Senate passes FY 2023 budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas this week led Senate passage of a fiscal year 2023 state budget plan that increases funding for K-12 schools, reduces debt, and saves resources to provide tax relief for everyone in Michigan.

“A budget is a statement of priorities — and this budget plan prioritizes educating our children, improving our economy and supporting families struggling with increasing costs,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The Senate’s budget plan increases K-12 education funding by $938 million and once again sets a record for K-12 school support, invests nearly $2 billion into local roads, and creates a new scholarship program to help community college and university students — while also setting aside $2 billion to provide tax relief to all Michigan families.

“Instead of simply increasing the size of state government, we should focus on making government work better for the people of Michigan — and that is what this budget plan will do. It is the next step working with the House and governor on enacting a new state budget that improves our state, supports our people and lives within our means.”

Senate Bill 832 would invest $17.9 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $938 million. After making history last year by closing the per-pupil foundation allowance gap between schools, the Senate plan would use $630.5 million to increase the minimum foundation allowance by another $450 to $9,150 per student. The bill includes an additional $70 million specifically to help address learning loss due to the governor’s COVID-19 shutdowns.

SB 842 would provide a nearly $996 million increase for higher education, including an 11% increase for university operations and $581 million to pay off MPSERS unfunded liabilities for universities still in the retirement system.

The plan invests $361 million for a new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which would cover up to $3,000 annually at a community college or $6,000 annually at a university. Students could use the scholarship at public or private colleges, community colleges and qualified private training institutions.

The total $74.2 billion state budget plan increases support to $55 million for the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, provides $40 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to assist people seeking an associate degree or a trade certificate, invests $41.7 million to improve access to dentists for low-income families, provides $414.5 million to maintain the wage increase for direct-care workers instituted last year, and invests nearly $2 billion in local government transportation funding to help fix local roads.

The budget bills also prioritize more revenue sharing for local governments and more resources to train and hire 170 new Michigan State Police troopers and an additional 800 corrections officers. They provide a $1 million increase for Secondary Road Patrol grants that help support emergency response and traffic enforcement on local county roads.

“Every child deserves a loving home, and this budget also includes an 18% increase in the reimbursement rate for families who foster or adopt children in need,” Stamas said.

SBs 827-843 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.

Photo caption: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, outlines a Senate budget plan for fiscal year 2023 during session on Tuesday. The Senate plan focuses on increasing record funding for K-12 schools, reducing debt, and saving resources to provide tax relief for everyone in Michigan.