Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

$440m State deficit looming

3. December 2004 • Murph
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The State of Michigan is facing a $440 million deficit, much of which will probably be made up for by cuts to revenue sharing with local governments and cuts to higher education funding.

The Detroit News reports on possible impacts:

Revenue sharing—money the state gives to counties and communities—has taken a $429 million, 27 percent cut over the past three years; it may be in line for another reduction.

Embittered by consecutive years of slashed state revenue funds, municipal leaders who have been forced to reduce basic services from fire protection to library hours say additional cuts from the state would leave their communities in extreme distress.

Presidents of Michigan’s 15 public universities, whose state appropriation already has been cut from $1.6 billion to $1.4 billion over the last five years, are hoping lawmakers won’t respond to the problem by slashing their funding again.
. . .
“We’re now at the point, no doubt, at which any more cuts will start to have an impact on our core mission of teaching and research,” said Daniel Hurley, director of university relations and administrative services for the Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan.

Meanwhile, the article notes, the Michigan Department of Corrections, which houses 50,000 prisoners in State facilities, is expected to receive a funding increase of about $40 million, bringing their budget to $1.74 billion. It also says that the Dept. of Corrections is planning to help manage its budget by, among other methods, passing lower-level criminals down to County jails for housing. Recall that the Washtenaw County Jail is currently asking for $300 million from County voters in order to expand capacity and programs.