Snyder's budget: More Mich. state police troopers
Republican governor discusses Medicaid, hunting, more in budget proposal
Gov. Rick Snyder is calling for additional state funding to put more Michigan State Police troopers on the streets.
The Republican governor laid out his budget proposal Thursday. It includes putting $15.2 million toward training an additional 107 troopers in the Michigan State Police Training Academy. His plan also calls investing $18 million to train up to 790 corrections officers.
VIEW: Snyder 2014 budget address
Snyder also is proposing adding $2 million to the state's mental health courts. Michigan currently has nine mental health courts and Snyder's proposal would allow for the creation of additional courts.
Public safety was also a major focus of Snyder's budget proposal last year. In 2012, Snyder called for a 16 percent funding boost for the Michigan State Police from the state's general fund.
Snyder wants to raise gas tax, expand Medicaid
Snyder is asking Michigan lawmakers to raise the gas tax, expand Medicaid to more uninsured and put more money into early childhood education.
A major piece of his proposed budget includes a call to raise the state gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 33 cents and increase vehicle registration fees fix ailing roads and bridges. Snyder says doing nothing will cost Michigan more down the line.
A typical family would pay $120 more per car each year if the changes go into effect.
Snyder argues that not extending Medicaid would harm people who are too poor to qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance offered through online exchanges.
Snyder proposes $21 million to dredge harbors
Snyder wants to spend $21 million on dredging Michigan harbors that are becoming too shallow because of slumping Great Lakes water levels.
The governor's proposed budget released Thursday calls for an $11.5 million special appropriation for dredging. Additionally, he wants to transfer more than $9 million from the state waterway fund for the purpose.
That fund usually pays for maintenance of breakwalls, docks and other harbor infrastructure. Some of those projects would be delayed because of the short-term transfer.
Additionally, aides say Snyder want to build a long-term dredging fund with money that would come from a proposed increase in the state gasoline tax.
Federal funding for keeping harbors open has declined in recent years. State officials say it's essential to the Michigan economy to keep harbors open.
Snyder wants higher hunting, fishing license fees
Snyder wants to raise some of Michigan's hunting and fishing license fees.
The Republican governor included the fee increases in his proposed budget released Thursday. They are part of a broader plan to boost funding of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which manages forests, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs.
Snyder's plan calls for creating a new "base" hunting license that would cost $10 for most in-state residents. Additional fees would be charged for hunting particular animals, such as deer, turkey and bear.
DNR Director Keith Creagh says the increases would raise $18 million in new revenue. Snyder also is requesting more money for the DNR in the state general fund. If legislators approve the plan, the department could hire 41 additional conservation officers.
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