For better or worse, we now have a state budget in place for the 2010 fiscal year and we need to move forward. As expected, projections are already coming in that the 2010 state budget will be anywhere from $700 million to $1.4 billion short. And, the fiscal year 2011 budget process is already beginning and huge deficits are expected there as well.
We have the same message for Lansing that we’ve had for the past several years: “We must implement major structural budget reforms so we can get our financial house in order. We must right size spending to match actual revenues.” Businesses and nonprofits across the state have been making the tough decisions in order to ensure they can survive and ultimately grow again. Our elected leaders need to do the same thing.
We see a future for our state that puts Michigan in the Top Ten for job growth again. But before we can get there, we need to enact budget reforms; we need to overhaul our tax system; we need to prioritize how we spend state dollars and focus on things that will fuel our future economy like higher education, transportation infrastructure and supporting innovation and entrepreneurism.
We stand ready to help and will defend elected leaders who make the tough calls. These decisions are not easy and will surely take on invested interests. Many people will feel the pain. But, if our state is to survive, we can no longer stall. These decisions must be made now.