LANSING, Mich. — After listening to State Budget Director Dave Massaron present Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal year 2022 state budget recommendation on Thursday, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, issued the following statement:
“We are focused on protecting our people, winning the fight against this pandemic, and building a healthier and stronger Michigan. As we begin to craft a new budget, it should acknowledge the hardships Michigan families have faced — and continue to face — while also looking ahead at the needs of our people as we recover from this historic crisis.
“Our biggest challenge remains the coronavirus and its many effects on our families, students, workers and job providers. We’ve already approved over $4 billion in funding to support those affected by COVID-19, increase testing and help deliver the vaccines — and we’re proposing using another $2 billion in federal funding to boost this effort.
“The Senate’s priorities will continue to be to support struggling families and family-owned businesses, ensure our students get the education they need, increase COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution, and help rebuild our economy — while living within our means.
“I support closing the gap in school funding, investing in our local infrastructure and depositing additional resources into the budget stabilization fund, but the devil is in the details on how to make it work. I am very concerned about the significant growth in spending and how we will pay for it in the long term when we run out of the one-time federal funding.
“Despite our differences, we have many of the same budget goals, and I look forward to working with the governor and our legislative colleagues to find common ground on a responsible spending plan that helps improve our state and the lives of our people.”