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Wayne County starts budget process under threat of state intervention


Wayne County Executive Warren Evans says the time to right the county’s finances is “fading quickly.”

Evans issued that warning Tuesday as he sent his $1.54 billion recommended budget to the Wayne County Commission for approval.

He says it will close the roughly $50 million annual budget gap now dogging Michigan’s largest county.

Evans says the county has already found about half the needed savings. He wants to squeeze most of the rest from pension and health care cuts—and he’ll likely need the state’s help for that.

A state review team is examining Wayne County’s finances at Evans’ request. It’s already found the county is under “probable fiscal stress.”

If Governor Snyder officially declares a financial emergency, as eventually expected, Evans hopes to hammer out a consent agreement that would give him more authority to demand concessions from county unions.

The county’s current fiscal year ends September 30.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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