Responses Vary To Governor Snyder's Budget Proposal

Feb 8, 2018

Governor Rick Snyder - file photo
Credit Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) Governor Rick Snyder gave his final budget proposal Wednesday, to mixed reviews. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle found things they did and didn’t like in Snyder’s plan for state spending in the fiscal year that starts in October. 

Democratic Representative Fred Durhal (D-Detroit) is on the budget committee. He said he’s happy the governor is putting more money towards roads and schools.

“I think those are two of the major issues that those in our communities want,” he said. “They want to see us fund roads, they want to see us fund education.”

Durhal said he is disappointed there isn’t money for people who were wrongly accused of unemployment fraud. The state’s unemployment agency’s computer system made tens of thousands of false fraud accusations over the course of several years. Durhal says those people need to be reimbursed more than the state already has.

During his proposal, Governor Rick Snyder announced an increase the per student foundation allowance for K-12 schools. But when it comes to education, some people in his own party weren’t happy with other recommendations.

“We talk so much about equity in funding and a kid shouldn’t be dinged simply because of the choice that he makes in where is goes to be educated,”

said House Education Reform committee chair, Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw). Kelly isn’t happy with proposed cuts in cyber school funding and funding for shared time programs. Those allow private and home schooled kids access to certain electives through public schools. 

Snyder may want to increase spending on roads and education, but he doesn’t leave a lot of room for the tax cuts Republican lawmakers want. Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) is chair of the Senate committee that works on the budget. He said he’ll work with the governor on “thoughtful tax relief.”

“I think every opportunity we can give back to the hardworking taxpayers of Michigan we ought to do that, he said. “We’ve been doing it over the last few years, and I’m interested to do a little more. So, we’re going to be pursuing that.”

Some Republicans also aren’t on board with the governor’s proposals that would cost taxpayers. That includes a hike in the state’s fees for dumping garbage. And an annual five dollar water fee to help pay for infrastructure repairs.