"Good News" for the State Budget

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The Governor and Republican lawmakers hope the money will create jobs and improve colleges around the state.

The proposed construction projects mean short-term employment, but state lawmakers are hoping they will give the economy a shot in the arm.

"This $200 million in projects will be a tremendous boom for jobs in mid-Michigan," said Gregory Bird, director of communications for the state budget office.

In order to figure out how many possible jobs, first take a look at the schools getting money.

Lansing Community College will get $5 million that will go towards the construction of a new university center. Jackson Community College will get $7.5 million to expand its healthcare facilities. M.S.U. will also be getting a nice chunk. Ten percent ($20 million) will go towards two major projects, the renovation of the chemistry building and the renovation of a cooling tower on campus.

The state budget office estimates that 16 jobs will be created for every million dollars spent in construction. Take the state share being spent on all three schools and add it to the school share. That's $52.5 million, which may translate to 840 jobs in mid-Michigan.

And where is the $200 million coming from?

"Quite simply put, we're going to bond for this money, it's in essence borrowing," said Bird. "We feel that borrowing right now will help jump-start the economy by the creating these jobs."