Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept 24. 2013
State Government Spending Increase is Slap in the Face to Michigan Communities that Have Cut, Cut, Cut
The following statement is from Michigan Municipal League President Jacqueline Noonan about a new state House Fiscal Agency (HFA) report released this month. According to published news stories today, the HFA report shows state government spending has increased 1 percent a year since 2004, even as local governments across Michigan have continued to cut spending in nearly all areas. The HFA report amplifies the findings of a new Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) study released on Monday. The CRC study found that while state government spending increased by 26.3 percent over the past decade, during that same period state legislatures and governors cut and kept more than $5 billion that — by law — was supposed to go to local governments in the form of “statutory revenue sharing.” While the state took the money and used it to protect the state budget, local governments across Michigan were forced to cut their budgets and 16.6 percent of their jobs.
“Local units of government have continued to tighten their belts and have made really difficult financial decisions in the last decade, even as the state has increased spending and balanced its budget largely on the backs of local communities,” said Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan, the newly elected President of the Michigan Municipal League. “Our local communities have made substantial cuts in local police and fire protection and other essential services. We’ve reduced our spending in every area possible, cut or eliminated services, reduced our office hours, and the number of police officers and firefighters on the streets. It’s very disheartening to see that while local governments across Michigan have made substantial sacrifices the state apparently has not. In fact, the state has continued to grow spending in large part by cutting statutory revenue sharing to local communities.
“It is time for the state to restore revenue sharing cuts that have devastated local communities and to end the decade-long disinvestment in our cities, which are the economic drivers of Michigan. It’s time for the state to stop cutting local government revenue sharing to backfill and increase spending on the state budget.”
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.