Governor outlines 2018 budget plan

Gov. Rick Snyder recently presented his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 state budget to the Legislature. As we review the governor’s plan, I encourage you to share your concerns and thoughts with me.

For more information on the governor’s budget recommendations — including the full proposal and several charts on key priorities — visit www.mi.gov/mibudget.

The governor outlined a proactive budget plan that will enable us to continue to create jobs, build our economy, meet our pressing challenges and live within our means. A quality education is critical to success in life, and I fully support his plan to once again increase our investment in educating our children.

Our unfunded liabilities must be addressed. The Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System has an unfunded liability of more than $26 billion. I support the governor’s plan to contribute $1.2 billion to reduce that debt and control retirement costs to schools — enabling them to direct more resources toward teaching our students.

The looming problem of unfunded, long-term liabilities is also facing many of Michigan’s local governments and their retirees. I am proud to serve on the governor’s new task force charged with finding a solution that fulfills local government promises to retirees and addresses a health care and pension unfunded liability of roughly $14 billion.

Although this is just the beginning of the budget process, I am confident that we will once again pass a balanced budget that protects our people, provides essential services and builds a brighter future for all Michigan families.