LANSING (WWJ) – The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has finished approving a new state budget that will cut state aid for education and many social services. Next stop for the $47 billion spending plan – the desk of Governor Rick Snyder.
The Republican governor pushed hard to complete his first budget in record time – a mission completed at the fastest pace in 30 years.
“There’s been tremendous public discussion about the speed at which this budget has gotten done… which I do believe sends an important message to our citizens, to the rest of the country and to the world, that Michigan is focused on results and outcomes. But, more important than speed is quality, and this is a high quality budget,” Snyder said.
Typically, lawmakers usually do not complete the budget until the start of the Oct. 1 fiscal year, and have pushed that even further on instance to bring the state into brief government shutdowns. The last time the budget was passed before Memorial Day was in 1981.
What’s the significance of having a state budget passed well before the end-of-September deadline? WWJ’s Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick caught up with the Governor in Lansing.
“As a practical matter, it’s very large, in the sense of giving certainty to our schools, our municipalities, in terms of having answers there. It’s also showing that we can come to agreement in a timely fashion and move on to other issues that are important instead of dragging something out for months and months,” Snyder said.
While the new governor is happy to complete his budget plan early, it’s leaving one former legislative leader a bit envious.
When Republican Leader Mark Bishop was in office during the Jennifer Granholm administration, he never had a chance to see the budget completed early.
How does Bishop feel now that the Republican Leader is doing that alongside a new Republican governor?
“It’s kind of like playing for the Lions for your entire career and retiring the year before they go to the Super Bowl,” Bishop joked.
Synder is expected to sign the budget as soon as it hits his desk.