Governor Gretchen Whitmer presented her first budget proposal Tuesday morning.
As expected, Whitmer proposed a 45-cents-a-gallon gas tax increase. She also proposed repealing a 2011 law that eliminated or reduced exemptions from the taxation of pension and other retirement income. Whitmer also proposed doubling the earned income tax credit for low-income earners from 6 percent of the federal credit to 12 percent.
As part of the budget plan, Governor Whitmer is also requesting nearly $53-million dollars for information technology projects that could help residents and improve government operations. One of the projects includes in-car video streaming for State Police troopers to enable real-time data sharing. Another ten million has been set aside to deal with the passage of two ballot proposals that deal with the redistricting of state and congressional districts and establishes new voting rights.
There are several other projects outlined in the budget presented by the Governor. The spending plan includes a three percent increase, or about $40-million dollars, in revenue sharing to cities, counties and townships. In addition, the governor wants to spend about $23-million dollars for the Michigan Public Safety Communications System which will be used by first responders at the state and local levels and to support a new State Police trooper recruit school. Another $2.3-million has been put aside to continue testing and research on Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan’s deer population.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to embark on a statewide tour today to sell the plan to residents. Whitmer plans a series of speeches, roundtable discussions and town hall meetings. The tour will be an opportunity to explain her budget for 2020 in greater detail and explain why and how she has put this budget forward. The budget tour will start today on the west side of the state.