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Snyder offers state budget with plan for Flint, DPS amid loud protest

Governor's budget includes $360 million for Flint, state infrastructure

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder proposed to spend $195 million more in the 2017 fiscal year to address Flint's water crisis and another $165 million for updating infrastructure, including lead water pipes across the state. 

He spoke Wednesday at his annual yearly budget proposal presentation. Protesters chanted loudly throughout the governor's presentation. 

The governor and legislators previously directed more than $37 million toward the Flint water crisis, including funds for bottled water, filters, testing, health care and other services. Snyder wants a pause after 6 months to assess progress in Flint. 

View here: Governor's complete budget for fiscal years 2017-18

The governor's budget also addresses the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) district's financial woes. Snyder said he doesn't want DPS debt reduction to come from other schools. He is proposing $72 million a year for DPS from tobacco settlement funds. Snyder hinted at possible bankruptcy for the district during his presentation. 

"We need to act. If not, it will be decided by the court system," he said. 

Snyder also is proposing that Michigan's 15 public universities get 4.3 percent more in state operations funding in the next fiscal year. Universities would have to limit tuition increases to 4.8 percent or less to get all their state funding. Funding increases would range from a high of 6.8 percent for Grand Valley State to a low of 3.5 percent for Wayne State.

Snyder also hosted a roundtable meeting Wednesday afternoon to address questions from the media about his budget proposal. He clarified some of the statements he made during his presentation. 

"I was very careful not to use the word bankruptcy (in reference to DPS)," Snyder said. "I don't want bankruptcy."

Snyder said he wants to repay the district's creditors. 

 

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