Statewide funding for municipalities and schools face hits that run into the hundreds of millions of dollars under a proposed budget Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled Thursday in Lansing.
Snyder proposed reducing statutory state shared revenue by $92.1 million and tying the remaining $200 million to an incentive plan in which municipalities would need to adopt "best practices" and "meet specific standards."
city manager Steve Brock, recently named president of the Michigan Local Government Management Association, said Snyder has already requested that cities share their best practices. He said city managers are in the process of submitting those.
"I don't like the fact that he's proposing a one-third cut in state shared revenues," Brock said, adding that he is not opposed to incentivizing those revenues. While he is not sure what the governor's standards for best practices will be, Brock is confident local governments across the state are already meeting high standards in that regard.
"I think (Snyder) is going to be surprised at what is already going on," Brock said. "If he thinks there are silos up everywhere, he's wrong about that."
city manager Vince Pastue said he is still digging into the details of the governor's budget. His biggest question is whether the city will receive credit for actions already taken. He said Farmington has increased employee contributions to benefits and all employees have taken a 5 percent pay cut. The cities already share parks and recreation, senior services, cultural arts programming and a library system
"The question is how much credit or will we get credit for past actions," he said. "When does the clock start ticking?"
Both cities are preparing for the next fiscal year, which starts in July. Snyder's budget recommendations will have to clear the state House and Senate before being implemented, and may affect the 2011-2012 budget.
Brock also pointed out that while the governor proposed cuts in public employee pensions and salaries, those will have to be bargained with unions representing those employees, as all local government officials must.
"He's going to have to work through the process," Brock said. "He's got some good goals, and we'll see what kind of success he has."