Senate Republicans balance budget without raising taxes - vote no on governor's $1.5 billion tax plan
LANSING - State Sen. Mark Jansen and members of the Republican caucus Thursday took the first step in working to solve the state's $942 million budget deficit and also voted down the governor's tax increase.
"Since arriving in Lansing just 81 days ago I have seen the gravity of Michigan's budget situation," said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. "The administration overspent by $85 million last fiscal year and we faced a $942 million deficit at the beginning of this year. Today we voted to help move Michigan forward and take the first step on the long road to economic recovery. We can now start focusing on our future."
Earlier in the day, Jansen and his Appropriations Committee colleagues voted to accept the governor's executive order which offered some cuts but still left the state with a $600 million hole in the budget. Republicans then offered up their own legislation, outlining numerous spending reductions to address the FY 2007 budget gap.
"Today, Senate Republicans showed bold leadership and a commitment to helping Michigan regain its financial footing. We accomplished a resolution to the 2007 budget deficit without asking Michigan families and job providers to shoulder the burden of the governor's $1.5 billion tax increase," said Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester. "Balancing the state's '07 budget deficit without asking residents and businesses to pay more will require all of us to make painful sacrifices, but we believe it's the right action to take. The budget solution we've put forth looks out for the long-term interests of the people of Michigan."
The Senate Republican plan:
Reduces government - The Senate GOP plan reduces the size of state government, starting with a 4-percent cut to the Michigan Legislature's budget, as well as a 4-percent reduction to most state departments.
Protects public safety - Senate Republicans restored the funds necessary to prevent state police trooper layoffs, and our plan doesn't advocate additional prison closures or the release of more than 5,000 convicted felons.
Keeps education a top priority - Senate Republicans worked directly with school officials to preserve the School Aid Fund and recommended a modest per pupil decrease of $34 - less than half of one percent of the total foundation allowance, while maintaining funding for essential services such as assistance for schools with declining enrollment, programs for at-risk students, adult education, and after school programs.
Looks out for Michigan families and job providers - Senate Republicans refused to ask Michigan businesses and families to bear the brunt of the governor's proposed $1.5 billion tax increase to solve a $942 million budget deficit. We balanced the FY 2007 budget without raising taxes.
The Senate will now begin work on the FY 2008 budget.
Posted: Friday, March 23, 2007
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