On Wednesday, January 5, Governor Snyder rolled out his budget recommendation for an overall state budget of $52.1 billion. The proposal calls for some extensions in a handful of fee sunsets, but doesn’t raise any taxes or fees outside a recommendation of a $1 to $2 fee to motor vehicle records for some improvements to the state’s website.
Earlier this year, the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Office projected that Michigan would see “better than expected” tax revenues to the tune of an additional $971 million. As expected, infrastructure was one of the most discussed areas in which that surplus money could be spent. Although the governor did recommend putting more money into our transportation system over and above what our traditional revenue sources bring in, it wasn’t as significant as what the surplus brings in. Governor Snyder believes, as MITA does, that one-time solutions from the general fund are not the answer to our funding woes and that the legislature should be focusing on a long-term sustainable solution to improving our transportation system.
The governor called for an additional $139 million in General Fund money to put towards ensuring that Michigan receives its full federal funding match and another $115 million in General Fund money to go towards road projects. This is similar to the $115 of additional money added to last year’s budget that was put into place on October 1 last year. Unlike last year however, Governor Snyder suggested that the additional $115 million go through the basic funding formula instead of being subject to legislative approval as the extra surplus money was last year.
MITA reminded the governor and legislature in a statement that we appreciated the governor’s continued focus on finding a sustainable long-term funding solution, but that this is a one-time increase that falls short of the overall annual need to maintain our system, which is reaching almost $2 billion per year.
From here, the House and Senate Appropriation Committees will begin to put together their recommendations for the state’s budget, which will have some changes in priorities that the governor may have had. They may, for example, take more of the additional surplus money and put it towards our infrastructure.
As the Appropriation Sub-Committees on Transportation in the House and Senate deliberate and make their push for various issues in the transportation budget, we will continue to update the membership.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at email@example.com or call him at 517-347-8336.