Budget projections significantly affected by COVID-19; Nesbitt acknowledges tough decisions ahead

LANSING, Mich. — The annual May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference gave lawmakers and the administration a clearer idea of what state revenues are looking like as the coronavirus rocks the state’s economy and places a strain on current and future budgets.

“Today’s revenue estimating conference confirms what we feared. The financial impact of the coronavirus, when combined with Gov. Whitmer’s one-size-fits-all response, has resulted in a catastrophic economic downturn,” said state Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Our economy was strong before this crisis, but now 1.7 million people have lost their paychecks and state revenues reflect this unfortunate setback.”

At the beginning of every year, and several times in the subsequent months, lawmakers, along with financial experts and economists, look at the state’s revenue and determine what the financial outlook for the near future may look like.

Revenues have seen an unfortunate but expected downturn from estimates given earlier this year.

Lawmakers are facing a more than $3 billion loss in revenue from the January estimates. When compared to early 2020 estimates, the state’s general fund is down by $1.98 billion and the School Aid Fund is down by $1.25 billion for the current fiscal year.

“We need to get through this health crisis, protect the vulnerable and those who have lost jobs, and restart our economy,” Nesbitt said. “By shutting down our state’s economy for more than two months and refusing to reopen areas largely unaffected by the virus, the governor has cost more than one million Michiganders their jobs, and untold numbers of businesses have closed for good.

“We have some tough decisions ahead of us. We will get through this together and we will get Michigan back on track.”