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Political roundup: New report predicts $2 billion shortfall in Michigan's general fund

Aug 4, 2017

Not much is happening with Michigan’s legislature. They’re out of session for much of August. But a state budget of more than $56 billion dollars was passed on time this year.

A recent report from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan indicates that the $10 billion general fund — the only part of the budget the Legislature can influence — will be hit hard in the next few years general fund obligations grow.

Vicki Barnett, a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, joined Ken Sikkema, a senior policy fellow with Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican majority leader in the state Senate discussed the looming problems.

“We are losing ground rather quickly, and we’re not finding a way to make it up,” Barnett said.

According to Sikkema, legislatures have a habit of making commitments that future legislatures will have to deal with in the budget. A classic case of kicking the can down the road.

That leaves few options to stabilize the general fund besides further cutting state services or increasing taxes.

Listen to the entire conversation with Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican majority leader, and Vicki Barnett, a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, above. 

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