Legislators would forfeit pay after missed deadline
State Rep. Joe Bellino co-sponsored legislation introduced Wednesday to require the Michigan Legislature to present a balanced budget to the governor by July 1 each year.
The joint resolution proposes amending the Michigan Constitution to establish the July 1 deadline and ensure lawmakers adhere to it. Should the Legislature fail to complete the budget in time, legislators would forfeit their daily salaries until the governor receives the budget.
“While the state’s fiscal year doesn’t begin until Oct. 1, many schools and local governments that rely on state funding need to have their budgets in place by July 1,” Bellino said. “Legislators who can’t deliver a budget in time to offer certainty for local communities deserve to lose their paychecks.”
Bellino said his 15 years of experience serving on the Monroe Community College Board of Trustees gave him perspective on how frustrating it is when the state budget is not in place by July 1.
“Setting the college’s budget was like playing a big guessing game. Our fiscal year started in July and we never had certainty about state funding levels by then,” Bellino said. “Establishing a firm July 1 deadline for the state budget will give local entities that rely on funding from the state more certainty.”
If House Joint Resolution X is approved by two-thirds of both the House and Senate, the measure would be placed on the ballot for voter consideration.
It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.