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Michigan receives almost $20 billion more than expected for next fiscal budget

Phillip Hofmeister

The state of Michigan is flush with funds as Governor Gretchen Whitmer and members of her administration are drafting their next state budget proposal.

A state board determined on Friday, Jan 14 that the governor and the legislature have almost 20 billion dollars more than anticipated to work with over the next few fiscal years.

Rachel Eubanks is the state treasurer. She says a lot of that money comes from federal recovery funds, but that Michiganders also changed their buying habits. They purchased more goods, which are typically taxed, and spent less on services, most of which are not.

“Our revenues are in a great position," Eubanks said. "However, most of the strength in those revenues is transitory. These revenues present opportunities for the state. However, as we move forward, we must be thoughtful and deliberative about our policy choices.”

Chris Harkins is the governor’s budget director. He says the ups and downs of COVID will affect these predictions, but that the state has a real opportunity to invest in its' infrastructure.

"We’re going to see areas where we can provide support for education, clean water, jobs," Harkins said. "That will all be part of the plan as we go forward, and I think we’ll also see some of that as we kick off the State of the State in a few weeks.”

Governor Whitmer will outline her plans later this month in her State of the State address on Jan 26. Shortly after that, she will formally present her proposed budget to the Legislature.