Balancing The Budget
When Bolger assumed his new role the state was facing a $1.8 billion structural budget deficit. Prior to Bolger’s becoming Speaker, Michigan saw annual budget shortfalls of $1.5 billion on average, as well as repeated government shutdowns.
Bolger worked rapidly with Republicans to balance the budget. In his first year as Speaker, Bolger, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Governor Rick Snyder worked to adopt a budget which resulted in Michigan seeing a more than $450 million surplus.
In each subsequent year the Michigan legislature passed, and the governor signed a balanced budget. During this time, Michigan further saw a surplus that helped replenish the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which in 2011 had $2.2 million in reserves and surpassed $700 million in reserves for the 2014-15 fiscal year budget. Michigan’s budget was balanced ahead of schedule all four years Bolger served as Speaker.