I spent this morning having coffee with our State Representative Deb Kennedy. She hosts a monthly coffee at the Flat Rock Cafe. I think it’s a great idea for updating us on her activities in Lansing and listening to issues that are important to her constituents.
The talk, as you can imagine, was all about the Michigan budget. The Legislature has approved a school funding bill that somewhat softens the original shock of $218 per student, to $165 per student.
This dodges the bullet of most school districts trying to figure out how to cover operating expenses without the October 20th payments. However, it still means a substantial cut in already thin school budgets.
Rep. Kennedy did not have much consolation for our educational funding woes, but at least she is getting out and talking with us.
She also surveyed the coffee clutch about the proposed initiative to add State revenue with a new permit that allows bars to stay open until 4 a.m. (currently 2 a.m.) and allow merchants to sell alcohol as early as 7 a.m., including Sundays for $1500. This legislation is intended to raise State revenues and would be used to help fund the, currently out of the budget, Michigan Promise Scholarship.
The general consensus was that like State Lotteries there is little assurance that it would directly fund education and significant unfunded public services expense (i.e., law enforcement and emergency medical services) would likely transfer to local municipalities.
Again, I thought this was a great opportunity to visit with our State Representative and meet other concerned citizens from Flat Rock and surrounding Downriver communities.
Thanks for visiting with us, Deb!
Here are some recent articles covering the Michigan budget debate, as it applies to funding education: