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Jase Bolger: Act on Michigan's budget now

It has been nearly 60 days since my House Republican colleagues and I introduced a plan to balance the budget, invest in Michigan's infrastructure and boost job creation, all without raising taxes. And still, with just weeks before the budget deadline of the end of this month, there is no budget. Only days after she told reporters she is "not in favor of new taxes" and that "we don't need a tax increase," Gov. Granholm proposed a budget which raises taxes nearly $1 billion. With House Democrats not having any kind of budget plan on the table, Michigan is approaching the second government shutdown in the state's 72-year history.
State Budget Under New Governor, Legislature PDF Print E-mail
Written by Evan   
Sunday, 21 November 2010 02:59

With the November 2nd election of new Michigan governor R-Rick Snyder in addition to the influx of elected republicans, the state is buzzing with excitement because for the first time in many years, Michigan legislature might overcome partisan gridlock to get more done in the Capitol. Republicans are taking Tuesday's vote as a clear indication that Michigan residents aren't happy with the condition of the state. The government has budget problems and Michigan's unemployment rate, 13 percent in September, was second-highest in the nation.

Snyder wants to lower taxes on businesses by $1.5 billion by replacing the Michigan Business Tax with a 6 percent tax on corporate income. Furthermore, Republicans in the legislature have been focusing on trying to eliminate the 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax. In essence, many Republicans are seeking ways to redo the overall Michigan business tax structure.

Snyder has also made it clear that his primary focus as governor will be to address "Michigan's most pressing problems," or in other words, the job market and economy. Republican's are optimistic about Snyder and many GOP lawmakers ran on Snyder's platform so should be support legislation through to fruition. Republicans intend to cut state spending, which will be key to addressing the lack of federal funding and the expected $1.5 billion deficit.

The state budget sets aside $1.5 million for transition, half for the outgoing governor and half for the incoming one which will be used between now and January 1st. Snyder's transition team will be chaired Doug Rothwell, who was CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation under former Michigan governor John Engler. Rothwell is currently president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan This move indicates an expectation to address the economy as the number one priority in Snyder's time in office.

Democrats say only time will tell, and such Republican driven agenda may hurt legislative consensus.

Sources:

http://www.detnews.com/article/20101104/POLITICS02/11040414/1024/POLITICS03/Snyder-picks-3-person-transition-team-with-both-public--private-experience

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20101104/ELECTIONS03/11040333/GOP-sweep-will-impact-state

http://www.petoskeynews.com/news/politics/null-budget-business-keys-to-michig-110410,0,4816431.story

 

 

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Meet your Policy Fellow

Evan Martinak is state budget policy fellow for the Michigan Policy Network. Evan is from Walled Lake, Michigan on the east side. He is a student in James Madison College, pursuing a major in international relations and also doubling it with an economics major. He intends to pursue a minor in Philosophy of Law. He is highly involved in student government at MSU. He is a member of ASMSU (The Associated Student of Michigan State University) as well as James Madison College Student Senate. He is also an avid Manchester United fan.
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