Governor's Plan Causes Outrage

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Gov. John Engler's decision to stop the distribution of $850 million in state revenue sharing to local governments has city and county leaders outraged.

The governor is planning to hold back money in case voters pass three ballot proposals on Nov. 5. Those initiatives include efforts to institute drug rehabilitation programs, collective bargaining abilities for state employees and use of tobacco settlement money for tobacco-related health care.

The governor says those programs will drain money from the state of Michigan, but supporters of the tobacco proposal say their plan will save the state money. They say the governor is wrong to threaten the elimination of state money to local governments if the proposals do pass.

Supporters say local governments shouldn't worry about losing money because a new administration will take over state government in January.

East Lansing representatives say they're concerned they'll lose $4.6 million in state funds that will help pay for police and fire services.

Lansing could lose between $12 and $13 million, which might put the fire department and the police department at risk.

The governor's proposal will take effect Oct. 1. However, the governor will reinstate funding to the local and state government if voters do not pass the three proposals.


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