LANSING, Mich. — Michigan has more money in its bank account than officials previously predicted.
State officials announced late last week that there is an additional $1.7 billion dollars expected for the current fiscal year and leaders say they want to put that money to responsible use.
"We do revenue estimates every January and every May," said Kurt Weiss, the communications director for the State Budget Office. "And what we learned last week was that we have an additional about $700 million, just almost $800 million in general fund revenue and another almost $1 billion in school aid fund revenue over what we thought we had last May.”
Leaders call the additional money "historical."
"Michigan has never been faced with a situation like this to have this amount of money that is here now," said state Rep. Mary Whiteford, R - Casco Township, who also serves as majority vice chair on the Michigan House Appropriations Committee.
The windfall comes from a combination of sources like increased consumer spending and a major influx of money from the federal government through stimulus checks and President Joe Biden's infrastructure package.
“Let's do some good things with that money," Whiteford said. "We have this ability to just really make it great and really look out for the future of our families, and I'm excited for this opportunity.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will have a lot of decisions to make about spending the money but she's sure to get input from other elected officials. State Rep. Sarah Anthony, D - Lansing, said she'd like to see the money used to make a real impact on residents.
“One of the top issues that I hear loud and clear are around affordable housing," Anthony said. "That is something in every corner of mid-Michigan. I'm hearing that individuals need quality and affordable housing.”
Officials stressed the importance of spending the funding in a meaningful way.
“We never know what's going to happen next so we have to be very mindful of spending responsibly. But at the end of the day, our community needs help," Anthony said.
State officials will work on recommendations to Whitmer on how to spend the money over the next few weeks.
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