Skubick: Snyder tells lawmakers not to tap Rainy Day Fund to pay for school security

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The Snyder administration is telling lawmakers they can not use the state’s rainy day fund to beef up security in Michigan schools.  

The governor’s office wants to find that money in other parts of the state budget.

Last week the Florida governor signed new legislation to beef up security in schools including a $500 million budget to place armed guards in every school.

Gov. Rick Snyder has not made any recommendations on gun school safety yet, but he has privately told his budget director that he should start thinking about finding ways in the budget to fund Michigan’s school safety program once it is drafted.  

As for the cost here?

Budget director John Walsh says “I don’t have a ballpark yet because I don’t know the totality of what they’re going to send me.”

And so what did the governor tell his budget director?

“He said just be careful. We’re going to need money for school safety. We didn’t go any deeper than that.”

Meanwhile, localsenator Mike Shirkey wants to use money from the state’s rainy day fund for school safety and the Senate Republican leader Arlan Meekhof thinks using that fund is “potentially an option.”

Another local senator argues school safety is now a top priority so use the rainy day fund.

Sen. Rick Jones says, “Absolutely. I would vote to dip into that fund. The rainy day has arrived for the safety of our school children.”

But Mr. Walsh closes the door on that suggestion, telling reporters he will find ways in the rest of the budget to fund the governor’s program.

“If we do something on school safety, my job is to look at the budget with the chairs of the Appropriations Committees and say where is it we can pinch a little and reprioritize to focus on school safety. We don’t believe that will necessitate touching the budget stabilization fund.”

Will Mr. Snyder propose $500 million for guards in the schools such as his colleague in Florida?

At this read, no one knows, since the review is still underway.
 

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