Governor Jennifer Granholm took calls from listeners Monday at WKAR studios in East Lansing. She's touring the state to talk about the $900 million budget deficit. She wants input from citizens about where to make the cuts.
This is the second week of her two week tour. Radio callers Monday asked her about education and mental health care, which are both issues of high priority for residents. Granholm says, so far, residents want to preserve what she calls a "safety net" of service.
$350 million of the deficit is in the state's school aid fund. Districts will likely recieve $200 less per pupil than they had originally budgeted. Governor Granholm says education is still her top priority. And the state is looking at the amount of money in district's rainy day funds. The Michigan Education Association has suggested that districts with more money saved equalize the money to districts without a rainy day fund.
Governor Granholm says in the week she's been on the road, residents have expressed a willingness to identify where they would cut. Among the things people have identified include a hiring freeze for state troopers, eliminating Merit Scholarships, and an 8% decrease in state revenue sharing to cities statewide.
The governor's tour continues this week with a stop in Lansing. Her meeting will be broadcast right here on Channel 10.