Gov. Snyder unveils $50.9 billion state budget

8:53 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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Courtesy: Detroit Free Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder is asking Michigan lawmakers to raise the gas tax, expand Medicaid to more uninsured and put more money into early childhood education.

The Republican governor on Thursday unveiled his proposed $50.9 billion budget to lawmakers who sit on budget committees.

A major piece includes a call to raise the state gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 33 cents and increase vehicle registration fees to fix ailing roads and bridges. Snyder says doing nothing will cost Michigan more down the line.

A typical family would pay $120 more per car each year if the changes go into effect.

Snyder argues that not extending Medicaid would harm people who are too poor to qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance offered through online exchanges.

Snyder's budget: More Mich. state police troopers

Gov. Rick Snyder is calling for additional state funding to put more Michigan State Police troopers on the streets.









The Republican governor laid out his budget proposal Thursday. It includes putting $15.2 million toward training an additional 107 troopers in the Michigan State Police Training Academy. His plan also calls investing $18 million to train up to 790 corrections officers.

Snyder also is proposing adding $2 million to the state's mental health courts. Michigan currently has nine mental health courts and Snyder's proposal would allow for the creation of additional courts.
Public safety was also a major focus of Snyder's budget proposal last year. In 2012, Snyder called for a 16 percent funding boost for the Michigan State Police from the state's general fund.

Snyder plans to expand dental care for Mich. kids

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to expand an initiative to provide more low-income Michigan children with dental care.

The Republican governor is calling for $11.6 million in the state's budget to expand the Healthy Kids Dental program. Snyder's plan would cover an additional 70,500 children in Ottawa, Ingham and Washtenaw counties. Snyder revealed his budget proposal for lawmakers Thursday for fiscal year 2014 that begins Oct. 1.

The Healthy Kids Dental program is partnership between the Michigan Department of Community Health and Delta Dental of Michigan. It provides Medicaid-eligible Michigan residents under the age of 21 with dental benefits.

There governor's office says 440,000 Michigan children are currently enrolled in the Healthy Kids Dental program.

Snyder calls for creation of natural disaster fund

Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing setting aside state funds to use in the case of natural disasters such as forest fires, tornadoes and floods.









Snyder is calling for $4 million in the budget for fiscal year 2014 that begins Oct. 1 to create a Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund. The Republican governor's plan would also add $4 million to the fund in fiscal year 2015.

The emergency fund would allow Michigan to be financially ready to respond in the case of a natural disaster or state emergency, according to Snyder's proposal.

Last year, the Duck Lake fire in the Upper Peninsula's Luce County burned nearly 33 square miles of land and destroyed 136 homes, cabins and recreational vehicles.

Snyder wants higher hunting, fishing license fees

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder wants to raise some of Michigan's hunting and fishing license fees.









The Republican governor included the fee increases in his proposed budget released Thursday. They are part of a broader plan to boost funding of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which manages forests, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs.

Snyder's plan calls for creating a new "base" hunting license that would cost $10 for most in-state residents. Additional fees would be charged for hunting particular animals, such as deer, turkey and bear.

DNR Director Keith Creagh says the increases would raise $18 million in new revenue. Snyder also is requesting more money for the DNR in the state general fund. If legislators approve the plan, the department could hire 41 additional conservation officers.

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