When I read that the Republican-controlled Michigan House and Senate passed our new state budget totaling $70 billion dollars I was disappointed.  Last year’s budget totaled 62.8 billion which means they increased our state spending, including federal money, by 11.5%.  We are told the cash is coming from a “combination of federal COVID-19 relief funds and better than expected state tax revenue.”

To add salt to the wound back in February Governor Whitmer only and I say only facetiously, asked for a budget totaling $67.1 billion.  Whitmer was looking for a 6.8% increase, to think of a day when a 6.8% increase in spending was less than they ended up passing.  Did your family get an 11.5% increase or even a 6.8% increase this year?

A couple of things in the budget I would like to point out, the rest of the detail that is known you can get from an article in the Detroit News.

First I would like to point out that this budget will include approximately $86 million to reduce university pension obligations.  What exactly does that mean?  Are we using taxpayer cash to fund college pensions when these schools are charging students and their parent's tremendous amounts of cash to attend their places of “higher” education?  Have they seen the dollar amounts of their endowments funds?  I do not know exactly which universities they are speaking of but I do know the following:

  • University of Michigan endowment fund totals approximately $12.5 billion as of 2020
  • Michigan State University endowment fund totals approximately $3.1 billion as of 2020

Second, they have also increased higher education aid by 6.4%.  Will these schools of higher education be reducing the cost to attend them?

You might think the increase comes from the federal government's “COVID-19 relief/Slush fund” money that was supposed to be used on issues relating to Covid-19.  It appears that it may not be, the Detroit News is reporting:

“Even after the $70 billion budget is signed into law, the Legislature has roughly $10 billion in additional money that could be included in a supplemental spending plan later this year. About $7 billion of that $10 billion is leftover federal COVID relief funds, state budget director Dave Massaron told reporters Tuesday.”

If they have an additional$10 billion to spend in a supplemental spending plan later this year then what federal funds could be in the $70 billion dollar budget?

I have asked a few Michigan lawmakers to come on air to discuss where the 11.5% increase in taxpayer’s funds is exactly coming from.  I would also like to know if it is coming from state money did they consider giving that money back to the people from which it was taken.

Remember the state must have a balanced budget thus cannot deficit spend as our Federal government does.

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