Michigan State Capitol picture

The Michigan Legislature on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill to lift a new July 1 deadline by which it is supposed to send a budget to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The legislation, which she plans to sign, would delay the requirement until 2021 due to uncertainty over a revenue shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan’s fiscal year does not start until Oct. 1. While lawmakers typically try to finalize the spending plan months in advance, the true deadline is Sept. 30.

Brian G. Long portrait

The economy is in a recession. However, there are indications in the May Supply Management Research survey that a slow recovery is underway in West Michigan.

The West Michigan economy is slowly reopening after businesses were ordered closed back in March disrupting the spread of coronavirus.

“We’re starting to dig ourselves out of a very deep hole. So, we can’t expect miracles overnight. But it’s gratifying at least to say that we’ve probably reach the bottom and are at least starting to recover.”

Dr. Paul Isely, 2020 Economic Forecast, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI
Valerie Wojciechowski / gvsu.edu

The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, as 20.5 million jobs vanished in the worst monthly loss on record. What can be made of the data as some state’s begin reopening their economies and Michigan’s manufacturers come back online?

“The change from one month to the next month is mindboggling. The number of people who lost jobs between the beginning of March and April.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer portrait

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed a $61.9 billion state budget, including what she says would be the biggest increase for Michigan classroom operations in 20 years. The plan unveiled Thursday would boost overall spending by 3.9%. The Democrat proposes increasing base per-student funding by $225, or 2.8%, for most schools. She also proposes a $60 million boost for special education and a $60 million increase for academically at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer 2019 State of the State Address

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan will borrow $3.5 billion to rebuild state highways and bridges over five years. She calls it a responsible way to start fixing deteriorating roads after the Republican-led Legislature rejected her proposed fuel tax hike. The Democrat unveiled the bonding plan during her second annual State of the State speech on Wednesday. She says it will enable the state to do about twice as much construction on I-, U.S.- and M-numbered routes as it can now.