Insiders expected New Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to propose deep cuts in the state’s prison budget, but he didn’t, says the
Detroit Free Press. Snyder will ask the legislature to approve the closing of one prison, as yet unnamed, saving $18.9 million. He also said he would seek the privatization of food service and prison store operations, along with administrative reductions to save another $32.3 million. Department of Corrections spending would be virtually flat, at slightly more than $2 billion in 2011.
Phil Power, president of the Center for Michigan, who was generally positive about Snyder’s budget, said the prison cuts are “not nearly enough.” Although funding for higher education is targeted for a 15 percent reduction, the proposed prison spending “says to me that prisons trump educating bright minds,” he said.