LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday finalized a fiscal year 2021 budget plan that balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important priorities like K-12 education and flooding recovery.
“In the face of unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, we worked together to pass a state budget that funds key priorities and balances the deficit — without raising taxes,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland. “This budget increases funding for our K-12 schools, helps fix our roads, protects hardworking taxpayers, is accountable to Michigan families, and helps us build a healthy economy that benefits everyone.
“We are also providing $15.5 million to help mid-Michigan communities clean up failed dams and begin the process to restore the lakes to pre-flood conditions.”
Senate Bill 927, sponsored by Stamas, is an education omnibus budget featuring a $65 per student increase in state aid payments for all schools in addition to restoring the $175 per pupil reduction made to balance the FY 2020 budget. It also includes an additional $66 million for growing schools, $37 million for student mental health support and $3 million more for early childhood literacy.
House Bill 5396 is a general omnibus budget that increases local revenue sharing and includes $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents, $7 million to graduate at least 50 new state troopers and maintain trooper strength, $26 million for the Going Pro program to help train employees, and $30 million for Michigan Reconnect to help people complete an associate degree or skills certificate.
It also invests $15 million in the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, deposits $35 million in the state’s rainy day fund, and fully funds the 2015 plan to help fix the state’s roads.
“We are protecting our seniors in nursing homes from COVID-19 and protecting those who protect us — our local police, firefighters and other first responders,” Stamas said. “Due to the governor’s extended shutdown of our economy, thousands of Michigan residents remain out of work. This budget also makes significant investments to help them get back on their feet.”
The budget bills now head to the governor for consideration. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.