Snyder signs bill to aid Flint safety, improve quality of health records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Contact: Sara Wurfel
517-335-6397 or wurfels@michigan.gov 

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today signed a $325 million supplemental appropriations bill that includes support for a city of Flint public safety initiative and encourages health providers to use electronic records for enhanced quality.

Senate Bill 138 contains current-year supplemental appropriations for the departments of Community Health, Corrections, Human Services, State, State Police, Transportation and Treasury. The $325.8 million gross appropriation includes $131.8 million from the state's general fund. It reflects caseload adjustments agreed upon in the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference in May.

"Ensuring the health and safety of Michigan residents is one of government's primary responsibilities," Snyder said. "With the support and leadership of our partners in the Legislature, we are able to dedicate the necessary funds to further these shared goals in an efficient, innovative way."

The bill contains $1 million for a pilot public safety program in Flint. The funds will be used to house up to 200 Genesee County jail inmates in other counties that have available jail space. Freeing up room in the Genesee County jail allows the Michigan State Police to assist local public safety agencies in taking more criminals off of Flint's streets.

"Safer neighborhoods are a critical part of our effort to get people back to work in Flint and Genesee County," said state Rep. Jim Ananich, who sponsored the amendment for the public safety funding. "These resources will help law enforcement do their job, but we must stay focused on working together for long-term fixes."

SB 138 also includes $1.5 million in state funds and $82 million in federal funds for costs associated with the new Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive program. The program provides federally financed incentive payments to Medicaid health care providers to encourage the adoption and use of electronic health records, which will improve quality, increase efficiency and promote safety for patients.

"This legislation recognizes Michigan's need for public safety and a working social safety net," said state Sen. Roger Kahn, sponsor of SB 138. Visit www.michigan.gov/snyder for more information on Michigan's budget and the governor's initiatives. Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for complete bill information.

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