budget surplus http://michiganradio.org en Immigration, school year changes and other highlights from Gov. Snyder's State of the State address http://michiganradio.org/post/immigration-school-year-changes-and-other-highlights-gov-snyders-state-state-address <link href='//cdn.knightlab.com/libs/soundcite/latest/css/player.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'><script type='text/javascript' src='//connect.soundcloud.com/sdk.js'></script><script type='text/javascript' src='//cdn.knightlab.com/libs/soundcite/latest/js/soundcite.min.js'></script> <p>Gov. Rick Snyder put services for immigrants and seniors at the top of his to-do list for 2014 in his State of the State speech yesterday.</p><p>The governor also promised to extend pre-school to every child in the state that wants to attend, and trumpeted the state’s economic recovery as he prepares to seek a second term.</p><p><span class="soundcite" data-id="129992011" data-start="0" data-end="3421">"We are reinventing Michigan," Snyder said. "Michigan is the comeback state."</span></p><p>Snyder noted that hiring is up, and more people are looking for work — although Michigan still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates and many families living in poverty.</p><p>But the governor says things are getting better and the state’s improved budget position and the prospect of a revenue surplus is evidence of that. He said much of that money — more than a billion dollars over the next three years — should be used on infrastructure, investments, and savings. But he also said taxpayers should get some of it back.</p><p>“There’s going to be some opportunity for tax relief,” Snyder said.</p><p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:39:16 +0000 Rick Pluta 16067 at http://michiganradio.org Immigration, school year changes and other highlights from Gov. Snyder's State of the State address Budget surplus causes debate in Lansing http://michiganradio.org/post/budget-surplus-causes-debate-lansing <p>A pleasant problem occupies the minds in Lansing today: What should be done with a projected surplus of $971 million?</p><p>As one might expect, there is no shortage of debate surrounding what should be done with the windfall.&nbsp;</p><div>We're joined by Chris Gautz, Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, and Jonathan Oosting, MLive's Lansing reporter. Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:10:47 +0000 Stateside Staff 16000 at http://michiganradio.org Budget surplus causes debate in Lansing In this morning's news: Lansing debating surplus, hospital merger sacked, carmakers won't shutdown http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-lansing-debating-surplus-hospital-merger-sacked-carmakers-wont-shutdown <p><strong>Policymakers debate how to spend surplus </strong></p><p>The debate continues in Lansing over how the state should spend almost half a billion dollars in unexpected revenue this year. The Michigan League for Public Policy believes that because the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit is less than a third of what it was a couple years ago, legislators should restore the credit for the working poor.</p><p>"A spokesperson for state House Democrats says they support the idea of using some of the money to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit. However, Governor Rick Snyder says a similar tax credit from the federal government does enough to help working poor families in Michigan. He wants to use the extra cash to fix roads," Michigan Radio's Jake Neher reports.</p><p><strong>Merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford sacked</strong></p><p>The planned merger between Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems, two of southeast Michigan’s largest health care providers, has been scrapped. The leaders of each hospital signed a letter of intent to merge last fall, but negotiations didn’t work out so well. On Tuesday, Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting sent a letter to employees, indicating they’ll end talks and let the agreement expire.</p><p>“It became apparent that two very different perspectives have emerged for the new organization between Henry Ford and Beaumont,” Schlichting wrote. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek has <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/henry-ford-beaumont-health-care-systems-call-mega-merger">more</a>.</p><p><strong>Rising car sales cut plant shutdowns</strong></p><p>Summer vacation will be cut short for auto factory workers in Michigan this year, as carmakers try to keep up with heightened demand. Detroit automakers plan to reduce their annual shutdowns at dozens of North American plants that produce popular Ford and Chrysler models.</p><p>“This sends a strong signal that the industry is in a healthy place,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at market researcher LMC Automotive, told <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130522/AUTO01/305220011/Rising-car-sales-shrink-annual-summer-plant-shutdowns-Detroit-s-Big-Three?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">The Detroit News</a>.</p><p> Wed, 22 May 2013 11:15:50 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12675 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Lansing debating surplus, hospital merger sacked, carmakers won't shutdown In this morning's news: Medicaid reform, unexpected revenue for the state, and changes in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-medicaid-reform-unexpected-revenue-state-and-changes-detroit <p><strong>Controversy of Medicaid reform is being debated</strong></p><p>A bill is being debated in the Michigan house to reform Medicaid in the state.</p><p>"The federal government is offering to pay for an expansion of Medicaid that would add hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to the program. But Republican leaders in the state Legislature say they're not willing to expand the system without major changes." Michigan Radio's Jake Neher <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/snyder-administration-has-concerns-about-medicaid-plan-says-its-good-start">reports</a>.</p><p><strong>Michigan projected to get $542 million more than expected</strong></p><p>The state of Michigan is projected to get nearly half a billion dollars <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-projected-get-542m-more-expected">more than expected in revenue</a>.</p><p>"The state’s economic measurements remain mixed. Michigan still has one of the nation’s highest jobless rates. But Governor Snyder says improving revenue is evidence of confidence in the state’s economy," Michigan Radio's Rick Pluta reports.</p><p>The governor has suggested using the surplus to draw down federal transportation dollars, or cover a Medicaid shortfall.</p><p><strong>Changes are imminent in Detroit</strong></p><p>As of yesterday, Mayor Dave Bing will not be running for re-election, James Craig has been appointed Detroit Chief of Police, and more than half the incumbents on the Detroit City Council will not be seeking another term. The general elections will be held on November 5th. <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130515/METRO01/305150345#ixzz2TMCiOct8">The Detroit News</a> has more.</p><p> Wed, 15 May 2013 11:26:26 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12574 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Medicaid reform, unexpected revenue for the state, and changes in Detroit Michigan projected to get $542M more than expected http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-projected-get-542m-more-expected <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan could take in $542 million more in revenue than projected 4 months ago.</p><p>That's according to a report Monday from the nonpartisan <a href="http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/">Senate Fiscal Agency</a>. It's good news for lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder as they work to finalize a state budget for the fiscal year starting in October.<br><br>Senate experts say Michigan could have a $739 million surplus in the current budget year. The extra money could be used to boost spending, lower taxes or be socked away in savings.</p><p>The Snyder administration and economists are meeting Wednesday to agree on budget figures. The House Fiscal Agency and state treasurer also will put out revenue projections for the meeting.<br><br>Legislators aim to pass the next budget by June, though sticking points remain over Medicaid expansion and road funding.</p><p> Tue, 14 May 2013 15:06:10 +0000 The Associated Press 12556 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan projected to get $542M more than expected Governor Snyder preparing Michigan budget proposal http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-snyder-preparing-michigan-budget-proposal <p>Governor <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/rick-snyder">Rick Snyder</a> says he has heard many opinions about how projected <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/budget-surplus">surplus tax revenue</a> in the state budget should be spent. But, the governor appears to have his own ideas as he prepares to present his budget proposal next week.</p><p>Governor Snyder says he agrees with the many Democratic lawmakers who want more money to be spent on education. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve also been fairly clear, though, it shouldn&rsquo;t just be about writing checks. It should be about making sure we&rsquo;re setting some standards to see real performance and encouraging student growth in particular,&quot; Snyder said.</p><p>Governor Snyder says he is not ready to reveal his plans for K-12 or higher education in the budget. However, Snyder does appear cool to a proposal to spend surplus money in the budget to hire a thousand new police officers, or another to decrease the state&rsquo;s income tax rate. He says the state needs to make sure it&rsquo;s paying down long-term liabilities and approving adequate funding for existing programs. Mon, 30 Jan 2012 11:24:16 +0000 Laura Weber 5994 at http://michiganradio.org Governor Snyder preparing Michigan budget proposal Checking in on the state's budget http://michiganradio.org/post/checking-states-budget <p>We all like to know the balance in our checking or our savings account, right? My guess is, every so often, you go online or you go to the bank and you see what your balance looks like. Maybe, if you&rsquo;ve got a few extra bucks, you buy yourself something nice. Or, maybe the account is a little dry and, then, you know it&rsquo;s time to cut back. Well, just like you, the state has an account&hellip; given, it&rsquo;s probably MUCH larger&hellip; with many more zeros than you have&hellip; but the idea is the same.</p><p>This morning, in Lansing, the officials that keep an eye on the state&rsquo;s bank account met at what&rsquo;s officially called the Revenue Estimating Conference. Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network was at the conference, and he spoke with me this afternoon from the Capitol building about what the numbers for the state&#39;s &quot;bank account&quot; look like for 2012.</p><p>To boil it down, consider some basic questions you might ask about your own finances:</p><ul><li><strong>How much?</strong> : Pluta reports that a figure of $1 billion in budget surplus has been tossed around a lot by reporters over the last few days, but once upcoming spending pressures for 2012 are factored in, that number comes down to roughly <strong>$457 million</strong>.</li><li><strong>Spend or save?</strong> : Pluta says that according to the state&#39;s budget director, some surplus money could go into things like <strong>Medicaid</strong> and <strong>schools</strong>, but to improve the state&#39;s bond ratings, a portion will also likely go into savings.</li><li><strong>What about the economy?</strong> : Economists also weighed in at the conference and according to Pluta, the general consensus was that Michigan saw decent economic improvement early on in 2011 with growth of about<strong> 64,000 jobs</strong> for the year, but in recent moths things have become more sluggish--a trend that is expected to continue in 2012. Economists predict growth to the tune of roughly <strong>27,000 new jobs </strong>in the state<strong>.</strong></li><li><strong>What does the governor think?</strong> : Okay, so maybe you wouldn&#39;t ask yourself that question when thinking about your banking, but Pluta reports that regarding the state&#39;s money, Governor Rick Snyder plans to release recommendations soon, both about how the surplus should be used and what the next fiscal-year budget should look like. Fri, 13 Jan 2012 20:34:05 +0000 Zoe Clark 5785 at http://michiganradio.org Checking in on the state's budget What should the Michigan legislature do with the state's budget surplus? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-should-michigan-legislature-do-states-budget-surplus <p>The non-partisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency is reporting that the state is bringing in more money than expected with the 2011 fiscal year ending with a surplus. Joining us now are Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 20:56:48 +0000 Jennifer White & Zoe Clark 5659 at http://michiganradio.org What should the Michigan legislature do with the state's budget surplus? Governor, Legislature need to find $60 million to balance budget http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-legislature-need-find-60-million-balance-budget <p>When the Legislature returns to the state Capitol next week, there will be another item added to its to-do list. That is: coming up with millions of dollars to fill a budget gap created by the state Supreme Court decision on Michigan&rsquo;s new pension tax. The court upheld the tax on pensions, but said denying a tax break to some higher-earners effectively created a graduated income tax.</p><p>A graduated income tax is not allowed under the state constitution. That part of the decision also blew a $60 million hole in the state budget. Sixty million dollars is a small part of a general fund budget that exceeds $8 billion.</p><p>But it is an amount the governor and the Legislature will need to make up to meet their obligation under the state constitution to have a balanced budget. One possibility would be to use a projected surplus from last year&rsquo;s budget to fill the gap. That number becomes official in January. But it appears the surplus will be somewhere near $400 million.</p><p>Lawmakers are already fighting over what to do with that money. Democrats say it should be used to restore some budget cuts to schools. Republicans say it should go into the state&rsquo;s &ldquo;rainy day&rdquo; savings fund, or to pay down debt. Mon, 21 Nov 2011 11:23:43 +0000 Rick Pluta 5078 at http://michiganradio.org