Thorough debate needed on what to do with state windfall

A bit of unexpected good economic news made its way out of Lansing late Friday, all but passing unnoticed as the weekend approached and residents from one end of the state to another enjoyed a brief respite from the bitter cold.

The administration of Gov. Rick Snyder and other economists said the state will take in nearly $1 billion more in tax revenue from last fiscal year through the next budget year than was forecast eight months ago.

Although the exact number, presently estimated at $975 million, won’t be known for several months, expect discussions ramp up long before then on what to do with the windfall.

According to an Associated Press story, tax cuts, more road repairs and extra money for education are on the table.

Before the governor and legislature start writing checks, we’d like to see a coherent dialogue on where the funding would do the most good.

It’s a substantial amount of money. So should be the amount of public discourse on what to do with it.