Pressure is building for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions after the bankrupt city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group. The deals are tied to Detroit getting money from the state over 20 years, along with $466 million in private money, all to shore up pensions.
Governor Rick Snyder tells The Associated Press a proposal by Republican House leaders to spend $500 million annually on roads is a good first step toward much-needed changes, but says it's less than half of his spending target.
A bill that would bolster a state-run system for struggling schools could get a vote this week in the state Legislature. Right now, the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is trying to turn around 15 schools in Detroit. The legislation would allow it to operate up to 50 schools across the state by July of 2015. “That means that the same school reform model that has failed in 15 schools in Detroit could be coming to a neighborhood school near you,” said state Rep. Collene Lamonte (D-Montague).
State lawmakers have left Lansing for the holidays and won’t return until January 8th. But they already have a long list of things to do heading into 2014. One of the big jobs they’ll face will be finding money to improve the state’s roads and infrastructure.
Early this year, Governor Rick Snyder urged lawmakers to boost funding for roads by more than a billion dollars. But Snyder’s idea to raise the state’s gas tax and vehicle registration fees never won enough support in the Legislature – and neither did any other proposal.