Stamas: Senate budget plan increases roads and school funding without governor’s tax hike

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas on Wednesday said that the Senate fiscal year 2020 budget plan approved by the committee this week increases investments in key priorities while living within the state’s means.

“The Senate budget plan increases funding for our roads and schools to record levels without depending on a massive $2.5 billion tax hike on Michigan families,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Under this budget, we will have increased our state’s annual transportation spending by more than $1.75 billion over the past 10 years and boosted state funding for schools by over $2.6 billion since Governor Granholm’s last budget.”

The Senate plan would invest $15.2 billion in education, a total increase of nearly $400 million.

Schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — the largest per-pupil increase in 18 years and $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan.

The plan also increases constitutional revenue sharing by $51.2 million for local governments and fully implements $1.2 billion from the 2015 roads plan a year ahead of schedule — investing an additional $132 million entirely to local roads.

“This is the next step in enacting a smart budget to help improve our state for Michigan families, workers and job creators,” Stamas said. “I am proud of the responsible budget plan we have put together, and I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues and the governor to finalize a balanced budget on time that reflects taxpayer priorities and pocketbooks.”

The Senate plan would graduate 85 new state police troopers and invest $120 million for drinking water protections. It would also restore the governor’s planned cuts to funding that improves access to OB-GYN services in rural areas, strengthens rural hospitals, boosts the number of medical residents in underserved areas, and supports skilled trades training to help prepare workers for in-demand jobs.

The budget bills now head to the full Senate.