State of Michigan faces $460M deficit; painful cuts to be made

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The state of Michigan is facing a $ 460 million deficit over the next two years. That means some painful cuts will have to be made - including state services you depend on.

That means officials will have to cut costs and state services you depend on could be on the chopping block. But at least one Senator is trying to stem the concerns.

"I'm not overly concerned," said Sen. David Hildebrand (R-Grand Rapids). "We just have some adjustments to make. We'll get in a room and sort it out."

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"I think projections are just not as strong as we anticipated in January," he said.

State bean counters are telling the Snyder administration and state lawmakers that last January's estimate was off by about $500 million. For the old timers in town, they say this deficit is nothing compared to the Granholm years when the red ink was well over $1 billion.

To eradicate the deficit, lawmakers could reduce the size of the next Michigan State Troopers School. It's unlikely, in an election year, that state aid to schools could be sliced but the state treasurer says he cannot guarantee anything at this juncture.

Hildebrand, the GOP chair of the Senate Budget Committee, says they will find the cuts somewhere

"This happens when you have a large budget in a big state with a lot of moving parts," he said. "I am not overly concerned. We will get in a room and sort it out."

The domestic car industry is doing well which means the economy continues to grow, but the pace of the growth has slowed down.

"The auto industry is slowing," said Dr. George Fulton, U-M economist. "They are selling a record number of vehicles, but the growth in that has plateaued now."

Last week there was a prediction auto sales would hit 20 million.

"No disrespect to the expert, but I predict we will not," Fulton said. "We don't think we will hit $18 million, we are in the $17 millions."

Michigan House members are up for re-election this fall so there will be no tax increases to eradicate the deficit  and that you can take to the bank.