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Whitmer on Passage of Bipartisan Investments in Economic Development, Scholarships, Public Safety


September 28, 2022


Gov. Whitmer on Passage of Bipartisan Investments in Economic Development, Scholarships, Public Safety

Bipartisan deal will unleash Michigan’s economic potential by attracting transformational, job-creating investments to every region of the state and empowering young people pursuing higher education

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer highlighted components of the bipartisan supplemental package to fund economic development, deliver scholarships for higher education students, and secure additional resources to support public safety officials.

“I am proud that we have reached a bipartisan deal empowering Michigan to compete for huge economic development projects, support students pursuing higher education with scholarships, and increase funding for first responders,” said Governor Whitmer. “This bipartisan package will help us attract transformational projects bringing billions in investment and creating thousands of jobs to Michigan, lower the cost of higher education for the vast majority of Michiganders, and increase funding for law enforcement officer mental health. The supplemental is a testament to what we are capable of when we work together. Let’s keep putting Michiganders first and moving our state forward.”

“This supplemental budget is a strong bipartisan effort, led by Governor Whitmer, to deliver investments that create high-quality, good-paying jobs right here in our state,” said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint). “The vote we took today will bring more opportunities to Michigan workers and make our state stronger and more competitive for generations to come.”

“By using part of our multi-billion surplus to support economic growth, create good jobs, help struggling students afford to go to college and support the mental health of invaluable first responders, these bills are another important investment in the people of our state,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas (R-Midland).

We’re raising the bar here in Michigan for our workforce and our students. The economic growth this investment will spur means opportunity and stability for our working families as we attract more jobs in innovative fields and the scholarship funds mean a greater freedom for students to pursue a career they are passionate about with the hard earned skills and education we’re making more accessible,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “These are the big, meaningful, durable investments in Michigan’s future Democrats are working tirelessly to deliver.”

“Depositing these funds into the SOAR is key to continuing the success we’ve had in retaining and creating Michigan jobs,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township). “We’re securing opportunities for our children and grandchildren to thrive here in Michigan for years to come.”

Creating Good-Paying Jobs and Attracting Business

To maintain the Michigan's momentum attracting transformational projects, the supplemental includes a significant deposit into the State’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund. This funding has the potential to create thousands of new, good-paying jobs in Michigan. Additionally, the supplemental includes:

  • $496 million for future economic investments ($206 million of which is re-appropriated from the prior year)
  • $350 million for site development statewide, including:
  • Grants to regional and local economic development organizations 
  • Strategic site improvements
  • Remediation and redevelopment for future projects
  • Additionally, $27 million for upgrades to secure an investment from Hemlock Semiconductor, bringing the supply chain of chips home from China to Michigan.

"The Michigan Chamber supports this meaningful investment in economic development for Michigan,” said Jim Holcomb, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “The bipartisan work of the Legislature and Governor will enhance Michigan’s ability to compete for and retain jobs while simultaneously ensuring transparency, legislative oversight and efficiency. Michigan will be positioned to attract some of the largest projects in our state’s history, which will benefit businesses of all sizes across all industries in urban and rural areas and strengthen communities statewide.”  

“Today’s bipartisan deal will help Michigan compete to win good paying jobs,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “These job creation tools combined with past investments in infrastructure and talent development have helped Michigan land billions in new investments.  The Governor and Legislature continue to send a strong and clear signal that Michigan is open for business.”

“The approval of SOAR funding is a critical bi-partisan stride forward that will provide the transformational dollars needed to secure the economic future of communities across Michigan,” said Jennifer Owens, President, Lakeshore Advantage and Chair, Economic Development Leaders for Michigan. “ We are very grateful to the countless state and local leaders who worked together to ensure this vital economic tool continues to be available.”

Lowering the Cost of College Tuition

To make college more affordable for families across Michigan, grow Michigan’s talent pool, and get the state closer to achieving its Sixty by 30 goal, the supplemental creates the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. 

Starting with the class of 2023, high school graduates will be eligible for more financial aid from the state, up to: 

  • $2,750 if they attend a community college, per year 
  • $5,500 if they attend a public university, per year
  • $4,000 if they attend a private college or university, per year 

Students will be eligible if their family demonstrates financial need when they complete the FAFSA. The Michigan Achievement Scholarship will cover: 

  • 94% of students attending community colleges
  • 76% of students attending a public university
  • 79% of students attending a private college or university

For additional information on the supplemental, view Senate Bills 842 and 844.

“The Michigan Achievement Scholarship is going to be a game-changer for students graduating from high school. Michigan community colleges applaud the inclusion of this scholarship program in today’s supplemental to ensure students have the resources they need to gain skills and credentials needed to compete in today’s evolving labor market,” said Brandy Johnson, President of the Michigan Community College Association. “This student financial aid program is a historic investment in the future our Michigan’s young people. The more we invest in our colleges and our students, the more prosperous our state will be.”

“Today marks a watershed moment for college affordability in Michigan, thanks to the bipartisan efforts of Governor Whitmer and legislative leaders. This investment in student financial aid will have a generational impact in facilitating the college and career aspirations of our future workforce, starting with the high school graduating class of 2023.” said Dan Hurley, CEO at the Michigan Association for State Universities. “This major investment in student financial aid sends a resounding message to the state’s employers and those companies considering Michigan as a place to relocate to or expand. State lawmakers, with the strong support of our business community and our colleges and universities are doing what it takes to substantially build out our future talent pipeline. 

“The Michigan Achievement Scholarship is an unprecedented investment in Michigan students,” said Robert LeFevre, President of the Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities. “It creates an opportunity for most Michigan families to afford and attend college or other training programs and will fill the gaps in the talent pipeline.” 

Increasing Funding for First Responders

Increasing mental health funding for public safety professionals and law enforcement officers.

“We must support Michigan’s hardworking public safety professionals – whether police officers or firefighters on the street or 911 operators who field emergency calls,” said Matt Sahr, President of Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union. “These investments are a step forward in ensuring that public safety professionals have the resources they need to better serve Michiganders.”

“The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police salutes Governor Whitmer and the state legislature for continuing to invest in the well-being of our officers,” said Bob Stevenson, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. “Building off of last summer’s historic bipartisan public safety supplemental, this investment will better position our police chiefs and their teams as they work day and night to make Michigan a safer place to live, work and thrive.”

“Our police and corrections officers are on the frontline every day helping to serve and protect Michiganders in each of our state’s 83 counties,” said Matthew Saxton, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association.  “The health and well-being of these officers are of primary concern to us, and this investment is a positive step forward in ensuring that they have the appropriate resources if and when they may find themselves in need. The Michigan Sheriff’s Association commends and thanks Governor Whitmer and the Michigan legislature for making this important investment.”