Michigan more reliant on federal funding than ever before

Restrictions on discretionary funds could shackle the state's pandemic response.

Over the past 20 years, Michigan has become more and more dependent on federal money to fill gaps in its state budget. That’s one of the takeaways from a report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

The nonpartisan research organization issued a report Wednesday that shows a progressively diminishing pool of discretionary spending dollars. The corollary to that is increasing amounts of money, often from the federal government, dedicated to specific programs.

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“Fewer discretionary dollars to spend gives budget writers far less leeway in setting the state’s spending priorities,” according to the report. “Many federal programs and funding come with a required match from the state, which consumes more resources.”

“These are grim realities, but vital for both the public and policymakers to understand as the coronavirus pandemic has upended Governor Whitmer’s initial budget plan.”

You can read the full report here.

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