Michigan has a total budget of more than $50 billion moving into FY2014. In that is about an extra $700 million that economists didn't expect the state to have.
"We're running a structually balanced budget so with this growth, we can actually not only fill holes with it like a lot of state are doing, we can actually talk about strategic investments that can get us where we want to go," said Budget Director John Nixon.
To break down where the extra money is coming from, about $482 million is a surplus from FY2013. This is for one-time spendings only. Budget Director Nixon says some of that could be spent this year and the rest will carry forward into FY2014. He says the state was able to get this surplus largely due to effects of the fiscal cliff.
"A lot of people were nervous about what's happening at the federal level, the tax rates were going to go up, the Bush tax cuts were going to expire, so a lot of them sold their house, sold their stock, to be able to pay their taxes under a lower tax rate structure," Nixon said.
The state is also projecting about an extra $220 million in combined general fund and school aid fund revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. Nixon attributes the increase to a growing economy, which means more tax revenue for the state.
"I think people are getting more confident in the future of Michigan and that's being evident in our revenues," Nixon said.
Many are already offering suggestions on how to spend the extra money, from improving roads to boosting education funding and local revenue sharing.