Reactions to Gov. Rick Snyder's 2013 budget proposal are coming in. Below are some notable excerpts:
State Board of Education President John Austin, D-Ann Arbor: "While Governor Snyder’s budget proposal begins to reverse decimating cuts to pre-K, K-12, and higher education; more strategic investment in education is needed to achieve the performance we are demanding of our schools, colleges, and universities. The path toMichigan creating more jobs and seeing growing incomes again, is to ensure great education is delivered to every young person, our community colleges and public universities are affordable, and allMichigan citizens achieve the post-secondary degrees needed to find a place, or create their own job, in today’s economy.
"I welcome the governor's modest proposals for rewarding school, community college and university performance, and particularly appreciate the Governor’s budget reflects some of the important strategic investment priorities recommended by the State Board of Education: support for college access, dual enrollment and early colleges; help defray mounting costs of employee health care; incent school shared services and consolidation; and provide additional needed resources to the Michigan Department of Education to implement school improvement, charter school and performance funding legislation. http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-5373_5379-267577--,00.html ..."
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe: "This morning the Governor presented a transparent and complete budget plan for our state that holds government accountable.Michigan is trending in a positive direction, unemployment is declining and our state has been recognized as a place where job providers can expand and locate. Now, it is critical that we remain on that path for the future of our state."
ArtServe Michigan President Jennifer H. Goulet: "The Governor’s budget proposal sends a strong message that the arts and culture matter toMichigan and that our creative industries are a vital part ofMichigan’s economy and reinvention strategies. The presence of a vibrant arts and cultural scene is critical to makingMichigan’s communities places that attract and retain talent and business investment, and make our cities great places to live, work and visit.”
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing: “The Governor promised us solutions, but instead his budget only gives us empty gestures designed to disguise the damage this administration has done toMichigan’s public schools. The budget he is proposing for our K-12 schools amounts to putting a drop of water into a bucket he’s already cut a hole out of. It does nothing to solve the real problem he’s created.”
State Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Brighton: "It's essential that funding dollars are now tied with performance and best practices to incentivize all school districts to find ways to improve to benefit students in the long term. Having accountability and efficiency as a criteria for state funding will help continue to revitalize our state and keep us on the right track to benefit future generations."
Summer Minnick, director of state affairs, Michigan Municipal League: “For local communities and the residents who rely on them for services, the governor’s 2013 budget proposal is a modest improvement after years of devastating reductions. The state finds itself in the enviable position of having a significant budget surplus today. This surplus is due in part because sales taxes collected locally continue to increase. The proposed 2013 budget increases revenue sharing/EVIP (Economic Vitality Incentive Program), funds by $10 million. These are dollars needed for essential local services. This follows a decade where there were over $5 billion in reduced funding to these vital services ..."
AARP Michigan State Director Jacqueline Morrison: “While we have not studied all the details in the governor’s budget proposal, there are a few items in the plan that AARP believes will improve the lives of seniors. The spending blueprint includes $255 million – including $60 million from utility rates -- for home heating assistance to low-income families. This plan apparently sets up a permanent fund to help vulnerable seniors and others pay their utility bills and keep the heat on during the winter. The budget calls for $14 million in increased support for home and community-based care that will allow more seniors to age in place. ..."