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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