Gov. Snyder presented his budget to the Legislature several weeks ago, and since then legislators have been making their own suggestions and cuts to the proposal to the tune of saving over $500 million. I wonder what programs were cut to make this happen?
Their proposal is to close the school employee pension system to new hires. The upfront costs of making this proposed change are huge. The $500 million will cover only the first year of costs to the state. It is estimated it will cost around $3.8 billion over the next five years, and millions of dollars every year after that. What will they cut from the budget next year to meet this obligation?
Independent economists indicate it will take years before the state saves any money. The Anderson Economic Group has estimated the cost at an additional $223 million to $813 million annually by 2048.
Colleges of Education are already experiencing a drop in enrollment, this will only add to the problem. We are experiencing teacher shortages and shortages of educational support staff around the state.
Five years ago the Legislature changed the teacher retirement plan from a defined benefit plan to a hybrid plan which, according to Gov. Snyder, seems to be working just fine. So why this rush to change it again? That $500 million might be better used to fix our crumbling roads. That would benefit all of us.
Karen Zyczynski, Novi