Michigan state budget (2012-2013)

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Michigan's legislature finished work on the fiscal year 2013 state budget on June 5, 2012, four months ahead of the constitutional deadline of October 2012, and the governor signed the bills into law on June 26, 2012.

Lawmakers approved a $14.6 billion bill to fund public schools, community colleges and universities in the next year.[1]\ The education bill increased higher education funding by three percent, but did not make up for the 15 percent cuts instituted in fiscal year 2012.[1] The omnibus budget bill became Public Act 200 of 2012. The education budget became Public Act 201 of 2012.

Education and health and human services comprised 75 percent of state budget spending.[2]

Budget highlights included:[1]

  • Raising the minimum per pupil funding amount from $6,846 to $6,966, a $120 increase;[3]
  • Increases for state police training;[1]
  • Increases in health care;[1]
  • Heat assistance for the poor;[1]
  • $130 million into the state's Rainy Day Fund, bringing the account to $505 million, its largest balance in more than a decade; and[1][4]
  • 3 percent increase in funding for community colleges and universities with performance metrics that keep college tuition down.[2]

Education budget

The education budget for fiscal year 2013 raised the minimum per pupil funding amount from $6,846 to $6,966, a $120 increase.[3]

For higher education, universities saw a three percent increase in funding, but the budget required universities to limit tuition and fee increases to no more than four percent. If schools exceeded that limit, they would lose part of their state funding. Increases included:[5]

  • $36 million increase for public universities, to a total of $1.4 billion in state funding; and[5]
  • Community colleges took $10.3 million more, for a total of $294 million.[5]

Legislative proposed budget

The State Senate and House of Representatives approved a $7.5 billion general fund budget, which covered 13 state agencies, on May 31, 2012. The House approved the budget by a vote of 61-49 and the Senate voted 20-16. The education budgets were separate from the general fund budget.[6]

Highlights of the legislative budget included:

  • An additional $25 million for film industry incentives, and the governor said he could agree to the increase;[6]
  • $44 million more for the Michigan State Police, including $18 million for additional troopers and enhanced services in high-crime areas, such as Detroit, Pontiac, Saginaw and Flint;
  • The Rainy Day Fund got a $140 million cash infusion, which could help the state boost its credit rating;
  • $10.8 million in The Department of Corrections budget to restructure the prison system.[6]

Republicans, who controlled the Senate in 2012, planned to spend roughly $150 million less overall than what Governor Snyder proposed for fiscal year 2013 due to lower-than-anticipated tax revenue.[7]

Governor's proposed budget

Governor Snyder unveiled his $48.2 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 on February 9, 2012. Under the proposal, the state's general fund totaled $9.2 billion, while the school aid fund totaled $11.4 billion. The proposed transportation budget totaled $3.3 billion.[8] The budget included a $457 million onetime surplus from 2011 and about $630 million in projected increased revenues for 2012 and 2013. Snyder's plan stocked away $130 million to boost Michigan’s Rainy Day Fund.[9]

It was also the first budget in more than a decade to increase funding for local governments, allocating an extra two percent for constitutional revenue sharing, plus additional money municipalities would compete for based on adopting "best practices."[10]

Highlights of the governor's proposed budget included:

  • Offering $200 million to K-12 school districts that engage in best practices;[8]
  • Increasing funding to state universities by $36.2 million or three percent, with much of it tied to performance incentives and keeping tuition hikes to no more than four percent;[8]
  • $119 million from the general fund to repair roads and bridges;[9]
  • $50 million in increased public safety funding, with a focus on Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw;[8]
  • $209 million for thew newly created Michigan Office of Great Start, which focuses on early childhood education;[8]
  • $195 million to boost the state's economic development efforts, with a special emphasis on "economic gardening."[8]