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Hard Budget Choices for Michigan

Ian Scott on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 6:27:54 pm

Leaders from several of Michigan's top business organizations - including the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Michigan Chamber, and the Grand Rapids Chamber - have issued a public call for budget reform. 

Yesterday, following last week's State of the State Address by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, the Detroit Free Press ran an editorial co-authored by Detroit ChamberCEO Dick Blouse and Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance.  The letter praises Gov. Granholm for acknowledging the state's budgetary and economic woes, but calls for real action to help improve the situation.

"The path to economic recovery runs through immediate and meaningful budget reforms that get Michigan's fiscal house in order. Only then can our state truly be a destination for sustained job creation and business investment.

In short, Michigan's economic viability hinges on our elected leaders' commitment to implement long-term, structural budget reforms that break the cycle of deficits and emergency measures to balance the state budget each year."

The group has documented $1.5 billion in possible savings, and suggests looking at reforms to corrections, schools and Medicaid.  A comprehensive list of suggestions is available at www.thecenterformichigan.net.

For the dozens of state budgets in the red, a one time infusion of federal dollars from the economic stimulus package is not a long term solution to fiscal insolvency.  This call for hard choices in Michigan is a step many others may soon need to make.

To read the full editorial, click HERE.

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