Michigan Senate, House pare Gov. Rick Snyder's proposed budget
LANSING — Republicans in the state House of Representatives and Senate have been taking a machete to Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed 2017-18 budget, whacking $300 million so far in hopes of funding other priorities such as paying down debt, investing more money in roads and bridges, and giving Michigan residents a tax break.
"Some of my caucus want tax relief, some want to do infrastructure, some want to fix other issues, so we have some work to do. My preference is that we end off in a much better spot when we pay down more debt,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive. “We’re just trying to find a way to come underneath the governor’s recommendation so we have options."
Snyder has submitted a $56.3-billion budget proposal. Both legislative chambers are controlled by Republicans, who have a 27-11 majority in the Senate and a 63-46 edge in the House.
The state has debt of roughly $52 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree pensions and health care for teachers and other state employees, as well as $7.3 billion in outstanding bonded debt for things such as higher education buildings and other capital outlay projects.