Proos: $440 million surplus ‘great news’

LANSING—State fiscal experts report that Michigan revenues are exceeding projections and have resulted in a surplus of $440 million, said Sen. John Proos.

“This $440 million in additional revenue is great news for Michigan, especially because it means that the state’s economy continues to recover and grow,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I am pleased to see state revenues come in better than expected. It shows that our efforts to revitalize Michigan are working and that we remain fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars.”

The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency recently reported on revenue collections for October 2013 and on a year-to-date basis. It concluded that actual revenue collections are $440 million more than projected by the 2013 May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.

“The extra revenue announcement builds on the conference’s official forecast of a $700 million surplus, and there will be no shortage of ideas on what to do with it,” Proos said. “I will fight to ensure that we focus use of the surplus on increased revenue sharing for our local communities and improving both our roads and schools.”

Proos said the current School Aid budget spends more than $13.2 billion on schools — the most the state has ever spent on K-12 education — yet more than half a billion dollars of the funds are dedicated to school employee pension and health care liabilities.

“The right thing to do is for us to invest some of the surplus directly into our classrooms to help prepare our children for success and into local revenue sharing to help keep our communities safe,” Proos said. “Southwest Michigan residents are keenly aware of the poor condition of Michigan’s roads compared to our neighbors, so we should also use part of this surplus to help us enhance the quality and safety of our roads and bridges.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”