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Gov. Whitmer's 2022 budget gets Michigan back to work and supports our schools
February 11, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2021
Kurt Weiss, Weissk1@michigan.gov
Gov. Whitmer’s 2022 budget gets Michigan back to work and supports our schools
Budget plan will equitably?grow the economy, expand skills training, provide child care for families, rebuild infrastructure, and help small businesses?
LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s third executive budget was released today, centered on equitably?growing the state’s economy by?expanding?skills training?and childcare for families, providing a further down payment on rebuilding the state’s crumbling bridges and water infrastructure, and helping small businesses recover from the pandemic. State Budget Director David Massaron outlined the recommendations this morning to a joint session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
The budget recommendation provides investments that will foster the success of Michigan students and teachers, improve the state’s infrastructure, address the public health crisis, protect our Great Lakes, and provide help and opportunity for families and businesses.
Today’s Executive Budget Recommendation follows a recent supplemental budget request for the current fiscal year that was sent to the Legislature on January 20, which would provide $5.6 billion in new funding for Michigan’s recovery from the pandemic. That supplemental request still requires action by the Legislature to ensure the full benefits of Gov. Whitmer’s Michigan COVID Recovery Plan are realized. It is a plan that is instrumental to the Governor’s broader economic vision to help businesses and families across the state recover as quickly as possible.
“To build Michigan’s economy back better, we must stay laser-focused on getting Michigan back to work and getting our kids back in school safely,” said Gov. Whitmer. “The budget plan I released today along with the MI COVID Recovery plan I announced last month makes the investments we need to jumpstart our economy and build a better Michigan for everyone. I am committed to working across the aisle with the legislature to ensure that we don’t waste a dime of the federal aid we have received thus far, so we can help Michigan families and small businesses get back on their feet. Let's get to work and let's get it done.”
“The Governor’s budget plan provides needed investments in our roads and bridges, our economy and our schools,” said State Budget Director David Massaron. “I believe this is a plan that reflects the shared values that all Michiganders support, and I look forward to working with?the legislature over the next few months to ensure we finalize a budget that works for Michigan.”
The budget recommendation totals $67.1 billion and it includes a general fund total of $11.4 billion and a school aid fund total of $14.7 billion. It provides a significant amount of one-time funding made possible by the increase in federal aid and the effective job Michigan has done in managing the pandemic. The recommendation is built with an eye toward the future to ensure that the fiscal year 2023 budget is balanced as well.
Budget Recommendations for Children and Public Education
The budget recommendation calls for the largest investment in K-12 schools in history, including:
“The cost and availability of high-quality childcare is a barrier to many working families and a real concern for employers across Michigan,” said Sean Welsh, PNC regional president and Talent 2025 Board co-chair. “The governor’s childcare priorities will allow more families to qualify for childcare assistance, help childcare providers keep their doors open, and allow more Michiganders to return to or remain in the workforce.”
“The pandemic has highlighted both the importance of schools to our society and our pre-existing struggles to meet students' needs. After the experiences of the last school year, it is important that we provide safe and flexible learning opportunities that do not simply return us to pre-pandemic standards, but close the opportunity gap for learners across the state. Governor Whitmer's budget recommendation represents much needed materials, resources, programs, infrastructure, and personnel that will empower educators to meet the diverse needs of Michigan learners,” said Michigan Teacher of the Year, Owen Bondono.
Budget Recommendations for Economic Opportunity
The budget recommendation calls for funding centered on economic recovery and opportunity, including:
“General Motors has demonstrated its commitment to an all-electric future and will introduce 30 new EVs globally by 2025. We’re also collaborating with charging companies, utilities and communities to increase accessibility and availability of public and workplace charging,” said Rick Spina, GM vice president for EV Charging and Infrastructure. “But it will take continued leadership, industry collaboration, and supportive public policy to accelerate the mass adoption of EVs. The Mobility Futures Initiative included in Governor Whitmer’s Executive Budget Recommendation signals important investment in infrastructure and programs that will help advance electrification in Michigan and the Midwest.”
Budget Recommendations for Public Health
The budget recommendation calls for funding centered on the health of Michigan families, including:
“AARP research shows that the overwhelming majority of Michigan residents prefer to age in place in their own homes and communities. Also, rebalancing Michigan’s long term care system — allowing a greater share of the people who need services to remain in their own homes — can also save taxpayer dollars. Medicaid dollars can support nearly three older adults in home and community based services for every one person in a nursing home. We applaud Governor Whitmer for expanding the MiChoice program to provide critical alternatives to those in nursing home care,” said Lisa Dedden Cooper manager of advocacy at AARP Michigan.
Budget Recommendations for Infrastructure
The budget recommendation calls for investments in the state’s infrastructure, including:
“Governor Whitmer has once again shown her commitment to finding adequate funding for Michigan’s infrastructure in every area possible in her budget recommendations to the Legislature. Many of Michigan’s local bridges are past their life expectancy and local communities need assistance in replacing these aging assets. In addition, calls for increased funding for underground infrastructure across Michigan will help towards maintaining and replacing our aging water and sewer systems. Many communities do not have funding to maintain those systems which can result in disastrous failures and expensive repairs,” said Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs at Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
Budget Recommendations for Clean Energy and the Environment
The budget recommendation calls for funding centered on the environment, including:
"As business leaders focused on protecting the Great Lakes, we appreciate seeing in this budget a continued commitment to advancing solutions to transition to a clean energy economy and ensuring the Great Lakes are protected by investing in critical water infrastructure needs across the state," said Bob Sutherland, president and CEO of Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, and chairman of the Great Lakes Business Network Clean Energy Working Group.
The budget recommendation also helps communities across the state with income tax losses resulting from the pandemic through a $70 million investment, with payments not to exceed $25 million to any one city. A Constitutional Revenue Sharing increase of 1.8 percent is provided to cities, villages, and townships, while a one-time 2 percent increase is provided for Statutory Revenue Sharing. A one-time increase of 2 percent is also recommended for Statutory County Revenue Sharing. Local communities are also supported with $5 million in grants to support efforts in finding and training new law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and paramedics.
The budget recommendation also proposes a $175 million deposit to the Budget Stabilization Fund to replace half of the withdrawal in 2020 needed for the pandemic response. In addition, a Venture Michigan II Fund payoff is recommended to purchase the remaining tax vouchers issued by the state. By clearing the remaining debt associated with this program, it is projected that $150 million in general fund will be saved over the course of the next two fiscal years, an 88 percent return on investment.
Other recommended investments include a renewed request for $5 million to fund security upgrades at the Capitol to implement a weapons ban, $10 million to alleviate affordable housing needs across the state and revitalize downtown areas, $12 million for local trial courts to comply with new defense standards for low-income individuals, $7.7 million for a trooper recruit school, $20 million to support the enacted clean slate legislation for criminal record expungement, and $73.6 million to support two new veteran homes in Grand Rapids and Chesterfield Township to provide quality long-term care for veterans and their eligible family members.
The budget plan also calls for an additional exemption from Michigan’s ?6 percent sales?and use tax on menstrual products and provides for $5 million from the general fund to hold harmless the School Aid Fund from the proposed exemption.?
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Copies and more details of the governor’s recommended budget are available at www.michigan.gov/budget. Join the conversation on Twitter at #mibudget.