t occur until lame duck, unfortunately,” said Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, on an appearance over the weekend on the Michigan Public Television program Off the Record.

Michigan will receive is $115 million in special state funding this year for 124 specific road projects in certain districts.  This includes 38 projects in the metro Detroit region.

Crain’s Business Reporter Chris Gautz said most of the money will go to districts that are represented by Republicans, and about $41 million went to some districts represented by Democrats.

“For somebody in another part of the state that isn’t getting any money -- maybe if they are represented completely by Democrats -- they’re not going to see anything and they are wondering why their roads aren’t as important,” Gautz said.

Click here for a full list of the projects.

Guatz said there will also be about $1.5 million dollars for the Secretary of State’s office to help combat insurance fraud. 

*Listen to full interview above. 

The state Senate failed to pass a road repair plan.

Drivers who vote have been clear that they want these roads fixed, yet Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, says the failure was "not that big a deal, really."

Chris Gautz, the Lansing reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, explained what Richardville was trying to say.

Gautz said Richardville was trying to point out that the money budgeted for road funding would be in next year’s budget, and that money wouldn't start being generated until January.

“All of the big, monumental changes they were trying to make in the state’s transportation funding system were long-term fixes, and weren’t going to fill a pothole on your street this summer,” Gautz said.

*Listen to the  full interview above. 

The budget clock is ticking in Lansing.

Only three days remain for lawmakers to wrap up work on the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and get it done before their self-imposed deadline of early June before their summer break.

Some big issues have been tackled, but there are big ones still unsettled.

Jonathan Oosting, the Capitol reporter for MLive, and Kathy Gray, the Lansing reporter for the Detroit Free Press, spoke to us today.

*You can listen to our conversation above.

There are a few things to expect from this new budget:

  • Road funding may receive about $400 million.
  • The higher-education budget could increase significantly.
  • An increase in revenue-sharing payments to cities, counties, villages, and townships.
  • A new helicopter for Michigan State police, and a new post in Marshall.
  • Film incentives will likely stay at $50 million.
  • The School Aid Fund could increase.
  • Community colleges could receive a 3% bump.

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Michigan has been cutting taxes for the past 20 years. The key selling point has been that slashing taxes will create economic prosperity.

A new report by the former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Douglas Drake, says these tax cuts have instead drained Michigan of economic life, with our per-capita income rank tumbling, and our unemployment rate way above the national average.

Charles Ballard is an economist from Michigan State University.

*Listen to the full show above.

State lawmakers will probably double the amount of money they had planned to spend on fixing roads torn apart by nasty weather this winter.

A legislative conference committee hopes to approve a mid-year budget bill Tuesday that will probably include about $200 million to fix potholes and help local governments pay for things like salt and snow plowing.

State lawmakers are about to dive into the process of crafting a budget for next fiscal year. But they have to fix some problems with the current year’s budget first.

One of the biggest concerns is a hole in the state’s Medicaid budget of more than $100 million. Everyone agrees that shortfall needs to be addressed. But the state House and Senate have not been able to agree on how to fix it or where that money should come from.

The state Senate has approved a plan to fix and maintain roads being ripped apart by brutal winter weather. The Senate passed a mid-year budget bill Thursday that includes $100 million of emergency money for roads.

The state Department of Transportation and local governments have been constantly running snow plows, spreading salt, and patching potholes. That means they’re looking at huge winter budget overages.

Jake Neher

Michigan’s top prison official says state budget cuts had nothing to do with the recent escape of a murderer from a prison in Ionia. Michigan Department of Corrections Director Dan Heyns testified about the escape today in front of a state Senate budget panel.

“I would submit to you that the funding was there, the equipment was there,” he says. “If it was maintained and monitored properly, it would have detected the escapee before he left the prison grounds – and the policy and procedure was well written and complete.”

Big Mid-Year Cuts For Suttons Bay Schools

Feb 12, 2014
Suttons Bay Schools

 

Just this fall, IPR highlighted Suttons Bay Public Schools as a district that has used creative budgeting, online programs and fundraisers to remain solvent.

But one of those solutions backfired this year.

Michigan Department of Education

The Michigan State Board of Education hopes public school funding will be a top priority for voters when they head to the polls in November.

The board on Tuesday kicked off a series of discussions meant to publicly critique the way the state pays for public education. The talks will continue at its monthly meetings until November.

Board of Education President John Austin says one of the goals is to shed light on the issue between now and the election.

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