The House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees began working in earnest this week to send their recommendations to the full Appropriations committees. As they work to get initial budget activity completed in each chamber prior to the Spring Recess, the House and Senate General Government subcommittees each reported their budget versions, including revenue sharing, this week. Both subcommittee chairs stayed close to the Governor’s original recommendation…Constitutional revenue sharing payments are set to experience a $23.8 million increase, based upon estimated sales tax growth, while Statutory payments are recommended to remain flat with the current year at $243 million.
In a twist on the Governor’s proposal though, the House chose to retain one-time funding from the current budget to continue statutory payments to 100 additional townships that had not received funding in the prior budget. To come up with the $5+ million necessary to keep these townships, the House inexplicably reduced the City of Detroit’s statutory payment. The Senate also maintained these additional 100 townships, but only to the extent that they held them harmless from experiencing an overall reduction when factoring in their increased Constitutional payment. This proposal required an additional $424,000 be added to the statutory revenue sharing line in the Senate’s version of the budget. The Senate version also includes $10 million towards a statewide purchase of new election/voting equipment to be purchased for local communities in conjunction with the Secretary of State. They came up with the revenue for these increases by shifting dollar from different fund sources at MI Economic Development Corporation and reducing IT spending increases that the Governor had recommended for the state Dept of Technology, Management and Budget.
Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 4090 will likely be considered before their respective Appropriations committees next week, with floor action to follow. We expect the two chambers to try and position all of the budgets for final negotiation following the May 15th revenue estimating conference.
Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304and [email protected]