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Political roundup: the good, the bad, and the ugly in the new state budget

The state approved a new budget this week, significantly quicker than years past


The Michigan Legislature approved a budget this week right before leaving for the summer recess. 

It would be impossible to go over everything in the budget, so Stateside sat down with two commentators to discuss some notable parts. 

Vicki Barnett is a former Mayor of Farmington Hills and Democratic legislator, and Ken Sikkema is a Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and the former Republican majority leader in the state Senate. 

In past years, the legislature took much longer to approve a new budget. Barnett said lawmakers have gotten smart and realized last-minute haggling and threatening to shut down the government is costly and not particularly useful.

She added that having the state budget done earlier will also be beneficial to school districts, as it gives them time before their budgets are due on July 1st. 

Sikkema said this year's budget has lots of good things in it due largely to the fact that the state is in a surplus. He believes the real test will come when the state tries to agree on a budget while in a recession.

“When the economy goes south there is going to be a day of reckoning but it wasn’t  this year it’ll be down the road,” Sikkema said. 

Listen above for more budget analysis from Vicki Barnett and Ken Sikkema. 

Ken Sikkema and Vicki Barnett join Stateside every Friday to break down the week’s political news.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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