Inside and outside of Oakland

Michigan May revenue estimates positive; governor's office warns against "kicking the can down the road"

   Michigan's general fund revenues are expected to show improvement of $340 million and the School Aid Fund by $115 million when the May revenue estimating conference is held Monday morning in Lansing.

  The improving revenue estimates were posted on the state website Friday by the House Fiscal Agency and the improving revenues are sure to fuel more debate over state budget cuts, especially to public education, approved by the state Senate Thursday afternoon, as well as tax cuts for businesses and new taxes on pensions.
  The House Fiscal Agency issued its own warning with the estimates saying, "It is important to note that these figures should not be extrapolated to the second half of the fiscal year." The state's fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
  Michigan Budget Director John Nixon issued his own warning urging lawmakers to "resist the urge to kick the can down the road once again."
  In his statement, Nixon said:
  “The released revenue estimates show positive signs toward economic recovery in Michigan. I am encouraged by this good news and think it demonstrates that Michigan is poised and ready for a bright and prosperous future. I would caution, however, that this bright future we all desire can only happen when we remain committed to a balanced budget. We must proceed prudently and ensure we achieve long-term structural balance.
  “Our recommended budget not only gets us truly balanced in 2012, but in 2013 as well. As I’ve said before, remaining committed to this work and principles would place Michigan in one of the strongest financial positions of any state in the country that will pay dividends in both the short and long-term. Decisions to build the 2012 budget with any 2011 surplus would jeopardize that strong position, and only serve to delay needed decisions by another year. We must resist the urge to kick the can down the road once again.”
  The revenue estimating conference Monday begins at 9 a.m.
  The Oakland Press and CMNtv of Troy is holding a televised town hall meeting on the future of public education from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 20, given the recent cuts to public education approved by the Legislature.

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