Michigan legislators are recommending significant criminal justice cuts in what had been a standpat spending plan put forward by Gov. Rick Snyder, reports the Detroit Free Press. Snyder and Budget Director John Nixon proposed a 3 percent bump in the general fund to $9 billion, signaling a shift to reinvestment after years of austerity. But House and Senate lawmakers -- spooked by a reported dip in anticipated state revenues -- have identified more than $100 million in additional savings.
The House version of the Department of Corrections budget recommends closing the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia and shifting its 1,300 inmates to a private prison, at an estimated net savings of $7.1 million. The House version also recommends closure of three juvenile justice facilities and the transfer of their 90 residents to private facilities for a net savings of $4.3 million. The Senate version of the Corrections budget recommends elimination of 580 supervisors, secretaries, librarians and other support staff to save an estimated $58.8 million.