Many bright spots in governor’s budget, but cloud of tax cut still looms

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2017

Contact:
Alex Rossman
arossman@mlpp.org
517-487-5436

Governor’s budget includes funding for many League priorities that support kids, workers and families

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Governor Rick Snyder’s 2018 budget presented this morning. This statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President & CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“The governor’s budget today is very positive and includes money for many of the programs and services that help struggling workers and families. The League has been a champion for leveraging federal funds to support important state services, and the budget includes $6.8 million to draw down the federal money needed to keep the Heat and Eat program going and $8.4 million in state funds for child care to secure much-needed federal funding. The budget upholds continued funding for the Healthy Michigan Plan, which provides healthcare for more than 600,000 Michiganians with low incomes under the Affordable Care Act, and we appreciate Governor Snyder’s continued commitment to protecting that successful program in Michigan.

“We are pleased to see an increase in school funding for at-risk students to help address the extra support that students struggling with poverty and hunger and toxic stress need, and a $60-per-child increase in the state’s school clothing allowance that helps provide clothes for children living in families with low incomes. Today’s budget included funding for the Part-Time Independent Student Grant to help adult students pursue a college degree, something the League has been advocating for years. And we appreciate the governor’s continued call for investment in infrastructure and support for the people of Flint to help them recover and get clean water.

“But all of these encouraging investments could disappear tomorrow if the Legislature goes against the governor’s budget and cuts the state income tax, eroding $250 million to $9 billion from the state’s funds. Kansas and several other states have already made this mistake and suffered severe consequences, and now Republican legislators there are scrambling to undo the policy. If legislators really want to help the people of Michigan, especially those who are barely getting by, they should pass these positive investments, not something that will undermine them.”

The League’s support of the Heat and Eat program was even quoted in the governor’s executive budget (Page 46) released today. The League also continues to warn against the damage a cut to the state income tax could cause, and Kansas, one of the states that has passed a similar measure, is already looking to repeal it.

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.