CHICAGO — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Thursday signed into law a $49 billion all-funds 2014 budget, calling it a "solid budget" that makes investments in the state's long-term future.
But a handful of high-profile items remain to be hammered out before lawmakers leave for summer break in a week.
The Legislature will consider whether to expand Medicaid as allowed under the new federal health care law. Snyder has pushed for the expansion, and included it in his proposed spending plan, but the GOP-led Legislature has balked at the Republican governor's request.
Legislators are expected to make a decision before their break.
Another of Snyder's top priorities, raising new revenue for road funding, is also not included in the 2014 spending plan. It's less certain that the controversial issue will be picked up by lawmakers before the end of the session. It's the second year in a row that lawmakers failed to include Snyder's proposal in a final spending plan.
"This is a very solid budget, and I'm proud of that, but I think we need to keep working hard," Snyder said Thursday at a budget-signing press conference with top lawmakers. He said Medicaid still needs to be tackled, and "solutions are still needed" for long-term road funding.
The 2014 budget includes a $350 million one-time appropriation for transportation infrastructure.
The budget, House Bills 4228 and 4328, increases spending by 0.8% over the current-year budget, according to the governor's office. It includes a roughly 3% increase in K-12 funding, and a $75 million deposit into the state's rainy day fund.
Snyder praised the rainy-day fund deposit, but said the fund should ideally reach $1.2 billion. "We're about half-way there," he said.
The state's fiscal year doesn't begin until Oct. 1, but the Legislature aims to finish the budget by the end of June to help school districts and local governments manage funding for their own fiscal years, which generally start July 1.
The general fund totals $9.4 billion and the school aid fund $11.4 billion.