The State Legislature completed work on a $46.5 billion state budget this week. It’s the quickest budget process since the 1960’s. Michigan Radio’s Jenn White spoke with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Bill Ballenger, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. You can hear the interview here:
Ballenger says Governor Snyder had a clear plan coming into office, which helped get this budget passed so quickly. He also points to the strong Republican control.
These are the biggest margins of control since the years after World War II ended. This is how strong the majority is in the House and Senate with a Republican Governor. That is incredibly important.
Certain items in the tax structure and in this budget have gotten lots of attention from the public. Tax on pensions, the reduction of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the cuts to K-12 schools all have been on people’s minds.
Demas says people are going to realize what these changes really mean once they begin doing their taxes next year.
A lot of the exemptions that we all count on for the Homestead Property Tax, for our kids, for charitable deductions, those are all going away.
So, who will benefit from this budget? Well, Demas thinks small businesses will be affected in a positive way. On the other hand, the almost 700,000 family’s that received the EITC will be very affected by the scaled back version. And Demas says, “anybody who has kids in public schools will see a change.”
It’s really not just urban districts like Detroit that are having trouble, it’s rural districts and it’s suburban districts. Everybody is having some severe financial problems. So, I think the shape of public education is really going to change with this budget and with a lot of the legislation that the House and Senate are going to start to work on next month.
Ballenger thinks it may be more important for people to know what’s in this budget because of the amount of changes and the speed at which it’s all happening.
Large sections of the general public are alarmed and they are anger and they have a very negative reaction from what they are hearing is going on in Lansing. And the Governor’s poll ratings have plummeted and if he had to run for re-election right now he would be dead meat.