Skubick: State sees budget surplus; more growth in forecast

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Some good economic news out of the state capitol today with the state having more money that it thought it had.

Now the question is what lawmakers will do with a $500 million surplus.

State Senator Dave Hildenbrand says “Well, there’s going to be a lot of ideas on how to spend it.”

Reporter: “When your colleagues find out there’s $500 million sitting there what’s happens”

“Well there’s going to be a lot of ideas on how to spend it.”

The state’s top bean counters were sifting the numbers and they look good.

“Job growth will continue, the unemployment rate suppose to continue to decline so those are two very good things,” said John Roberts, governor’s budget director.
Reporter: ‘Happy days are here again?”
Roberts: “I don’t know about, you heard some of them say that the growth could be stronger and we feel the same way but we’re glad personal income growth is going to continue for, for individual citizens

The economic indicators are enough to put some persons to sleep, but the bulk of the lobbyists and others in the room have their eye on spending the extra cash.

“It would be irresponsible for us just to spend it so I think it will be important that we put a significant amount that I don’t know that number yet, a significant amount away in our savings account,” said State Senator Dave Hildebrand (R), senate budget chair.

The Snyder administration does not want to spend it all and neither does the Republican chair of the Senate budget committee.

“It would be irresponsible just to spend it,” claims Sen. David Hildenbrand. “So I think it will be important that we put a significant amount away in our savings account.”

There will be pressure to spend part of the money on the Flint water problem plus pressure to buy down the Detroit school deficit and use the money to fix the roads.

“I’m gonna be a little cautious about uh um opening up the check book right away,” said State Rep. Al Pscholka (R), House Budget Chair.

The state treasurer knows that what goes up economically in Michigan always comes down.

“We don’t know when it will go down but certainly for the next couple of years our best guess is the economy will continue to expand and the unemployment in the state will continue to decline,” said Nick Khouri (R), house budget chair.

Every special interest group will look at the numbers and begin to map strategy for trying to get a piece of it.

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