Governor Rick Snyder says extending Medicaid to more working poor people will save the state a lot of money – and that begs the question of what to do with the budget windfall.
More from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.
The savings of roughly 130 million dollars will come from reduced healthcare costs, but also shifting some things the state pays for – mostly mental health services for prisoners – to the federally funded program.
“So that really allows dollars to be freed up for other budgetary uses,” he says.
Governor Snyder says some of that could money go to build the state’s “rainy day fund” which was depleted during the recession. He also hopes road and transportation funding will be one of those other uses.
But even if the entire 130 million dollars were used for roads, that’s still far short of the $1.2 billion dollars the governor says is needed to fix roads and other transportation infrastructure.