State budget update

I was proud to once again support a balanced state budget plan that increases support for all levels of education and continues our efforts to create a positive climate for creating jobs — all while living within our means.

The Senate’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget plan would build on our commitment to preparing all our students for success, put 150 more state troopers on the road and help attract job creators and tourists to Michigan.

Every school will see an increase in their per-student foundation allowance in this budget, and we are helping direct more dollars into the classroom by investing more than $1 billion to reduce legacy costs.

Senate Bill 149 is the K-12 education budget. It includes nearly $14.3 billion in total spending and an increase to local schools of more than $231 million. The bill includes a foundation allowance increase for all schools, a $100 million increase and expansion in at-risk funding, a $2.5 million increase in skilled trades training and a $1.1 billion deposit into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS).

The plan also would increase staffing for Michigan’s veterans homes, put an additional $5.4 million in community colleges, boost support for libraries by 29 percent and invest more than $230 million in additional funding into fixing the roads.

This budget would build on our positive record of results. We’ve accomplished much during the last six years to increase state funding on education to record levels and help create jobs, but we still have work to do. Each year, we must continue to ensure that our tax dollars are effectively and efficiently used to provide important services and improve our state.

Our goal is to once again have a balanced budget done before the Fourth of July, and I will keep you updated as we work to meet that goal.