$173.2M investment helps lift Michigan children and families out of poverty

Michigan Poverty Task Force applauds funding for recommendations to help parents afford child care, invest in their future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021

Media Contact: Ebony Stith, 517-285-5549

LANSING, Mich. -  With nearly 40% of working Michigan households struggling to afford necessities like child care, housing, food, technology, health care and transportation, the Michigan Poverty Task Force recommendations included in Gov. Whitmer's FY 2022 budget make a significant investment to help lift 1.4 million Michiganders out of poverty.  

"With recommendations and guidance from the Poverty Task Force, we invested $173.2 million in the state budget to deliver on the kitchen-table issues faced by families," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "We made the largest education investment in K-12 history without raising taxes to close the funding gap between schools and improve the classroom experience for every kid, ensured the Poverty Task Force could continue its work, expanded affordable childcare, and set up Children's Savings Accounts to help build wealth. Together, we will stay laser-focused on the fundamental issues and work to uplift the 1.4 million Michiganders facing poverty." 

The Governor's FY 2022 budget allocations include: 

  • $2 million for Children's Savings Accounts program allowing Michiganders to save money and build wealth. Children's Savings Accounts offer an exciting platform to help low-income families build wealth and pay for educational expenses.
  • $2.2 million pilot funding to create affordable child care for low-income families. This funding expands the MI Tri-Share Child Care pilot program that splits the cost of child care by the employer, the employee and the State of Michigan. 
  • $1 million for Michigan Poverty Task Force's research and planning. This funding is for recommendations made by the Michigan Poverty Task Force to conduct research and planning on the effectiveness of TANF distribution and an evaluation of barriers to state assistance programs. 

In addition, the school aid budget includes a nearly $168 million investment for the Great Start Readiness Program that helps fund pre-school for all eligible children whose families are at or below 250% of the federal poverty limit.

"The school aid budget provides more funding than ever before for our public schools. The budget is particularly noteworthy in its support of the expansion of Great Start Readiness Program to all eligible four-year-old children over the next three years, the first goal of the State Board of Education's Top 10 state strategic education plan," said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. "The budget also allocates $1.5 billion to strengthen and expand child care in the state, an effort that permits children at or below 185% of the federal poverty limit to have access to child care."

While many state government efforts are already in place to help Michigan's poor, the Michigan Poverty Task Force will keep working hard to champion policies that lift Michigan families out of poverty and put them on a path to prosperity.  

"We are making strides in our goal of helping Michigan families transcend poverty. We will continue to recommend resources and programs that will give families what they need to move forward," said Kim Trent, Deputy Director of Prosperity, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. "Our goal is to close the gap for Michigan residents who are facing poverty, and we are making progress." 

The Task Force, led by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), consists of leaders from 14 state departments, with input from the Legislature, philanthropy and community organizations who worked together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to develop a comprehensive anti-poverty agenda for Michigan.  

More information on the Poverty Task Force is available at Michigan.gov/LEO.