The Michigan Municipal League 2011 legislative conference kicked off with a lively discussion on the future of revenue sharing.  Bill Rustem, the Director of Strategic Planning for Governor Snyder, was joined by Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) and Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) and addressed League member questions on revenue sharing.

Mr. Rustem lead off with a presentation of the Governor’s plan. He brought up that Michigan has 40% of college graduates leaving, and that Michigan is 47th in attracting college graduates to the state. He said that Gov. Snyder is resetting Michigan by resetting state spending and creating a 2 year budget. Their plan helps the small businesses, who create 70% of all jobs. 

Sen Pappageorge, Chair of the Senate General Government Committee, detailed his plan to create a constitutional amendment to require all public employees to take a 5% pay cut, which would save $1 billion. This would be effective for 1 year, then there would be a freeze for the next two years.  Communities could count pay cuts from 2009 to the present. He also talked about plans that the Senate has to pass an 80/20 split that would save $600-$700 million. As for the Governor’s plan, he said he would allocate the $200 million as if communities are doing what is required, then take any money not claimed and put it in the state Rainy Day Fund.

Rep. Poleski, Chair of the House General Government Committee, indicated that folks at the local level are the best stewards of the money and he wanted to hear what the League members have to say.

After receiving questions, the panel members discussed the need for long term solutions. They all agreed that the Brownfield credits need to go away, but that the program needs to remain in place as an appropriation so that it can be transparent. Finally, the said that next year there will continue to be incentives and consolidations and transparency for the revenue sharing dollars. They also addressed questions from the audience on on manufactured housing and yard waste.
Andy Schor is the Assistant Director of State Affairs.  He can be reached at or at 517-485-0926





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