Michigan gubernatorial candidates counting on public matching funds to boost their campaign spending are in for a bit of a shock.
Instead of getting up to $2 for every $1 they receive from small donors, candidates will get 26 cents per dollar this year.
State lawmakers took $7.2 million from the State Campaign Fund to balance the fiscal 2007 budget. Now the fund has $2.1 million to divide among candidates.
The shortfall in funds before the Aug. 3 primary could seriously hurt candidates counting on the public dollars to boost their campaigns.
The money comes from a voluntary checkoff on state income tax forms. It lets taxpayers designate that $3 should go to the State Campaign Fund without affecting the amount they owe.