Board Receives Budget Update
State budget talks were scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. today as lawmakers struggle to reach an 11th-hour agreement that will avert a government shutdown when the state’s new fiscal year goes into effect on Monday. According to the Detroit Free Press, measures being discussed to offset the $1.75 billion shortfall include increasing the state income tax to between 4.3 and 4.6 percent, expanding the 6 percent sales to tax to some services – primarily “luxuries” such as country club and yacht club dues, dry cleaning and cable/satellite TV services – and spending cuts.
NMU Lobbyist David Haynes updated university trustees on the situation this morning:
“The U.P. delegation has been wonderful about connecting with Les [Wong], Gavin [Leach] and me daily,” he said. “Even if they come to an agreement today, it won’t technically be possible to get all of the final drafting and printing done. They might vote today and, assuming the deal holds, come back Sunday and vote on the drafted bills. That would avoid a shutdown Monday. But at this late stage, some things might already be in the process of shutting down, so there might still be a disruption in some areas.”
A short-term shutdown would have minimal impact on NMU, according to Gavin Leach (Finance and Administration). He said the university had planned for that possibility by delaying equipment purchases, routine maintenance and hiring. He said if a shutdown would extend well into the fall semester, the university would have to consider more significant measures.