As protestors mount growing grassroot efforts in Lansing and others places against Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposals which include reductions for education, municipalities, tax credits and more, the 48th governor told an overflow crowd at the Michigan Chronicle’s 2011 inaugural “Pancakes and Politics” event it boils down to what kind of state we want to be.
“We can’t continue to do things as we’ve been doing,” said the man who ran and won the top political job with talk of reinventing Michigan.
“We have to change how we do things and a lot of tough things will have to be done,” he said.
The “Pancakes” forum was held March 3 at the Detroit Athletic Club and aired March 12 as a special Michigan Matters on WWJ-TV CBS Detroit you can watch it online.
Snyder, former CEO and CPA turned politician, told the crowd he campaigned on getting the state back on track and ratcheting down the $2 billion deficit remains central to that.
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano was among audience members who asked Snyder about his plans to get rid of renaissance zones and other tax breaks, knowing the downside would be deterring some businesses from possibly growing or moving here.
“If anything, business like consistency and when we change things it certainly doesn’t help,” said Ficano.
Snyder explained it has to do with “appropriations for the bucket of money instead of the tax breaks.”
“We’re working on the budget now and during the next four years, the state has already committed to writing over $2 billion for tax credits,” Snyder explained.
“Think about that. We aren’t starting at zero. We’re down $500 million in each of those years,” said Snyder. “I don’t think people understand that.”
Other questions were raised about his suggested cuts to education (K-12) and public universities.
Snyder countered there is more that educators can do to help lower their costs by bundling services which will help offset some reductions in revenue from the state.
Snyder is hoping to have his budget wrapped up by the end of May as state legislators must first sign off on it.
“I’m open to tweaking things but we need to get this done,” Snyder added.
The next “Pancakes and Politics” will be held April 21 at the DAC and focus on the future of Detroit.
Panelists include: Quicken Loans’ CEO Dan Gilbert, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah, New Economy Initiative Executive Director David Egner, DEGC CEO George Jackson and MEDC CEO Mike Finney.
The four-part “Pancakes and Politics” series – now in its sixth year – was created by the Michigan Chronicle and its parent company, Real Times Media. WWJ-TV CBS Detroit has been a media sponsor since the start and all “Pancakes” have aired as Michigan Matters.
Other sponsors include: Strategic Staffing Solutions, Comcast Business Class,
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, PNC, ProCare Health Plan,
Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, MGM Grand Detroit, St. John Providence Health System, UHY and Wayne State University, WWJ Newsradio 950 and Crains Detroit Business.
For “Pancakes” tickets call 313 -963-8100
Carol Cain is Senior Producer and host of WWJ-TV CBS Detroit’s Emmy winning Michigan Matters. You can read her columns on politics and business in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press and online. She can be reached at 248-355-7126.