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Politics

Budgets churning out of committees with less than governor asked for

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State spending plans are moving swiftly through the legislature. A number were voted on last week, many of them with deep cuts from what the governor asked for.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services would get 180 million dollars less than the governor asked for. That’s if the budget is approved by the full House and Senate and gets signed by the governor.

The budget scales back or gets rid of a number of proposals in Governor Snyder’s proposed budget.

Democratic Representative Pam Faris voted against it. She says they should have put more money towards programs that do things like give clothes and shoes to children in need.

“There’s a number of things that we just could have made much, much better in this budget had we used the amount of money we had.

One department with a significant cut was environmental quality. Chris Kolb is the president of the Michigan Environmental Council.

“It’s still a, you know, nine and a half million dollar cut which will have real impact on the department and on our local communities on addressing environmental issues in Michigan.”

The Department of Corrections would get several million dollars less than the governor asked for. Republican Senator John Proos chairs the committee that oversees prison spending. He says the reduction in inmates means they can do more with less.

Chris Gautz disagrees. He’s a spokesperson for the department.

“We already have close to 600 officer vacancies around the state. So there’s a lot of other programs that we wanna make sure that we can maintain. We can’t say with right now, whether or not we can do that or not. We want – something we wanna continue to look at.”

Gautz says while there has been a reduction in the prison population, the department isn’t ready yet to make cuts this steep.