May 22, 2023 - Politics

What's in the proposed state budget for Detroit

Belle Isle

Belle Isle State Park. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

State lawmakers continue negotiating Democratic-led budget proposals totaling $80 billion that passed through the House and Senate earlier this month.

  • The two sides are supposed to come to an agreement before July 1, when the fiscal year for most schools begins.

Why it matters: There are a number of line items that would appropriate funds toward projects and organizations across Metro Detroit.

The intrigue: Democrats want to include $43 million in maintenance and safety upgrades for Belle Isle and $8 million for Detroit's auto show.

  • The proposed transportation budget includes $4.9 million for a road construction project in Macomb County, $3 million for SMART system bus shelters across Metro Detroit and $1 million for an "avenue improvement project" in Wayne County.

The other side: House Minority Leader Matt Hall accused Democrats of wasteful spending on "partisan pet projects," and failing to prioritize infrastructure and local law enforcement.

  • Democrats in both the House and Senate added local road funding to their own budget bills by using a new formula that Republicans argue mostly benefits Detroit.
  • Republicans have proposed additional funds for roads using the traditional funding formula, based on local road miles, that would give more to rural communities.
  • They've also argued for eliminating funding for e-bikes, speeding enforcement cameras, electric vehicle chargers and upgrades to bus stops.

Between the lines: Lawmakers probed economists during Friday's Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference inside the state Capitol, where state experts gauge the health of the state's economy and spending possibilities.

  • Republicans, who have offered dozens of amendments to the budget bills that have all been rejected, are still negotiating to grant the budget immediate effect in the Senate.

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