Lansing, Mich. (AP) - Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration said Tuesday it's too early to start making plans to spend what appears to be a budget surplus from the recently completed fiscal year.
The state could have a combined carry-over of more than $800 million in its general and school-aid funds from the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to an early December report from the state budget office. The books likely won't be officially closed on the fiscal year for a few more weeks.
Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature are cautioning there's really not much of a surplus, once current spending and income projections are taken into account for the next two fiscal years. And Snyder may have plans of his own for the money as he works toward presenting a new budget in February.
"At this point, it's a little premature," Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said. "The governor has been very clear. He wants to make sure we don't get into the same situation that we have been in time and time again."
Michigan is trying to maintain stable spending, with annual revenues and expenses matching up without relying on one-time accounting gimmicks.
A preliminary look at the potential surplus was outlined in a Dec. 2 monthly report from the state budget office. The state's general fund had an estimated balance of $242.1 million to start the new fiscal year, an amount projected to drop to $25.8 million by the end of September 2012.
The state's school aid budget had an estimated balance of $645.9 million to begin the fiscal year, but the amount was projected to drop to about $200,000 by its end.
Senate Republicans also have some preliminary, internal budget projections that leave them leery about additional spending.
"While the numbers look good now, I would just urge my colleagues to continue to be very fiscally frugal in how we spend money," Sen. Bruce Caswell, a Republican from Hillsdale, told senators in a floor speech before the chamber adjourned for the holidays. "The future doesn't show us that we are going to have a lot of money."
Democrats and some Republicans want public schools to get a major share of any surplus. The State Board of Education has also called for a significant portion of any budget surplus to be invested in education. Public school funding was cut more than 2 percent in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. State aid to public universities was reduced by 15 percent.
There also would be support among Republican lawmakers for boosting the state's rainy day fund and helping to pay off some of the state's long-term debt.
The state has a budget of roughly $47 billion for the current fiscal year, including money from the federal government.
Another key step in reviewing the state's budget health will come Jan. 13 at the state's revenue estimating conference. Officials from the Snyder administration, the Senate Fiscal Agency and the House Fiscal Agency will come up with a consensus forecast of state revenues that will help build the next state budget.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Danyell Thomas's preliminary hearing was adjourned and Dijana Kilic waived her hearing.
This summer, Metro Health Hospital partnered with the Gus Macker charity basketball tournament to raise money for automated external defibrillators -- or AEDs -- for Kent County schools.
A Grand Rapids woman has been charged in the death of her 5-month-old baby who died of accidental asphyxiation.