LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Minority Vice Chair Jon Bumstead on Wednesday urged legislators to strive for fiscal responsibility as they move forward in the annual budget process following a March report from the Senate Fiscal Agency.
“In short, we can see our key revenue streams are showing signs of a slowing economy,” said Bumstead, R-North Muskegon. “The people of Michigan cannot afford to bear the cost of the largest budget in state history as presented by the governor earlier this year. It is imperative that the Legislature pass a fiscally responsible budget that funds our shared priorities and does not squander taxpayer dollars at unsustainable levels.”
The agency reported that the state’s major taxes and net lottery revenue were down 21.5% from a year ago, March tax collections were approximately $104.5 million below previous projections, General Fund tax collections were $87.1 million below expected levels, and the School Aid Fund tax collections came in $14.7 million under forecasts.
“Current numbers now project our state could face a near $1 billion deficit if we rubber-stamped the governor’s record-setting $79 billion budget proposal,” Bumstead said. “That would be a travesty for Michigan taxpayers and a failure of duty on part of the Legislature considering we began this year with a multibillion-dollar surplus. The people of this state deserve better.
“I look forward to working with my fellow legislators and the governor to rein in her overzealous wish list and responsibly fund the important priorities we have in common, such as investing in education, improving our roads and infrastructure, providing for public safety, and paying down our debts.”