DETROIT – Facing a $1.4 billion budget deficit, Michigan lawmakers want to dig the hole deeper by cutting business taxes by $1.8 billion – but save $200,000 by making foster children spend their $79 vouchers for clothes only at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or other thrift stores. “The reason is, you can get a whole lot more in a resale store,” state Sen. Bruce Caswell told The Detroit News.
The News reported that the president of the Michigan League for Human Services responded to Caswell’s comment by saying, “Give me a break.”
The requirement to spend the state vouchers at thrift stores also would apply to children of the working poor.
Early childhood funding would be cut nearly in half, from $14.6 million to $7.6 million under Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposal, and the state would save another $3.6 million by limiting payments for indigent burials to unclaimed bodies.
The Michigan House plan would close a state prison that holds more than 1,000 prisoners and employs 200 guards. It’s not clear where the prisoners would go.
Snyder, who took office on Jan. 1, is a Republican. Republicans also control both state houses.