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Public Safety, Education Get Boost In Snyder Budget Plan

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Law enforcement agencies and Michigan schools would get a financial boost through Gov. Rick Snyder’s new budget proposal.

The Republican governor detailed a spending proposal Thursday mostly geared toward the budget year that begins Oct. 1. The Legislature will work on the budget plan over the next several months.

Public safety is a major issue in Michigan because the state has lost more than 3,000 law enforcement officers in the past decade. Snyder also noted in his recent State of the State address that Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw rank among the nation’s top 10 in violent crime.

Much of Snyder’s broad proposal aims to help high-crime communities. His plan allots about $50 million more to public safety. That money will help raise the Michigan State Police budget by 16 percent and will boost MSP presence.

Snyder said, however, the answer is not just about the law enforcement.

“The best way to prevent crime is to have people have a job. So, there’s a significant element to this relating to jobs and kids,” he said. “There’s $15 million for programs to be designed to address the structurally  unemployed in high-risk areas. There’s $5 million for at-risk youths.”

 Snyder is proposing more money for education.

It would mean a 3 percent increase in funding to state universities and community colleges and a 1 percent increase for K-12.

But there are strings attached.

“We’re gonna set this up on a performance-based system of how many degrees or certificates they give for critical skill areas,” Snyder said. “For universities we have four metrics: degree completions, degree completions in critical skill areas, number of students that are Pell grant students and then tuition restraint.”

Meantime for K-12 schools to tap into the cash, they’ll need students to achieve certain test scores. They’ll also have to offer things like schools of choice, online learning and dual enrollment for college courses.

Democrats welcome additional investment, but some question whether the governor’s plan is aggressive enough.

- View Snyder’s complete budget plan (.pdf format) -

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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