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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov., Rick Snyder on Thursday unveiled his proposed $50.9 billion budget to lawmakers who sit on budget committees.
Snyder says he supports expanding Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of residents without insurance under the Obama administration's health care overhaul.
Snyder argues that not extending Medicaid would harm people who are too poor to qualify for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance offered through online exchanges.
The federal health care law gives states the option to accept the expansion, refuse it or postpone a decision.
But there are benefits for states that choose to expand Medicaid. The federal government will pick up the entire cost in the first three years and 90 percent over the long haul.
Snyder is likely to run into resistance from Republican lawmakers opposed to the health law. They believe federal officials could renege.
A major piece of the budget includes a call to raise the state gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 33 cents and increase vehicle registration fees to fix ailing roads and bridges. Snyder says doing nothing will cost Michigan more down the line.
A typical family would pay $120 more per car each year if the changes go into effect.
Snyder will propose giving public schools, universities and community colleges 2 percent more funding in the next school year.
His budget requires universities to hold tuition increases to under 4 percent or lose part of their state aid.
Snyder also will ask lawmakers to double enrollment in a preschool program for kids at risk of failing.
Snyder is proposing setting aside state funds to use in the case of natural disasters such as forest fires, tornadoes and floods.
He is calling for $4 million in the budget for fiscal year 2014 that begins Oct. 1 to create a Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund. The governor's plan would also add $4 million to the fund in fiscal year 2015.
The emergency fund would allow Michigan to be financially ready to respond in the case of a natural disaster or state emergency, according to Snyder's proposal.
Last year, the Duck Lake fire in the Upper Peninsula's Luce County burned nearly 33 square miles of land and destroyed 136 homes, cabins and recreational vehicles.
Gov. Snyder is calling for additional state funding to put more Michigan State Police troopers on the streets.
His budget proposal includes putting $15.2 million toward training an additional 107 troopers in the Michigan State Police Training Academy. His plan also calls investing $18 million to train up to 790 corrections officers.
Snyder also is proposing adding $2 million to the state's mental health courts. Michigan currently has nine mental health courts and Snyder's proposal would allow for the creation of additional courts.
Public safety was also a major focus of Snyder's budget proposal last year. In 2012, Snyder called for a 16 percent funding boost for the Michigan State Police from the state's general fund.
Gov. Snyder wants to raise some of Michigan's hunting and fishing license fees.
The fee increases are part of a broader plan to boost funding of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which manages forests, wildlife and outdoor recreation programs.
Snyder's plan calls for creating a new "base" hunting license that would cost $10 for most in-state residents. Additional fees would be charged for hunting particular animals, such as deer, turkey and bear.
DNR Director Keith Creagh says the increases would raise $18 million in new revenue. Snyder also is requesting more money for the DNR in the state general fund. If legislators approve the plan, the department could hire 41 additional conservation officers.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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