Advance Notice: Briefs

House Approps Chair Albert opposes spending $7B surplus, cites economic concerns

By: - September 1, 2022 3:31 pm

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

House Appropriations Committee Chair Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) on Thursday voiced his opposition to any supplemental spending this fall.

In a statement, Albert said the state should not pursue additional budget allocations until the direction of the economy was more clear. 

State Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), Feb. 9, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

“There are no guarantees tax revenues will come into state government as previously anticipated,” Albert said. 

“We must keep money in reserve to ensure we can fulfill the budget obligations already made, and to provide Michigan families tax relief so they can fight inflation and weather the worsening economy.”

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bipartisan $76 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023 in July. The budget for Fiscal Year 2022 will remain in effect until Sept. 30.

According to Mary Ann Cleary, director of the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency, the state has a surplus of about $3.5 billion in the General Fund and $3.5 billion in the School Aid Fund. 

The state also has $686 million in federal fiscal recovery funds that must be appropriated by 2025, Cleary said. 

Albert also spoke out against increased government spending brought on by federal policies, claiming it has fueled inflation and other economic issues.

“We shouldn’t add more fuel to the fire. We must act responsibly at the state level and not make things worse,” Albert said. 

The state currently has $230 million remaining in its outreach and attraction reserve, which can be delegated to programs intended to attract and maintain businesses and investments in Michigan. Albert said he would consider proposals to utilize those funds on a case-by-case basis. 

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Kyle Davidson
Kyle Davidson

Kyle Davidson was a reporting intern for the Michigan Advance. A recent MSU graduate, Kyle studied journalism and political science. He has reported on community events, breaking news, state policy, and the environment for outlets including the Lansing State Journal, the Detroit Free Press and Capital News Service.