Proos supports fiscal responsibility measures

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos recently supported fiscal accountability measures to continue long-term budget planning and require complete fiscal reports on a bill’s impact.

Senate Bill 1051 would require the governor to submit a budget for the upcoming fiscal year and the following fiscal year that includes anticipated state revenues, estimates of year-end unrestricted fund balances, and line-item details on specific spending categories. It would also require the governor to present a five-year strategic plan for the state’s operations.

“This reform builds on the initiatives that I have fought for throughout my time in public service,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “In both the House and Senate, I introduced resolutions to take a long-term approach to spending with multi-year budgeting, which would force future leaders to keep their eyes on the bigger picture: continuing to build a better Michigan.”

In 2016, the governor signed Proos’ bill, SB 292, which requires the governor’s budget plan to include the current unfunded accrued liabilities (UAL) for retiree health care and pensions.

“We have reduced our unfunded liabilities and put Michigan on pace to eliminate that debt,” Proos said. “We must now ensure that future leaders understand the state’s debt situation and how to protect residents’ hard-earned pensions as well as the fiscal health of our state.”

House Bill 4679 would require the House and Senate fiscal agencies to prepare a fiscal note for each bill that is scheduled for a hearing before a standing committee and to update their analysis as necessary as the bill moves through the process. The note would need to include a summary of a bill’s changes to the law, its effect on state taxes or fees, and its potential impact on local governments and on state revenues and expenditures.

“The legislative process can be complex, and this will ensure that lawmakers always have access to the necessary and complete fiscal information on how every bill under consideration impacts state revenues, spending and taxpayers,” Proos said.

“Since 2011, we have made great strides to improve Michigan’s economy and financial situation,” Proos said. “Michigan now has a growing economy that is creating jobs. We also ended annual budget deficits and adopted responsible and balanced budgets that continue to increase our investment in education and roads while paying down debt.

“These reforms are about ensuring that future state leaders continue current best practices and have the vital fiscal information needed to make wise decisions impacting Michigan families.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.