Shirkey to host town hall in Coldwater on state budget

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LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey is hosting a free, public town hall on the state budget next Monday, May 1 in Coldwater.

The event will include a Senate budget analyst to help explain the budget process and answer questions residents may have.

“Our goal is to help explain how the state budget is different from the federal budget, to provide an overview of the different types of funds the state receives and to provide information on various budgets,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “If you’re wondering about things like how school funding is doing, what amount your community is getting from the roads bills, or how our state’s rainy day fund affects us, this is the town hall for you.”

The town hall will be held on Monday, May 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Community Center Conference Room of the Community Health Center of Branch County at 274 E. Chicago St. in Coldwater.

Shirkey said that those who attend the town hall will hear about:
•    The difference between the state and federal budgets;
•    Michigan’s overall tax policy;
•    The difference between general, restricted, and federal funds;
•    How much the communities in Branch County will receive as part of the roads package;
•    The increased spending on public schools and how much has been applied to retirement benefits;
•    How the state has reduced long-term unfunded liabilities;
•    Restricted spending, how it has grown, and what it is going toward;
•    How there has not been runaway growth in state spending;
•    Michigan’s rainy day fund, how it can be used, and where it is headed; and
•    Budget issues Michigan will face in the near future, such as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).

“All are welcome to come and get answers to these questions as we review the state’s budget together,” Shirkey said.

For more information, contact Shirkey’s office at 1-517-373-5932.