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The Michigan Municipal League is hosting public forums talking about the state’s system for funding municipalities that it believes is broken. The MML says mayors have consolidated services saving taxpayer dollars but more needs to be done.

During its Save MI City stop in Grand Rapids, WGVU spoke with the Michigan Municipal League about the fallout from the Great Recession and how decreases in revenue sharing are impacting cities across the state.

Lake Michigan photo
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

A group representing Great Lakes region mayors in the U.S. and Canada is sounding the alarm against potentially drastic cuts to an ecological recovery initiative for the Great Lakes.

The Trump administration's potential cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative were reported by the Detroit Free Press last week.

They would slash annual funding for the $300 million program to $10 million.

The initiative combats invasive species, curbs nutrient-fueled algae blooms, cleans up toxic messes and restores sensitive fish and wildlife habitat.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A Republican-led House panel has voted to cut Michigan's income tax and eliminate it over a number of decades despite "serious concerns" lodged by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Supporters say the bill approved 7-4 Wednesday would fulfill a nearly decade-old promise to reduce the 4.25 percent tax to 3.9 percent after it was raised to balance the budget.

Opponents say the tax cut would cost the state $680 million next budget year and $1.1 billion in the first full year at a time general funds are tightening.

Michigan is boosting pay for nursing aides at a troubled state-run nursing home in Grand Rapids.

A legislative budget committee on Tuesday approved $1.8 million more to increase the wages of privately contracted aides at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

The money is included in a $174 million spending plan for the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for the fiscal year that will start in October.

school desks
Public Domain Images | CC BY 2.0 / public-domain-image.com

Michigan's next state budget will help reimburse schools across the state for the cost of testing for lead in the wake of Flint's water crisis.

A legislative budget committee on Tuesday approved spending $4.5 million, with a cap of $950 per school building.

The water testing is voluntary, but many schools have tested for lead after the Flint disaster exposed problems with aging pipes and plumbing fixtures.

The House-Senate panel also voted to continue reimbursing members of the state Board of Education for travel and per-diem expenses.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says he and Republican legislative leaders are close to brokering a budget agreement, with a "fairly short list" of issues left to be resolved.

The Republican governor left a closed-door meeting at the Capitol Tuesday morning and reported "good progress."

Snyder says the budget and talks about restructuring Detroit's ailing school district are "two separate issues."

The House and Senate are at odds over how much to spend on Detroit Public Schools and regulating charter schools in the city.

Budget Money Puzzle Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder's administration projects tax revenues are coming in lower than expected but not as low as what is estimated by legislative economists.

The Michigan Department of Treasury said Tuesday that general and school aid fund revenues will be $122 million less this fiscal year than projected in January. The funds are expected to dip $22 million below a previous estimate for the next budget year.

Snyder's numbers are more optimistic than House and Senate fiscal agency figures.

Two of Michigan's 32 prisons would be closed and prisoners moved to a privately owned facility under a cost-cutting plan approved by the state Senate.

The closures were OK'd 26-11 Wednesday as part of a $38.8 billion general spending bill.

The legislation does not specify which prisons should be shut down.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 23-13 for a $16.1 billion education budget that includes a per-student funding increase ranging from $60 to $120.


Some Michigan lawmakers are concerned that mosquitoes could spread the Zika virus in the state and voted to fund a mosquito abatement program.

A House committee on Wednesday approved an amendment to the state budget to inject $250,000 to set mosquito traps in certain areas of the state and to educate the public about the virus.

The committee unanimously voted to shift money from a Great Lakes restoration fund into the abatement program.

Officials have confirmed two Zika cases in Michigan.

Senate budget plan would close two prisons

Apr 14, 2016
Jail cell
Stefano Mazzone via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia.org

Two prisons would close under a plan adopted Thursday by a state Senate budget subcommittee.

The budget proposal does not specify which prisons would be closed.

That would be up to the Department of Corrections.

The proposal also calls for the state to lease a privately owned prison in the northern Michigan town of Baldwin that’s currently used to house out-of-state inmates.

The move is a response to a decline in the number of prison inmates. The the plan is not supported by Governor Rick Snyder’s administration.