Want to know someone's priorities? Follow the money.
Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled his vision for the state by delivering his proposed budget today to the state Legislature.
"Sixty-one percent of the total investments we’re recommending are either for savings or education. This is a responsible budget. This is a budget to look to that long term, and learn from our past mistakes," said Snyder.
Here are some of the highlights of his budget proposals:
Taxes for road repair and maintenance
Snyder called for more taxes at the pump. He wants to raise gas taxes to 33 cents a gallon for both diesel and unleaded fuel. It stands at 19 cents for unleaded, and 15 cents for diesel fuel right now.
He also wants to raise vehicle, truck and trailer registration. fees to an average of $120 per year. The changes would raise $1.2 billion a year for road repair and maintenance, the Gov. says.
Snyder is asking for $65 million for FY 2014 to support the state's Great Start Readiness Program. And another $65 million for FY 2015. One Michigan Senator wants a lot more. To read more about money for early education, see Michigan Radio's Jennifer Guerra's story:
The Gov., Sen. Kahn, and other guests will be on a special Michigan Radio call-in show this afternoon at 3 p.m. to talk early childhood education. You can follow the conversation on Twitter as well at #earlyed.
Around two percent more for public education
After several years of cuts, the Gov. is asking for a little more money for K-12 education, public universities and community colleges.
The money would add up to about a two percent increase for these institutions.
Gov. Snyder says the K-12 money would also support "online and blended learning by creating and maintaining a statewide catalog of online courses."
A major public education overhaul is on the agenda for this legislative session for the Governor.
Expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act
The Governor announced yesterday his plan to support the expansion of Medicaid. The expansion would be paid for by the federal government and would increase the number of Michiganders covered by Medicaid by around 470,000 people (1.9 million are covered now). The Gov. says the expansion would reduce the number of uninsured in Michigan by around 46 percent.
Snyder argues that not extending Medicaid would harm people who are too poor to qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance offered through online exchanges.
More money for dredging as lakes Michigan and Huron are at all time lows
Snyder called for $9.4 million for harbor dredging projects to "ensure harbors remain passable for boaters." That's money for the next fiscal year.
For current dredging needs, Snyder says he's ask the Legislature for immediate funds.
From the Governor's press release:
To address the immediate need for dredging, a 2013 supplemental totaling $21.5 million will also be sent to the Legislature.
More money for the Rainy Day Fund
Snyder says he'd like to make a deposit of $75 million to the Budget Stabilization Fund, or the Rainy Day Fund. It would bring the total balance in that fund to $580 million.
To see all the proposals put forward by the Governor, check out his full proposal here.