- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan will slice $102 million from the state budget after legislative committees on Thursday approved Gov. Rick Snyder’s request for the cuts to help compensate for a shortfall in tax revenue.

Snyder’s executive order calling for the cuts could only be considered for approval or disapproval by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, without the option for amendments, and both panels gave their approval.

The House Appropriations Committee also discussed reducing the current fiscal year budget an additional $105 million, which would bring the total in cuts to $207 million. The action came after economists found state revenue is $289 million short of projections, mostly because of large companies cashing in tax credits at a higher rate than expected.

Some of the cuts to state agencies were items no longer needed such as surplus funds for flood disaster assistance.

Other cuts scale back programs or delay their start until the 2016 fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Among those are film incentives, aimed at luring movie and television productions to the state, which will be reduced by $12 million of a total $50 million budget for the current year. The state police trooper school would be reduced from a planned 100 graduates to 60 graduates for the current year.

Several Democrats have expressed concerns that the 2016 fiscal year budget puts $95 million into a state savings account, or rainy day fund, instead of putting that money toward programs receiving cuts this year.

“It just makes no sense to me to put money in a rainy day fund when you could help people,” said Sen. Vincent Gregory, a Southfield Democrat.

The second set of cuts face a lengthy process of approval in both legislative chambers and could be changed with amendments.

But House Appropriations Committee Chairman Al Pscholka, a Stevensville Republican, said, “I think we did a very good job protecting local communities, taking the cuts in Lansing, taking them in departments, not touching K-12, universities, community colleges, or local revenue sharing.”


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