Michigan: No layoffs from federal budget cuts

Automatic federal budget cuts will cost Michigan $150 million in funding for programs such as special education and a clothing allowance for needy kids, but none of state government's 48,000 employees will lose their jobs, the state announced Monday.
AP Wire
Apr 16, 2013

About $20 billion, or 42 percent, of the state's $48 billion budget comes from federal funds — a concern for state officials ever since the automatic spending reductions began taking effect more than six weeks ago.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration said the most significant direct cut is to a program that will not be able to provide about $137 at the start of the school year to each of 21,000 children living with relatives after being removed from their home.

"These kids are already having a really tough time. The amount of money may not sound like a lot to a lot of people, but it can mean a winter coat and boots and backpack," said Karen Holcomb-Merrill, policy director for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

About $59 million in spending cuts are expected in the state budget that ends Sept. 30. Another $91 million in reductions are scheduled in the budget starting Oct. 1.

The state budget office said the cuts represent less than four-tenths of 1 percent of the Michigan budget. Snyder does not intend to offset any of the lost federal money with state funds.

"We support getting the nation's fiscal house in order, though across-the-board cuts like this one are not the way to go about it," the Republican governor said in a statement.

More than one-third of the cuts will be to education. Federal dollars pay for special education services, Title I funds that go to schools with more students in poverty, after-school programs, and career and technical education.

The majority of cuts will be in the form of reduced grants or contracts to local entities. The bigger cuts will be in the state's economic-development fund and the Department of Community Health.

Budget director John Nixon said schools will have to adjust their budgets this summer in time for the start of the academic year. He said Michigan is in a good position to manage the cuts because of tough budget-balancing moves made when Snyder took office, though Democrats have complained that Republicans are not spending enough on K-12 schools.

"The past groundwork we've laid for fiscal responsibility makes Michigan well positioned to adjust and keep moving forward," Nixon said.

Comments

Lanivan

Whew - Michigan dodged a bullet on this one. Only the poorest and most vulnerable of our children will be affected. Praise above and pass the ammo.

Wingmaster

....will not be able to provide about $137 at the start of the school year to each of 21,000 children living with relatives after being removed from their home. I got an idea, why don't every Lib that voted for Odrama, whose lack of leadership caused this whack in fed funding, donate an extra dollar directly to the fund to help the most vulnerable children! Case closed, you can all sit around and sing kumbaya about your good deed and pay directly for the vote you cast in November.

Don't like that, too harsh of me you say? How about we take some of these kids hunting, fishing, camping and show them the natural world and teach them how nature works. They'll carry that lesson thru life and be better prepared citizens when they mature into adulthood. I'm willing to bet many of these kids are living #1. In cities that steal a kids soul #2. In broken homes that don't prepare and teach them how to be self sufficient!

You should really stop your bleeding heart and actually do something about it! "Teach your children well" - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Lanivan

Too bad President Obama had to negotiate with Tea Party fiscal hawks. As the brilliant and illustrious leaders of the GOP, they shoulder most of the blame for the job loss of an estimated 700,000 people this year alone, and the cuts to special education and homeless kids in Michigan.

Agree 1001% with your ideas on ways to mentor at-risk kids (and don't be telling me I should "actually do something about it" when you have no idea of the degree of involvement I might have). My experience is that West Michigan is very generous with time, money, and other resources to lend a helping hand to the neediest of children in the area. But the fact is there are so many of them after the Great Recession - families that were already living on the edge were on the first line of defense, and suffered the greatest casualties. The callous and idiotic comment by one of our legislators illustrates the priorities of our state government - they make sure they receive the 2nd highest wages in the country next to California, but cut aid to special education and homeless kids.

Hope this helps you to.."Open Eyes", Taylor Swift.

Wingmaster

Agree, mentoring kids is what is needed in our society today. Agree, our legislators should take a cut in pay. Check.

Now, because you are supporting the weakest leader in modern times you are finding yourself blaming everybody and everything for his ineptness. Don't you get tired of coming of for excuses for this guy? According to other comments you have made, we are humming along economically under this President yet our children, ah yes the children, are in deep despair? How can this be? The recession is over, wall street is humming, jobs have been created and life is good.

I'm tired of this crap. Everything is a political football for this guy and his minions. His go to strategy is to not lead and then just blame others for any issue big or small that comes from his lack of leadership. Worse yet, he does not inspire Americans he pits them against each other by race, religion and economic status.

We are a tough, good people. I hope we can survive his inept occupation of the peoples house in Washington. I hope we can get back to the days of "American Pie" -Don Mclean

Lanivan

Wing - your choice of American Pie is like an epiphany! You, others, and especially Vlad, have written poignantly about the era that McLean describes - a time of apparent happiness, affluence, and the relative political calm of the 1950's. His song ends with the assassination of JFK, which indeed ushered in the political and social upheaval in which we still find ourselves. But you know the old adage - you can never go back.

Why is it that corporations are sitting on $4.6 trillion in cash, making record-breaking profits, the DOW is at a historical high, and yet we must cut out providing coats for homeless children in order to balance the budget just a few years after the worst recession in 80 years has catapulted families into the poverty pan? I'll tell you - the ever-surging degree of wealth inequality that is now spiraling out of control.

People love to wrap themselves in the comforting and contradictory cocoon of Barack-bashing to explain it all. Fine. Have at it. Just bear in mind it does not even come close to actually explaining or rectifying the problems. "Close My Eyes Forever", Leta Ford.

Wingmaster

We are in the 5th year of the chosen ones anointment. I will continue to bash this do nothing President until he owns up to his record and people wake up and see the damage he is doing. I agree, corporations are sitting on their money. Why? Surely by now, as you unknowingly make my point, it is his fault that corporations are sitting on their money. What do you do in your personal budget when your unsure of future expenses? That's right, if your responsible, you sit (bank) on your money until its clearer what your future expenditures and bills will be! You may sit on your money because of lack of confidence in the economic environment. It is the effects of Obummers policies that is keep money on the sidelines.

It is you, the Liberals who with a Obama bandana wrapped around your eyes, keep telling us that peeing on the dinner plate of the country is a good thing? Well guess what, I'm not going to sit here while you proclaim that's a good thing. We need strong healthy business in this country to provide jobs, goods, and services. No company will hire when they are not making profits that allow them to expand and grow. Why is that concept so hard to understand? Unfortunately for us our president was not schooled in this model, he never has had to perform in this model and is schooled in Keynesian economics. Look it up. We are in trouble people. Many citizens are too busy on the thread mill of life to follow what's slowly happening.

I also will not let you continue to throw out the tired story of the children, oh the children that suffer. That drama doesn't play and its a sick ploy of the left and Odrama and a clear example of a weak leader. If children are going without all important fed funding that could be fixed without making an issue of it. But now that would not move a political agenda would it. Political theatre. That's all we get with this president. This country is more divided then ever because of it. Another political promise candidate Obluster has failed to deliver on. Divided country, gridlock in Washington! We got 4 more years of this crap!

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves. " -Abraham Lincoln

Lanivan

Sigh. Get up in my grill much? Whatever you say, Wing. You're wrong, but that's for you to discover on your own, in your own good time. Perhaps never, whatever.

Read some Teddy Roosevelt biographies (if you haven't already). You might find it to be very interesting reading.

horst

What a bunch of crap...everyone should just donate 5% of their income...Problem solve...It's really gonna hurt Joe Biden to give that much.

pike84

lanivan I was thinking the same thing, again we throw our kids under the bus. How about taking a look at some of the fat in our state payrolls and make changes. No wait.....let's go after the kids....they can't do crap about it......yea good idea......Our kids need to start thinking about a revolution because us adults keep screwing them royally!!!!

Lanivan

Right you are. Those little kids aren't going to vote for years, if then.....case closed.

Vladtheimp

Ah, the magisterial "our" children. Sorry, I've never thrown my kids under the bus nor have they been forcibly removed from my house and given to relatives. Why not start by taking $137 dollars from any state and federal benefits being provided to the 42,000 individuals who joined to create these under bus kids?

Next, to make up any shortfall, figure out how much money the feds have forcibly removed from the State of Michigan before churning it through the bloated federal and state bureaucracies before returning $20 billion to the State?

Finally, how about looking at the program that is being cut $150 million - is there not one jot of wasteful spending that can be cut from it? Not a number of useless projects that can be disbanded before taking $137 from each of the underbus kids? Not a few extraneous Diversity pimps and bean counters that couldn't be done away with or furloughed for a couple of days before taking food from the mouths of these rolled-over urchins?

Face it - this is simply another example of Obama (yes Lanivan, Obama) choosing cuts that will cause the most misery so people will never again question whether the sacrosanct federal budget can be cut by one toenail. This is simply more "Close the Washington Monument/End the White House Tours for schoolchildren" gamesmanship, signifying nothing but the peevishness of our lords and ladies in Washington.

Lanivan

Your kids are the lucky ones -they had a dad who was present, who cared and provided for them. But of course there are always those not so lucky, whose families have high degrees of dysfunction, where pathological forces have stolen from them a sense of security or even the most basic care. This dysfunction and pathology has always been present. And then there are those whose families have been torn apart by the ravages of the worst recession in 80 years. Collateral damage. Just another day in the hood. Let's lump 'em altogether, push 'em to the back burner, and call it good.

It is the height of cynicism to continually blame "our" president for "our" sins as a nation and an incompetent and constipated congress. But you do nail it in your own inimitable way when you correctly highlight the degree of manipulation this congress chose with a sequestration that indiscriminately cuts and bludgeons in order to express their petulant peevishness.

Perhaps, as with the 20 slain Newton children, the vision of urchins laying under the bus while "our" state legislator claims Michigan is on the path to fiscal nirvana will stir the consciousness of it's citizens sufficiently to vote the bums into the bus going to Oblivion.

retired DOC

One way to look at this is because our two state senators have done such a poor job of getting Michigan federal money, we did not have much to loose.

Say no to new taxes

The private sector would cut 20% of the payroll in the blink of an eye. Oh I forgot, government employees are "special" and immune from layoffs.

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