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Communities Score Victory on Revenue Sharing!
3/19/2010 - Instead of a cut, your community could be looking at an increase to your state revenue sharing dollars if House action Thursday, March 18, holds through the budget process. After previously eyeing a 3.1-percent cut to statutory revenue sharing (1.25-percent overall blended cut), the House Appropriations Committee (March 18) agreed to add a 1-percent increase to revenue sharing.
So instead of a cut, we're now looking at an increase! While this isn't a huge increase, it is a reflection of the House Appropriations Committee's desire to prevent further cuts to communities throughout the state.This increase has a long way to go before it officially could happen, but the League's legislative staff in Lansing is cautiously optimistic about this extremely positive turn of events.
To pay for the proposed increase, the amendment tie barred the budget bill to a package of 10 bills which close various tax loopholes worth approximately $26 million. It all happened very quickly, and here's a quick summary: There was a hearing on the budget bill with the proposed 3.1-percent cut on Wednesday and Andy Schor from the League testified in opposition to the cut along with Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski, a member of the League Board of Trustees, and Jennifer Goulet of ArtServe of Michigan.
Officials from the Michigan Townships Association and Michigan Association of Counties also testified in opposition. We believe having Mayor Majewski testify, in particular, went a long way in convincing the committee that our communities have already suffered enough through several previous cuts to revenue sharing on top of the other economic blows they have endured. The bill will now be voted on by the full House before going over to the Senate.
Many thanks go out to Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing), Rep. Doug Bennett (D-Muskegon), Rep. Shanelle Jackson (D-Detroit), Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem), and Rep. Vince Gregory (D-Southfield) for holding firm on their opposition to cuts to communities. Thanks also go out to General Government Sub-Committee Chair Fred Durhal (D-Detroit) and Rep. Robert Dean (D-Grand Rapids) for introducing the amendment to restore and increase funds to revenue sharing.
The vote on the amendment to restore and increase the revenue sharing funds was as follows:Supporting the amendment: Democratic Reps. Cushingberry, Bauer, Bennett, Brown, Dean, Durhal, Espinoza, Gonzalez, Gregory, Jackson, Lahti, McDowell, Miller, Smith, Switalski, Tlaib. Passing (Abstaining) on the amendment: Democratic Reps. LeBlanc and Spade; Republican Reps. Caul, Genetski, Haines. Opposing the amendment: Democratic Rep. Hammel; Republican Reps. Moss, Agema, Booher, Green, Hildenbrand, Lori, Proos, Rogers, Schuitmaker. The final bill passed on a 19-8-4 vote, with 19 Democrats supporting, 4 Republicans passing (abstaining) and 8 Republicans opposing.