Gov. Rick Snyder presented today his proposed state budgets for fiscal years 2015 and 2016, which Lt. Gov. Brian Calley refers to as a “taxpayer’s budget.”
“Many of the investments we’re making in areas such as transportation, public safety, and human services will save money in the long run,” Calley says. “Our growing economy also allows us to give many Michiganders significant tax relief through our initiative to enhance the Homestead Property Tax Credit. This is a responsible, forward-looking budget that recognizes the needs of taxpayers and continues Michigan’s exciting momentum.”
The enhancement Calley refers to would provide nearly $103 million of additional property tax relief, primarily to low- and middle-income working families, seniors, and residents with disabilities. It is expected to increase tax refunds for 1.3 million taxpayers.
A good chunk of the budget will go toward infrastructure, with $254 million to match federal aid and maintain Michigan’s roads and bridges, transit services, and aeronautics projects across the state. However, the largest investment will go toward education, with Snyder recommending $11.7 billion in K-12 state appropriations, a $1 billion increase from 2011 (FY).
Snyder also aims to invest in Michigan’s safety, with $1.6 billion proposed for a prison system that currently houses 43,700 prisoners. Total corrections funding is set at $2 billion and includes probation, parole, and community support.
The budget also calls for a $71.7 million investment in the Healthy Michigan Plan to implement expanded Medicaid coverage as well as $15.7 million in gross funding to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program into Kalamazoo and Macomb counties, providing an additional 100,000 children with dental care.
“This is more than just a budget,” Snyder says. “It’s the story of Michigan’s comeback. These investments would not be possible without the strong foundation of fiscal responsibility that we have laid, as well as the job-creating policies that are helping our economy to grow.
Snyder also recommends depositing $120 million to the Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund), bringing the total balance to $700 million. A deposit of $122 million to the newly created Michigan Health Savings Fund to offset future health care costs was also part of the budget.
Snyder says the goal is to pass the state’s budget by June 1. The state’s new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
To read the full executive budget for 2015 and 2016, click here.