News Bite

Michigan State Government Swimming In Money, A Lot Of It Federal

After a $67.1 billion blowout last year, spending this year up ‘just’ $3.2 billion over last pre-pandemic budget

Total spending by Michigan’s state government has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, in large part due to the injection of billions of federal dollars.

For the 2018-19 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2018 - the last full fiscal year before the pandemic - state lawmakers approved $58.340 billion in spending, including money from both state taxpayers and the federal government.

The pandemic arrived about five months into the next state fiscal year, 2019-20. The total 2019-20 state budget increased to $67.172 billion, including the federal dollars.

If not for the previous year’s increase in federal funding, Michigan’s 2020-21 budget of $61.564 billion would be setting a new record. Instead it’s a reduction, even though spending will still be $3.2 billion higher than it was in the last pre-pandemic budget.

It’s actually the first decline after an eight-year streak of annual state spending increases. The last time total state spending did not increase was the 2011-12 fiscal year.

The overall state budget was $47.598 billion in 2011-12. When adjusted for inflation, that budget was equivalent to $55.761 billion in current dollars, which is $5.8 billion less spending than the current budget.

The data comes from the Senate Fiscal Agency.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.