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Mon November 21, 2011
In this morning's news...
Can You Spare $60 Million?
Lawmakers return to the state Capitol next week and topping their agenda: coming up with $60 million to fill a budget gap created by the state Supreme Court’s decision last Friday on Michigan’s new pension tax. Rick Pluta explains:
The court upheld the tax on pensions, but said denying a tax break to some higher-earners effectively created a graduated income tax, which is not allowed under the state constitution. That part of the decision 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. 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.
A new poll shows that likely voters in the state oppose a plan to build a new international bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. The Associated Press reports:
The poll for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV showed 59 percent oppose the project, 30 percent support it and 11 percent were undecided… The Republican governor supports the new bridge, saying it is crucial to expanding trade between the U.S. and Canada. But the private owners of the Ambassador Bridge already spanning the Detroit River oppose a second bridge, saying a publicly supported bridge would unfairly compete with their own.
MI: 3rd Most Reliant on Food Stamps
“Michigan households relied on food stamps last year more than all but two other states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” the Lansing State Journal reports. “The states with the highest food stamp participation rates were Oregon (17.9 percent) and Tennessee (17 percent.) States with the lowest participation rates included California (7.4 percent), New Jersey (6.8 percent) and Wyoming (6.2 percent). The national rate was 11.9 percent,” LSJ.com explains.