Senate passes 2019 budget plan

I am proud to once again support a Senate budget plan for fiscal year 2019 that is focused on improving our state while living within our means.

This budget would build on our commitment to ensure every student receives an education that prepares them for success, to help direct more dollars into the classroom and to reduce the funding gap between school districts.

The $14.7 billion investment in K-12 education included in this plan would be the most in state history, and many area schools would receive the largest per-pupil foundation allowance increase in over 10 years.

Senate Bill 863 is the K-12 education budget. It includes a foundation allowance increase for all schools of between $115 and $230 per pupil, $6 million in transportation funding for rural school districts, nearly $500 million to help schools educate at-risk students, $5 million for a new career and technical education incentive, and a $1.3 billion deposit into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.

The entire state budget plan features $7 million to support rural hospitals, a $10 million boost for local public health departments, $40.9 million for Going Pro skilled trades training to prepare workers for in-demand jobs, and an additional $3.6 million to combat various wildlife diseases like bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease.

I chair the Senate General Government budget subcommittee. That budget, SB 855, includes funding for the Legislature, the attorney general, the secretary of state and other departments. It features a $24.7 million increase in constitutional revenue sharing, a $1 million increase to Pure Michigan tourism promotion, and funding for additional forensic interview training.

This is the next step in the budget process. I will continue working to once again enact a balanced budget that supports our students, protects our communities, and ensures that our tax dollars are effectively and efficiently used to provide vital services and build a brighter future for all Michigan families.

SBs 850-865 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.