Michigan Governor-Elect Rick Snyder says one of his first priorities when he takes office January 1st is to light a fire under lawmakers to get a budget done by July.
This is “deja vu” for WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.
“I’ve heard this song before. It was a different person singing it — I think her name was Jennifer Granholm. She said, ‘Hey you guys — we’ve got to get that budget done by July 1st,’ that is always the statement at the beginning or the end of a year,” Skubick said.
“Maybe Mr. Snyder can pull this thing off. He doe not want to be going into the fall, as this current legislature and governor have done on numerous occasions. In fact, at one point they missed the deadline at all and shut the government down. Mr. Snyder, believe me, does not what that — his first thing out of the box,” Skubick said.
Although Snyder has until March 14 to present a proposal for the budget year that starts Oct. 1, he plans to do it earlier. He also plans to deliver his first annual State of the State address in mid-January rather than at the end of the month, when most recent Michigan governors have done so.
“We hope to go fast,” he said in an interview, Tuesday with the Associated Press. “It’s setting the tone.”
The Republican governor-elect already has told lawmakers and his staff that he wants to get a lot done in the 182 days between Jan. 1 and July 1, including the budget.
Snyder will have a comfortable Republican majority in the Legislature when he takes office, but Skubick says looks can be deceiving.
“At first blush you would make that assumption, but don’t assume that the sixty-four votes that are sitting in the Republican-controlled House are all on Rick Snyder’s side. They are not, and he would concede that in his private moments. A lot of those folks are Tea Party folks and they are loath to compromise with anybody,” Skubick said.
Michigan faces a shortfall of up to $1.7 billion in the next fiscal year, something Snyder will have to address in his budget proposal. He declined to go into specifics Tuesday, saying it’s still under review.
As Michigan begins to emerge from its decade-long economic slump, Snyder said his first priority is to eliminate any hurdles to that recovery. He plans to cut business taxes in the budget that takes effect next fall.
“I always said business taxes were the first things we were going to review,” he said.