Governor’s State of the State Fails to Mention Broken Municipal Finance System

Last night the Governor gave his State of the State address. He did mention the need to invest in roads, but there was no mention of reinvesting in communities or fixing the state’s broken municipal finance system.

The following statement is from Utica Mayor and Michigan Municipal League President Jacqueline Noonan regarding the state budget surplus announced yesterday (Thursday, January 16, 2014):

“We strongly support the Governor’s ongoing call to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, but we grow increasingly disappointed in the total lack of concern for fixing the state’s archaic and broken municipal finance system.  Unless and until the Legislature and Governor stop raiding funds that by law were supposed to go to local communities for police and fire, roads and bridges, and other essential services, Michigan’s per capita income levels will continue to lag other states and the nation, and more of our cities will plummet into fiscal crisis. Not only is this not sustainable for the status quo, but it keeps Michigan from being competitive in attracting and retaining talent and jobs in a global market. While fiscal crises confront cities all across Michigan, the silence and lack of solutions to fix the state’s broken municipal finance system from the Governor and Legislature is deafening.”

“To move Michigan forward, the League, along with numerous partners, has developed a policy vision and plan for Michigan’s cities called the Partnership for Place: An Agenda for a Competitive 21st Century Michigan. You can view this policy agenda here:www.mml.org/advocacy/partnership-for-place.html.”

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at sharkins@mml.org

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