Stamas: Budget focuses on education, safety and roads – Gladwin

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Tuesday supported a finalized fiscal year 2019 state budget that increases investments in key priorities, including educating Michigan students and improving the roads.

“This budget will help us continue to boost the economy, create jobs, protect our communities and provide every student with 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 funding for our schools to record levels and helps create a positive climate for innovation and job creation.

“Every school will see increased funding in this budget — with most schools receiving the largest per-pupil increase in 17 years.”

The education budget invests nearly $14.8 billion in K-12 education, which includes a foundation allowance increase of between $120 and $240 per pupil and a $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.

The budget also features investments in school safety initiatives, including more funding for the OK2SAY confidential tip-line program, $30 million for mental health support services in schools, and $25 million for school security improvements.

“Our schools should be safe and productive places for learning,” Stamas said. “We are investing $58 million to ensure that our schools and communities can make the critical school safety improvements necessary to keep our students and teachers safe.”

The budget for state departments and the judicial and legislative branches would increase local revenue sharing by $22.5 million, fully fund the $100 million Marshall Plan for Talent and invest $40.9 million in skilled trades training.

“We are putting $330 million more into fixing our roads, which will bring our total new investment in our roads to $2.4 billion since 2017,” Stamas said. “In Gladwin County, this budget will provide $5,000 toward the Beaverton World War I monument to honor those who died protecting us, and the Beaverton Industrial Park will receive $360,000 for road renovations to help increase local opportunities for jobs and economic development.”