Snyder's budget proposal: Where's the 'shared sacrifice?'
February 17, 2011 - Gov. Rick Snyder’s call for “shared sacrifice,” delivered in his first state budget proposal, was unconvincing in light of the fact it would hurt children and seniors while giving $1.8 billion in tax breaks to corporations.
The proposed budget makes historic cuts to public education – the plan includes a 4.1 percent reduction to per pupil foundation grants for K-12 schools and a 15 percent reduction for higher education. It would also tax private and public pensions.
“Gov. Snyder says he wants to create jobs,” said Doug Pratt, director of public affairs for MEA. “You don’t do that by slashing funding to schools that are preparing our children for the workforce. We need real, balanced solutions that can move Michigan and our economy forward.”
The proposal also demands $180 million in concessions from state employees, with implications for all public education employees. And, it recommends (but does not mandate) schools outsource non-instructional services and increase employee contributions toward health insurance.
Snyder, a millionaire former corporate executive who said it was “only fair” that he share the sacrifices he was asking of Michigan citizens, announced Thursday that he would receive a $1 annual salary this year.
The budget proposal fails to provide a balanced approach to Michigan’s financial crisis; if enacted, essential services, including quality schools and public safety, will be at risk, which will have a negative impact on business.
Instead of mortgaging our children’s future to give $1.8 billion in tax cuts for big business and other special interests, Gov. Snyder should implement real, balanced solutions -- like those proposed in MEA’s A+ Agenda -- that can help Michigan be a leader in education.
Snyder’s budget is on the fast track -- Snyder wants the plan enacted by May 31. Some appropriations subcommittees have already announced hearings starting next week.
Stay tuned for more budget news. MEA staff and leaders are analyzing the budget proposal and we’ll provide updates as necessary.
To read MEA’s A+ Agenda, go to www.mea.org/A+.
Updated: March 30, 2011