Proos: State must be fiscally responsible, fund priorities and reduce debt

LANSING – After listening to Gov. Rick Snyder’s presentation of his proposed Fiscal Year 2013 state budget Thursday, state Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement: 

“The governor’s budget is promising and reflects the economic turnaround that is happening throughout Michigan.

“A decade of decline and uncertainty left Michigan facing a tough budget reality last year. We made difficult yet responsible decisions to make the state live within its means, just as Southwest Michigan families and job providers do every day. We began paying down our long-term debt, balanced the state’s checkbook without gimmicks and energized the economy.

“The result is that 2011 was the first year Michigan had positive net job growth since 2000, and the state is currently outpacing the national average in job creation with 80,000 new private sector jobs. We are cultivating a better environment for job creation and keeping more of our young people in the state. Unemployment is at its lowest point in more than three and a half years. With an improving economy come more state financial resources.

“As chair of the appropriations subcommittees for corrections and judiciary, I am encouraged that this budget invests in keeping our communities safe, especially the additional funding to help reduce the current backlog at our state crime labs. I also look forward to hearing more details in March when the governor presents a special message on public safety.

“We are addressing the state’s long-term debt and budget stability while promoting accountability in government. While remaining fiscally responsible, I am excited that our budget situation will enable us to increase support for priorities like education and public safety.”