LANSING (AP) – Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s budget director yesterday presented the state House and Senate Appropriations committees with the governor’s plan to fill a $158 million shortfall in the state’s $8.9 billion general fund budget.
Michigan’s state universities and community colleges will see their state funding reduced by 1.5 percent in the executive order, with $25.5 million of that coming from universities and $4.8 million from community colleges.
The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted the executive order 15-0, and the House Appropriations Committee approved it 24-7.
House members voting against the order all were Republicans, including some who expressed concern that the state police and corrections reductions might compromise public safety.
The executive order will trim $141.1 million from spending, mainly by cutting $76 million from state agencies and reducing money for state universities and the Life Sciences Corridor.
It also proposes $8.1 million in savings that must be approved by the Legislature – including a $1.1 million reduction in judicial spending and a $2.1 million cut in the legislative branch.
About $25.5 million of the shortfall will be filled by transferring money from restricted funds to the general fund, the state’s main checkbook. The appropriations committees had up to 10 days to approve or reject the order, but they couldn’t make any changes to it.
With the adoption of the executive order, state general fund spending has been reduced twice since the budget year began Oct. 1, 2002. That reduction includes $460 million in cuts made in a similar budget-cutting measure by former Republican Gov. John Engler late last year.
The cuts in Granholm’s plan include $26.9 million from the Family Independence Agency, nearly $17 million from community health, $4 million from the Michigan State Police’s overall $411 million budget and $7.9 million from the Corrections Department’s total $1.6 billion budget.