By Chloe Hill
Mason Times staff writer
Gov. Rick Snyder has released his budget plans for Michigan.
“Today is a day to build for Michigan’s future” said Snyder. He plans to cut costs with a budget plan of $45 billion in hopes to fix the state debt.
One of his plans is to cut funds from public schools by $470 per student. Yet he said, “We are going to create a great state for our children and their future.” He also plans to cut funds from intermediate school districts by 5 percent. Snyder plans to use public school surplus funds to pay for community college and university funding.
This $470 per-pupil cut worries many people concerned with public schooling. Mason school officials gathered at the Community and Staff Relations Committee meeting on Thursday, Feb. 17, just a few hours after the governor proposed his plans. They joked “There is going to be a lot more homeschooling next year,” and, “We will be teaching out of a one-room schoolhouse, older students helping the younger ones.”
Superintendent of Mason Public Schools Mark Dillingham said “There is a redundancy in job responsibilities. Job consolidation and job cuts are what we are looking at for the future.” He hopes his plans will make up for the funding cuts proposed earlier in the day.
Snyder’s plan also replaces the Michigan Business Tax with a flat Corporate Income Tax set at 6 percent. This will help small businesses, sole proprietorships and limited liability corporations.
The Maple Street Mall in Mason has not had too much trouble bringing in the business despite the new budget proposals and broken economy in Michigan.
The business held their third annual chocolate extravaganza Feb. 18, 19 and 20. Manager of Maple Street Mall Debbie Hedemark said the event was “mall sponsored, free to the public. We just want to have people indulge in a little fun and chocolate mid winter.” She also said that “People really enjoy free food and it brings traffic in”.
There are 55 vendors in Mason, so sales at the Maple Street Mall are limited. Hedemark said “We do food events and that appeals to everybody, especially free food”.
The employees of the resale shop do not fear the future of their business. “Truthfully I think that we’ve got a lot going for us in this business,” said Hedemark.
Snyder is optimistic about Michigan’s future. “This is our opportunity to say stop living in the past and start looking toward the future,” said Snyder.