Governor's Blog: Top 10 Highlights in the 2013 Budget

 

June 26, 2012
By Governor Rick Snyder

In Washington, D.C., politicians have brought the federal government to the brink of a fiscal cliff resulting from massive overspending and deficits as far as the eye can see. Many states across the country are facing a similar financial nightmare, but that's not the story here in Michigan where for the second year in a row we have reached a budget agreement well ahead of schedule while also saving for the future, cutting taxes, and providing valuable services to the people of the state.

What's in the budget for Michigan voters? Here's a Top Ten list of some of the most important parts.

 

  1. The budget is balanced and it's done on time for the second year in a row. 
  2. More than 75 percent of the $49 billion budget is devoted to education and health and human services. 
  3. Michigan is saving for the future: $140 million was deposited into the rainy day fund for future emergencies, bringing the total fund to $504.9 million - the largest balance in more than 10 years. 
  4.  Much-need tax relief is only months away. The personal income tax rate will be reduced from 4.35 to 4.25 percent as of October 1, well ahead of schedule. On top of that, the personal exemption will increase from $3,700 per person to $3,950 per person on October 1, too. 
  5. Public safety will be strengthened with the funding of two schools to increase troopers by 180, while funding will be implemented for 20 new forensic science personnel at State Police laboratories. In addition, mental health court funding will be increased by $2.1 million. 
  6. Needy children will receive greater support. The rate paid to foster and adoptive parents will increase by $3 per day for living expenses for foster and adopted children, and 577 full-time employees for child welfare services will be added in the Department of Human Services. 
  7. Funding for education is increased. K-12 education spending will increase by $200.5 million over current levels with performance funding and best practices included, and community colleges and universities will receive a 3 percent increase in funding with measures aimed at keeping college costs down. 
  8. Health care will get a boost, too. Some 91,000 additional children will receive good dental care, $49.1 million will fund the diagnosis and treatment of autism, $11.8 million will be allotted to reduce the number of individuals on the waiting list for the MIChoice home-and-community-based waiver program, and $7 million will be spent on health and wellness initiatives. 
  9. Cities, villages, townships and counties aren't being left behind, either. They will receive nearly $1.1 billion through revenue sharing payments and local government incentive programs - a 4.8% increase from FY 2012. 
  10. Creating more and better jobs remains a top priority, and this budget includes measures to help unemployed workers get on their feet. A total of $10 million in funding within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be spent on the Community Ventures program to provide employment opportunities for the unemployed in the state's most distressed neighborhoods by supporting skills training, wage subsidies, adult education, mentoring, and other support services.

This budget makes a balanced investment in Michigan's future, and it also continues the sound fiscal principles that we adopted last year. Michigan's citizens and businesses deserve a government that respects their money and works for them. With this budget, they can be sure that their state government has its fiscal house in order.