Camo at the Capitol: Snyder Budget, the DNR and You

Governor Rick Snyder Photo: Michigan.gov Governor Rick Snyder
Photo: Michigan.gov
by Matt Evans, MUCC Legislative Manager
Wednesday saw Governor Snyder unveil his 2016 budget for the State of Michigan in front of a Joint House & Senate Appropriations Committee. The $54 Billion budget calls for priority investments in K-12 schools, higher education, skilled trades training, public safety, and road funding. At the same time he unveiled his 2016 budget he also unveiled an executive order to cut state spending by $103 million for the current fiscal year.
Even though Michigan has a $54 billion budget the Governor found a way to show us his renewed commitment to the sportsmen and women of this state. The proposed budget recommends total funding for the Department of Natural Resources at $389.5 million, of which $39.8 million is from the general fund. This is only a small drop in General Fund monies from 2015.
Some of the proposed DNR budget highlights are as follows:
  • $2.2 million increase in federal funds for the restoration, conservation, management and enhancement of wildlife habitat.
  • $4 million in one-time money for expanded recreational shooting opportunities.
  • $500,000 Local Public Recreation Facilities Funds
  • $12.2 million for infrastructure improvements in Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas.
It’s important to remember that as you are reading about the above items that were included in the Governors Executive budget recommendation and that it still must go through the legislative process. The changes listed above and the below link to a more detailed plan are all subject to change as it works through the legislature. As the DNR budget works its way through the process we will be sure to keep you updated so check back in the coming weeks for updates. In addition to the Governor unveiling his 2016 budget recommendations, he also unveiled an executive order to trim nearly $103 million from the state’s spending in the current fiscal year. You can find the full text of Executive Order 2015-5 here.
The expected revenue for 2015 has come up short by nearly $350 million, which means there needs to be some cuts to the current year’s budget. The EO the Governor Snyder signed today would trim a portion of that spending from across all agencies.  If you look at page 6 of the order you will see that nearly $1.5 million was cut from the DNR budget, however it came entirely from the Parks & Trails. While MUCC never likes to see a cut to the DNR budget we are pleased to see that core fisheries and wildlife programs will remain intact for 2015.
I would encourage you all to visit the above linked sites for more detailed information on the proposed DNR budget for 2016 and on the Executive Order the Governor unveiled Wednesday. It is important that as MUCC members you stay informed on these topics. Please check back in the coming weeks for updated information on the DNR budget as it makes its way through the legislative process.
 

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