Affected Groups React to Snyder's Budget Proposal

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"Today is a day that should have happened in the 1980s, it should have happened in the 1990s, it should have happened in the 2000s," Governor Snyder said Thursday.

But the massive spending cuts Governor Snyder is proposing didn't happen back then, which makes Thursday's budget announcement difficult for some to swallow.

"This will most certainly mean fewer public safety officers on the road, this will mean fewer ambulances out there, it will mean less salt for the roads," Summer Minnick of the Michigan Municipal League said.

Snyder proposed cutting revenue sharing by $100 million, which at least one state lawmaker said at the presentation would at this time cripple local governments.

"When people call 911, they call us, they don't call the state, these are serious issues and we will do our best to comply with Snyder's new rules to get the most revenue sharing money we can," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said.

K-12 education was slashed by $470 per pupil, while tax breaks on pensions were eliminated. Some say that adversely affects Michigan's aging population.

"It's a little disingenuous to say you care about our children and our future when you're putting a burden on their backs," Frank Houston of Better Michigan Future said. "Our idea of shared sacrifice is not cutting big business on the backs of seniors and the working poor."

State workers are also none too pleased. Snyder plans to negotiate with the unions this year for $180 million in concessions.

"We've given so much so far," Rachel Siemen, a DHS worker, said. "The legislature time and time again has tried to balance the budget on our backs, they need to look at the top, not the bottom."

You can't get much higher than Snyder himself, who says he'll join in the shared sacrifice by dropping his salary this year down to $1.

Snyder knew his proposals wouldn't be popular, but it's time to make the tough decisions, he said, to finally get spending in line with revenue, and start planning for the future.

Some Republicans News Ten spoke with after the presentation, say they'll sit down and take a close look at everything, but they appreciate that someone is making the tough choices to deal with the structural deficit.

The Democrats are saying they like the fact that Snyder is planning for the future and beginning to pay down the state's debt, but they can not get behind the elimination of the EITC, or and the tax on seniors pensions.

Discussions now begin, Snyder would like the budget completed by May 31st.

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  • by Anonymous on Feb 21, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    What future? The poor are going to get poorer, and the kids are not going to have an education. Where's the future in that? Seniors have been paying taxes their whole lives, and like the first poster said, they have fixed incomes.
  • by Anonymous Location: Michigan on Feb 18, 2011 at 07:54 PM
    How can we plan for the future when this plan eliminates the future by taking from our children by putting more in poverty by eliminating EITC as well as cutting education and . Aren't children our future? And getting rid of EITC will destroy many people that depend on this to make ends meet. Ridiculous and cruel. I guess we are just peasants in the king's eyes.
  • by Retired teacher Location: Jackson on Feb 18, 2011 at 01:50 PM
    As a recently retired teacher I am afraid we will be the next Wisconsin. Why is it ok to tax retirees incomes? We are all on a fixed budget!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2011 at 06:04 PM
    Well, again Virg "Little Man" Bernero has it wrong. IF we call 911, 911 dispatches what ever department can cover the call. Of course, Lansing wants the accident calls since they have a standing rule that no matter what, SOMEONE gets ticketed in the event of an accident. This just helps them to get more operating monies through the ticketing process.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2011 at 04:45 PM
    He stated it well in the first line. It should have been done a long time ago, but noone wanted to be unpopular. It is nice that we have someone in the office who wants to make sure we have a future worth living.
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