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Governor Proposes Government Reforms

February 5, 2010

Last Friday Gov. Granholm joined the chorus of elected officials and business groups calling for reforms to state government spending.  It is estimated that her proposed reforms would result in savings of $450 million.

Below is a list of some of the reforms that the Governor has proposed:
–  reduce costs by providing incentives to encourage 7,000 eligible state employees and 39,000 eligible public school employees to retire;
– increase state employee participation in a new health-care plan that maintains critical benefits for new state workers and their families while reducing the cost to state government by 21 percent;
–  eliminate lifetime health care for legislators;
–  continue reforming Michigan prison policies to reduce costs;
–  shift to a two-year state budget cycle;
–  audit state contracts annually and review all tax expenditures biennially to identify needed changes and savings;
–  implement pay-as-you-go budgeting;
–  give local government, school, university, and other public employees the option to participate in the state of Michigan’s new, cost-effective health-care plan;
–  require competitive bidding of contracts and additional shared services among local governments and schools.

Already this week the House moved a bill to eliminate the lifetime healthcare benefits for legislators.

One problem with the governor’s proposals is that the state is facing a $1.7 billion budget deficit.  So her proposals only go part of the way to solving that problem.

The Senate Republicans released their reform proposals a couple of weeks ago, and the House Democrats are expected to make a reform announcement next week.

We will continue our efforts to work with elected officials who are looking to change the way the state operates, and keep you posted on any developments.

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