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State treasurer announces $575 million surplus

Posted: 11:02 AM, Jan 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-15 16:02:32Z

Michigan's economy is looking up.

"The economy's growing," said State Budget Director John Roberts Thursday. "So now is the time to save."

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday morning at the capitol, and announced there's a $575 million surplus across the state.

Most of it is in the general fund, but the expected school aid fund revenue dipped.

That's because of a drop in gas prices, which meant less sales tax revenue.

But the state treasurer thinks that'll be made up by the end of the year.

"We still expect 3-4% growth in school aid fund each year, it's just lower than what we thought before," said State Treasurer Nick Khouri. "But it's still growing."

Roberts says this is one time money that needs to be spent wisely, so some of it could go toward helping the water crisis in Flint, but nothing's set in stone.

"Where we always get into trouble is we take money that's one time, and build in spending bases that go on forever," said Khouri. "So if we get an extra dollar today and then we have an expenditure or new program that costs two dollars every single year, we quickly run into deficits."

And more good news, the unemployment rate is steadily going down.

Add that to the lottery jackpots getting bigger and bigger, which lawmakers think will bring in another $20 million by the end of 2016, and lawmakers say, we're looking at a strong economy for this year and beyond.