Michigan budget surplus pegged at $457 million


Good news for Michigan's economy was tempered with a dose of caution in forecasts made Friday at the state Capitol. State officials were told Michigan is in a sustained economic recovery. But, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, job and salary growth is expected to slow down this year.

Economists say growth will slow down in 2012 and beyond. But that's still better news than what people got used to during a decade-long recession.

State officials use the economic projections to plan out the state budget. Revenue is up, and Governor Rick Snyder and state lawmakers have a $457 million surplus left over from last year.

John Nixon is the governor's budget director.

"We're starting from a position of equilibrium, so this is new revenue growth," he says. "We'll be able to address hot spots instead if starting from a deficit."

Nixon says schools and Medicaid could see a little more, but the state also needs to boost its savings and pay down debt.

Governor Snyder will map out his policy plans next week in his State of the State address. And he will roll out his budget plan next month.