Gov. Rick Snyder is asking Michigan lawmakers to raise the gas tax, expand Medicaid to more uninsured and put more money into early childhood education.
The Republican governor on Thursday unveiled his proposed $50.9 billion budget to lawmakers who sit on budget committees.
A major piece includes a call to raise the state gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 33 cents and increase vehicle registration fees to fix ailing roads and bridges. Snyder says doing nothing will cost Michigan more down the line.
A typical family would pay $120 more per car each year if the changes go into effect.
Snyder argues that not extending Medicaid would harm people who are too poor to qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance offered through online exchanges.
Below is the news release issued by the governor following his address:
Gov. Rick Snyder today presented to the Legislature his recommended fiscal year 2014 state budget, an investment blueprint that moves Michigan forward and continues its emergence as the nation's comeback state.
This is Snyder's third budget in a row that establishes a fiscally responsible trend of the state spending within its means, while making strategic investments for Michigan's future and quality of life. The recommended budget invests in priorities such as roads, education, health, human services, job growth and public safety.
"It's clear that Michigan is on the comeback," Snyder said. "We are creating more jobs, our unemployment rate has improved, personal income for families is increasing, and our population is growing again. The measures we have taken to fix our tax system and get our budget in long-term balance are paying dividends. I am pleased to recommend a budget that keeps the momentum moving in the right direction."
Once again, Snyder also offered a 2015 projected budget to help policymakers with long-range planning that ensures the state's fiscal house remains in order long into the future. Michigan residents and businesses can rest assured that the state budget is in a strong financial position.
The budget plan was outlined by Snyder during a joint session of the House and Senate appropriations committees. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and State Budget Director John Nixon also took part in the presentation.
"We are on course and moving in the right direction," Calley said. "The days of budget peril and government shutdown that plagued Michigan for much of the decade leading up to 2010 are behind us. Michigan has emerged as a state recognized for fiscal responsibility and smart budgeting principles that have put us on the comeback trail."
More than 75 percent of the total budget is devoted to education and health and human services. State spending is again tied to measured outcomes through the use of performance metrics, continuing the strong focus on value for money.
"We are in a strong fiscal position here in Michigan," Nixon said. "Others across the country are taking note of the tremendous work we have done to get our budget into structural balance, reduce our long term liabilities, and make deposits in our budget stabilization fund."
The overall reduction in the state's post-retirement liabilities since the governor has taken office is $21.3 billion, including $15.6 billion related to school employee pension changes and $5.7 billion related to state employee pension reforms. With a current state population of 9,883,360, that translates to over $2,200 in savings per person.
Highlights of the recommended budget include:
Educating our Children
Ensuring a Healthier Michigan
Driving the Economy Forward: Investing in Infrastructure
Supporting Job Creation
Bolstering Human Services
Making Michigan Safer
Protecting Natural Resources and the Environment
Encouraging Good Government, Innovation
Maintaining and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility
The Snyder administration will now work in partnership with the members of the Michigan House and Senate to enact the budget. The state's new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
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