spending cuts http://michiganradio.org en Prison Blues http://michiganradio.org/post/prison-blues <p>Michigan is one of only a handful of states that spends more on prisons than it does on higher education. This is a disgrace, and isn&rsquo;t doing very much for either our budget or our future.</p><p>The reasons for this are both complex and simple. The societal reasons are complex, of course, and have been addressed at length by people more knowledgeable than I.</p><p>The technical reasons are far simpler.&nbsp; Thirty years ago, there were only about 13,000 inmates in Michigan prisons. Five years ago, the figure had ballooned to more than 51,000.</p> Wed, 08 Feb 2012 15:55:13 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 6142 at http://michiganradio.org Prison Blues Michigan Budget Director, John Nixon on state finances http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-budget-director-john-nixon-state-finances <p>We are now just a few days into the state&rsquo;s new fiscal year. State Budget Director, John Nixon gives us an update on the state of Michigan&rsquo;s finances.</p><p>Nixon says many states relied on federal stimulus money, and now it&#39;s time to look at other options.</p><p>&ldquo;We had a huge infusion of stimulus money and then there was a big cliff because once that stimulus money went away all the states are scrambling saying, &ldquo;oh my gosh how do we keep our programs whole?&rdquo; Well that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;ve done. We cut a billion and a half dollars of spending out the budget and we balanced the budget.&rdquo; Tue, 04 Oct 2011 21:15:05 +0000 Jennifer White 4437 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Budget Director, John Nixon on state finances