Stamas: 2018 budget invests in education, public safety and roads – Northeast Michigan

Alpena area to see funding to fight bovine TB, school absenteeism, ACC center

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Thursday said that the Legislature has finalized a fiscal year 2018 budget that focuses support for key priorities including educating Michigan students, protecting families and improving the roads.

“This budget will maintain Michigan’s positive momentum and help us continue to boost the economy, create jobs, keep our communities safe and ensure every student receives an education that prepares them for success,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I am proud that we once again have a balanced state budget that increases state funding for our schools to record levels and builds on our efforts to create a welcoming climate for innovation and job creation.

“School will see an increase in their per-student foundation allowance in this budget. We will also continue to help put more dollars into the classroom by investing more than $1 billion to reduce schools’ retirement costs and pay down debt.”

The education budget totals $16.6 billion including nearly $14.6 billion in total K-12 education investment, an increase of more than $415 million. Public universities will see a $46 million increase and community colleges will receive a $3.4 million boost.

All K-12 schools will receive an increase in their foundation allowance under the new budget, which includes a $120 million increase in at-risk funding to cover more children; $9.6 million for career and technical education equipment; and a more than $1.3 billion contribution into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) to control costs, reduce debt and meet the needs of current retired teachers.

“Northeast Michigan will see direct results under this budget,” Stamas said. “In addition to increased school funding, the budget includes resources to help fight bovine tuberculosis in the area, provides funding for Alpena Community College’s Center for Health Science and Student Success project and directs Pathways to Potential funding to the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency to help reduce absenteeism in schools.”

The budget for state departments and the judicial and legislative branches would increase local revenue sharing by $18.8 million, boost support for libraries and add $11 million to increase skilled trades training funding to $41.9 million.

“We are putting 150 more state troopers on the road to protect our communities, increasing staffing for Michigan’s veterans homes and boosting transportation funding by more than $214 million — including a $130 million increase for local roads,” Stamas said. “We’ve accomplished much to improve our state, but we still have work to do. With this budget, we will continue to focus on a more vibrant Michigan, provide vital services and live within our means while paying down more than $3 billion in debt.”

House Bills 4313 and 4323 now head to the governor to be signed. The FY 2018 budget takes effect on Oct. 1.