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Michigan Says It Needs More Federal Aid To Survive Economic Effects Of COVID-19


This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysisof states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

In Michigan, the epidemic has caused revenue from sales and personal income taxes — the state's main sources of revenue — to plummet. After weeks of hand-wringing, state lawmakers passed a bipartisan plan to plug this year's dizzying $2.2 billion budget hole.

The Democratic governor and her Republican counterparts in the state legislature announced they would use a patchwork of funds to stay afloat, including the majority of the $3 billion in coronavirus relief funding from the CARES Act and $350 million from the state's $1.2 billion rainy day fund.

The lion's share of the state's cuts is coming from widespread hiring freezes and temporary layoffs in the state's workforce that have been ongoing since April, affecting an array of workers, from those in the state's groundwater and discharge permit program to those in food safety and quality assurance.

But those cuts won't solve the more than $3 billion projected shortfall for the next fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1.

"Department budgets are already skinny, and there's simply no way to cut our way out of this just by looking at state budgets," said the state's budget director, Chris Kolb, in May. Michigan's leaders, like those in many other states, are looking to Congress for further relief.

Abigail Censky is the politics and government reporter for WKAR in Lansing, Mich.


Copyright 2020 WKAR Public Media

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR. She started in December 2018.