Schuitmaker urges ‘cautious optimism’ over revenue forecast

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LANSING, Mich.—The State’s May Revenue Estimating Conference expects the state General Fund and School Aid Fund to see slight increases in revenue in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

“We need to be cautiously optimistic about these numbers. It will be important over the next few weeks to resist the temptation to spend this money without carefully looking at some of our other obligations,” said Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “People need to understand that Michigan still has significant outstanding debt.

“The Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System currently has a $45 billion unfunded liability. Michigan still owes the federal government $3 billion for loans made to our unemployment insurance system, and the rainy day fund is still bone dry.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Michigan still has an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent (April 20, 2012) while the United States still has an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent (April 20, 2012).

“Times are still tight here in Michigan and around our country,” Schuitmaker said. “Our state is on the right track but many more difficult decisions will need to be made in the future to create jobs in our state and improve the economy.”

For a full report, please visit the Senate Fiscal Agency website at www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa.