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Gov. Whitmer Applauds Passage of ‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget
June 28, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2023
Gov. Whitmer Applauds Passage of ‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget
Balanced, bipartisan budget makes investments to lower costs, grow the economy, support student success, and deliver on the kitchen-table issues
LANSING, Mich.— Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the passage of a balanced, bipartisan state budget for Fiscal Year 2024 focused on growing the economy, lowering costs, delivering on kitchen-table issues, and helping anyone “Make it in Michigan.”
“The Make it in Michigan budget will build a bright future for our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “It lowers costs on health care, preschool, meals for kids, higher education, housing, and workforce training. It will help us keep fixing the damn bridges, replacing lead pipes, and protecting public safety. And it will power 'Make it in Michigan,’ our comprehensive vision for economic development so we can win more projects, invest in people, and revitalize places. I am so grateful to the new leadership in the legislature for getting this done. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator.”
“This budget will make a real difference for Michiganders in every corner of our state,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “It makes bold, historic investments to grow economic opportunity and empower the next generation—replacing lead pipes, closing health equity gaps, expanding skills training, and providing free breakfast and lunch for every Michigan student. With this budget, we will help more individuals, families, and business owners ‘Make it in Michigan.’ Governor Whitmer and I will continue working with anyone to build a Michigan where we all can thrive.”
“The budget for fiscal year 2024 makes strategic investments that will make a difference in the lives of every Michigander and delivers fiscal responsibility through deposits into the State’s Budget Stabilization Fund and a new rainy day fund for public schools,” said State Budget Director Christopher Harkins. “This budget prioritizes funding for Michigan’s students, schools, public health, natural resources, and communities. I am confident this budget will move Michigan forward."
The FY24 budget totals $81.7 billion. It includes a general fund total of $15.2 billion and a School Aid Fund total of $19.4 billion. The budget provides a significant amount of one-time funding while maintaining a structural balance in future years and does not utilize one-time funds for ongoing purposes. It makes investments to support the success of Michigan students and teachers, improve the state’s infrastructure, better the health of residents, protect natural resources, and expand opportunity for families, communities, and businesses.
Education–Getting Kids Back on Track & Supporting Student Success
The budget continues historic public education investments, including:
- $611 million to increase per-pupil funding by 5%, an additional $458 per student, for a total of $9,608 per pupil. Per-pupil funding is up 22% since the Governor took office.
- $450 million deposit into a new rainy day fund for schools, setting aside resources for future needs and shoring up the long-term financial stability of the state’s public education system.
- $370 million to support teachers, including continued support for the MI Future Educator Program (which provides a tuition free path for college students to become certified teachers) and funds to retain and develop existing teachers through mentorship programs.
- $328 million for mental health and school safety.
- $254.6 million to expand free pre-K for up to 5,600 kids, working towards Pre-K for All by the end of the Governor’s second term, saving families $10,000 a year and putting kids on the path to a brighter future.
- $204.5 million increase, for a total of $952 million, in funding for academically at-risk, economically disadvantaged students.
- $160 million to provide all 1.4 million public school students in free breakfast and lunch, saving their families over $850 a year and time every morning.
- $150 million for individualized tutoring or academic support through the MI Kids Back on Track program.
- $140.3 million to continue expanded support for special education students, providing a full foundation allowance plus required cost reimbursements for each student.
- $125 million to fund matching grants for school districts to modernize their bus fleet by switching over to electric vehicles.
- $94.4 million for literacy-related programs and activities in Detroit public schools.
- $25.5 million to help students reach their full academic potential, including expansion of existing payments for literacy grants and literacy coaches.
- $25 million supporting new math intervention programs.
- $25 million for additional supports for vocational education and career and technical education equipment upgrades.
- $13.3 million to provide a 50% increase in funding for English language learners.
- $8 million over two years to establish the Nature Awaits program, providing every Michigan fourth grader with a free field trip to a state park.
“This is another outstanding budget, one that again works hard on funding adequacy and equity,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “In addition to a 5 percent foundation allowance increase, big percentage increases for the education of students with disabilities and English learners, and additional funding earmarked for staff compensation, the budget funds greater flexibility and continued expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) program toward universally accessible pre-school, the implementation of the governor’s MI Kids Back on Track tutoring program for children who are behind in reading or math, universal school meals for students, and an opportunity index to fund high percentages of economically disadvantaged students. The budget also funds mentoring for new teachers, new counselors, and new administrators, as well as training for school board members, and transportation reimbursement to help address the cost of transportation, especially for rural districts whose per-rider costs are high. In the 30 years since Proposal A to change the school funding system, Michigan hasn’t had two years of back-to-back funding increases close to FY23 and FY24. Kudos to the governor and state legislature for their work, among that of many others, on the budget front.”
“Thanks to the hard work of Governor Whitmer and leaders in the state House and Senate, our local schools will continue to make progress in attracting and retaining qualified educators who can help our students succeed,” said Paula Herbart, a longtime teacher from Macomb County and president of the Michigan Education Association. “It’s critical that we keep great educators on the job and attract talented people into this noble profession, and this budget agreement provides our schools with much-needed resources to help accomplish these goals.”
“The GSRP funding included in this budget is an investment in today's children, who are also tomorrow's workforce here in Michigan, said Carrie Rosingana, CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works! and chair of the PreK for All Action Team. “By expanding access to pre-K for more kids and supporting new GSRP classrooms this announcement is a reflection of the state’s continued focus on lowering costs for families, supporting early learning, and investing in the growth and retention of early childhood professionals in Michigan.”
“I’ve spoken to many superintendents across the state and there is a resounding appreciation for the education funding in this year’s state budget,” said Dr. Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director. “These dollars are critical to helping our districts address student and staff mental health, increase school safety measures, and provide specialized learning opportunities. It is essential that public education be funded at this level both now and in the future so that our schools can continue to prepare our students for their own success and for Michigan’s future.”
“Healthy School Meals for All will be transformational for Michigan’s students and families,” said Collin McDonough, Director of Michigan Government Relations at the American Heart Association. “Not only will it help students learn—no one can focus on an empty stomach—it will help reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Proper nutrition is a key component of a heart-healthy lifestyle, and having no-cost breakfast and lunch will ensure our students have what they need to succeed inside and outside the classroom. We applaud Governor Whitmer, the state legislature, the Michigan Department of Education, our partner organizations No Kid Hungry Michigan and the School Nutrition Association of Michigan, and the Michigan School Meals Coalition for their tireless work to take this program from an idea to reality.”
“For years, The Alliance has advocated for a budget that invests in equity and supports the individual needs of every Michigan child,” said Peter Spadafore, Executive Director of the Michigan Alliance for Student Opportunity. “This budget creates the roadmap for achieving that goal while making significant investments in our most vulnerable learners.”
Higher Education & Workforce Development
- A 5% ongoing increase for university and community college operations.
- $112 million in Infrastructure, Technology, Equipment Maintenance, and Safety (ITEMS) funding to assist community colleges and universities improve existing facilities, infrastructure, technology, and campus security.
- $70 million to temporarily lower the eligibility age for Reconnect from 25 to 21, making a tuition-free associate degree or skills training available to 350,000 more Michiganders.
- $50 million additional investment for the ongoing costs of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, lowering costs by thousands for students, bringing the FY24 investment to $300million.
- $37.8 million for the College Success Fund and wraparound services to improve retention and completion rates.
“Michigan’s 15 public universities and the more than quarter million students they serve will greatly benefit from the budget plan Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders have crafted,” said Dan Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “A five percent increase for university operations and an additional $50 million for students receiving the Michigan Achievement Scholarship are among the investments that will improve college affordability for families, the state’s talent pipeline, and the economic prosperity of Michigan.”
"Michigan Community Colleges are proud to play a critical role in the state's talent development strategy," said Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, President of Mott Community College and chair of the Michigan Community College Association board. "We are grateful for the State’s ongoing investment in the operations of community colleges. We are particularly thrilled about dedicated funding to lower the eligibility age for Michigan Reconnect from 25 to 21. This will be a game-changer in creating a tuition-free pathway to an associate degree at any one of Michigan’s 31 community and tribal colleges."
"Traverse Connect is thrilled to see continued investment in talent development programs like Michigan Reconnect in this budget, along with new incentives for research and development to help keep our state on the cutting edge of freshwater innovation," said Warren Call, President and CEO of Traverse Connect.
Public Health – Strengthening Families
The budget makes vital investments focused on the health of Michigan families, including:
- $140 million to increase wages for direct care workers and other staff assisting those with disabilities and seniors who require home-based and nursing home services and supports.
- $156.8 million to increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid services to improve enrollee access to necessary health care.
- $49.5 million to implement recommendations from the Racial Disparities Task Force, including neighborhood health grants, mobile health units, sickle cell support and more.
- $56.4 million to fund Healthy Moms, Healthy babies, a bipartisan initiative that supports pregnant women, new mothers, and infants.
- $25 million increase in support to local health departments to provide essential services.
- $10 million to create a new foster care respite care program to provide temporary, occasional relief to foster parents.
- $6.2 million to fund the Medicaid Plan First! Program, expanding access to family planning services and cancer screening and saving 25,000 Michiganders an average of $2,000.
- $4.9 million over 2 years for Double-Up Food Bucks, boosting access to fresh fruits and vegetables for Michiganders on food assistance.
“With the investments in this FY 24 budget proposed by Governor Whitmer and adopted by the Legislature, Michigan can be the best place to choose to have and raise a baby,” said Amy Zaagman, Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health. “Ensuring healthy moms and healthy babies is part of our mission and we are very grateful to have leaders who commit to the services and supports that will reduce inequities and improve outcomes.”
“I’m delighted to see a budget that allows for greater engagement at the neighborhood and community level,” said Dr. Phyllis D. Meadows, MSN, PhD, RN, Senior Fellow at Kresge Foundation and Member of the Racial Disparities Task Force Centering Equity Workgroup. “This degree of proximity to the people and the systems impacting health is needed now more than ever to ensure that we have a greater chance of identifying and addressing health inequities.”
“This year’s budget will be enormously welcome news for local public health departments around the State of Michigan,” said Norm Hess, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Local Public Health. “For the first time in 30 years, this budget covers the state’s mandated share for essential local public health services. We are grateful to the Governor and our lawmakers for taking time to understand our work and our value to communities around the state, and for providing us these critical resources to keep residents safe and healthy."
“Double Up Food Bucks works across the state to help children, families, and seniors use their SNAP benefits to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Kate Krauss, CEO at Fair Food Network. “We are grateful for this level of support to help us continue to bring this essential community resource to Michigan – allowing families to bring home more healthy food, putting more dollars into the pockets of local farmers, and boosting local economies. The process to stabilize funding for the Double Up Food Bucks began with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Budget Recommendation in early February and we are pleased to see the state's continued commitment to the program in the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development budget.”
Public Safety – Keeping Communities Safe
To keep families and communities safe, the budget prioritizes funding for public safety, including:
- $171.5 million in public safety grants, benefitting communities across the state.
- $34.2 million to enact various recommendations from the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform, including creating a Juvenile Justice Services Division within the State Court Administrative Office and expanding the scope of the Office of the Children’s Advocate.
- $30 million for cameras to keep drivers on Detroit freeways safe.
- $18.2 million to provide in-service training to licensed law enforcement officers.
- $14.4 million to improve safety and accountability in correctional facilities, including $7 million to outfit corrections officers with body cameras.
- $10 million toward leveraging the State Police Training Academy to serve as a criminal justice training hub to support realistic, multi-disciplinary training opportunities for law enforcement agencies across the state.
- $10 million for the Selfridge Air National Guard Base to improve and maintain infrastructure at the base to continue to position Michigan to compete for next generation aircraft and future fighter missions.
- $10.5 million in new statutory revenue sharing (2% one-time) dedicated specifically for public safety, including employee recruitment, retention, training, and equipment for first responders.
- $9 million to run a Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School, graduating an anticipated 50 new recruits.
- $6.8 million to establish the Office of Community Violence Intervention Services to partner with community-based organizations already working to reduce violent incidents.
- $5 million to expand the Jobs Court, a program that aims to reduce recidivism by providing jobs and services to disadvantaged offenders.
- $5 million to expand national guard tuition assistance program, expanding educational opportunities for service members and their families and moving Michigan closer to the Sixty by 30 Goal.
- $2.9 million to implement gun violence prevention policies.
- $2 million for veteran homelessness grants, helping veterans access affordable housing and avoid homelessness.
- $1.2 million for veteran suicide prevention efforts, improving the health and well-being of Michigan’s more than 550,000 military veterans and their families.
- $500,000 for PACT Act VA claims assistance, connecting veterans with VA benefits related to toxic exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other substances.
“Step by step, Michigan is making all the right moves to make our state a national leader in providing appropriate and effective services to improve youth outcomes while keeping our communities safe,” said Chief Justice Elizabeth T. Clement. “Funding for the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform recommendations, including the State Court Administrative Office juvenile services office is an essential step forward. We are so grateful to the Governor and Legislature for recognizing the need as described by the task force and for stepping up to implement their consensus recommendations.”
“This significant financial investment on behalf of Governor Whitmer and state leadership is a testament to their continued support of Selfridge Air Base”, said Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive. “It will ensure that Selfridge continues to play a significant role in our nation’s defense for decades to come.”
"This budget agreement provides significant resources to support law enforcement and safer communities,” said Rob Figurski, President of the Michigan Association of Police Organizations. “Frontline officers need support for the many challenges they face everyday. This budget is a positive step."
“Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature have delivered a practical, effective budget that will protect public safety and help our members do their jobs safely every day,” said Matt Sahr, President of Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union. “With the $400 million investment in this budget, the total amount invested in public safety since the Governor took office is up to $1.5 billion. These record resources are helping local fire departments hire, train, and retain staff, purchase high-quality equipment, and do our jobs. This budget builds on work done earlier this year to keep a promise made to our members to roll back the retirement tax on their pensions. We are so proud of the work being done to deliver for firefighters and communities across Michigan. Let’s work together to stay safe and help more folks ‘Make it in Michigan.’”
“New resources for public safety are a priority for elected prosecutors across Michigan,” said Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. “PAAM members are grateful that the budget approved by the House and Senate and headed to Governor Whitmer for her signature includes new funding for a modern information technology system for prosecutors’ offices, additional funding to add prosecutor resources in high crime communities, and funding allocated to address case backlogs for gun crimes. Better technology and additional financial support for county prosecutors means a safer Michigan for its citizens. We want to thank both Governor Whitmer and legislators for hearing the concerns of prosecutors and working with us to begin providing for these priorities. Prosecutors look forward to a continued partnership with the Governor and Legislature to adequately and sustainably fund prosecutors’ offices and build safer communities.”
“I am thrilled that the governor is supporting youth justice reform,” said Sheryl Kubiak, Dean of the WSU School of Social Work and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. “Funding the recommendations of the juvenile justice taskforce will stimulate our communities into action, encouraging them to find alternative solutions to detention for our youth. I am gladdened by the leadership of the administration to uplift these issues now, in this moment, instead of waiting.
“The FY 2023-24 Michigan budget is one for which the state's veterans can be proud,” said John H. Riling III, Chair of the Michigan Commanders Group. “In addition to the funding for the Michigan Veterans Coalition (MVC), the county veterans service offices, and the operations of the MVAA and the DMVA, these expenditures focus on areas of great importance. The $1.2 million for suicide prevention, the $500,000 for PACT Act outreach, the $2 million to address homelessness, and the rollover of the MVC grant will enable access to more benefits for Michigan's 550,000 veterans and their families. The Michigan Commanders Group is very grateful and proud of leadership and the cooperation among Governor Whitmer's office, the Michigan House & Senate committees of jurisdiction, and the Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs, and the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. This veterans' budget is a solid step forward for all the people of Michigan.”
The budget makes critical investments in infrastructure, including:
Roads, Bridges, Transit, Electrification
- $416 million to fix the damn roads and build up all kinds of public infrastructure, improving quality of life.
- $80 million investment supporting Michigan's Bridge Bundling program to replace or rehabilitate more than 20 structurally deficient bridges across the state.
- $50 million for Intermodal Capital Investment Grants to support investments in rail, marine, intercity, and local transit infrastructure that have the potential to leverage federal funding opportunities.
- $21.3 million for clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure investments.
- $17.8 million for the Information Technology and Investment Fund for modernization of legacy IT systems supporting local income tax collections for those communities that elect to participate, environmental permitting and inspection, groundwater protection, occupational safety and health, and talent recruitment and retention.
- $1 million to begin the transition of the State of Michigan’s fleet to electric vehicles.
- $6.6 million to improve permitting processes and reduce permit issuance wait times.
- $5 million for a critical mineral recycling research hub.
“I applaud Governor Whitmer and the state Legislature for making investments in the state budget that will directly benefit the people of Oakland County, especially in the area of transportation and infrastructure,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “These projects will pay dividends for our residents, as well as those in the region and across the state, for years to come.”
“We are pleased to see the Governor and Legislature agree that county and local bridges – many of which are crumbling and weight-restricted – need additional funding,” said Denise Donohue, CEO, County Road Association of Michigan. “Bridges are the costliest part of the county road network, and this one-time shot in the arm will move more of them off the critical/serious list of concern.”
“Michigan’s budget makes essential investments to support a thriving clean mobility sector, from expanding access to electric vehicle charging stations to putting more clean school buses on the road," said Jane McCurry, Executive Director of Clean Fuels Michigan and member of the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. "The Michigan Clean School Bus Program will allow communities across the State of Michigan to experience firsthand the benefits of operating clean fleets, like cleaner air to breathe, good-paying jobs, and reduced fuel costs. We commend Governor Whitmer and the legislature for continuing to support the growth of the clean transportation industries."
“Michigan Technological University is excited to partner with the state for the critical mineral recycling research hub,” said David Reed, VP of Research at Michigan Tech University. “The state's investment in this critical research further demonstrates Michigan's commitment to advance our state's role in innovation and leadership in the future of mobility and electrification. The students, research faculty, and staff at MTU are eager to expand our industry partnerships and research capabilities in this emerging and critically important area.”
- $212 million for residential energy efficiency improvements through federal funds, lowering costs for Michiganders via point-of-sale rebates for home appliances, water heaters and more.
- $50 million for the Housing and Community Development Program to alleviate affordable housing needs across the state and revitalization downtown areas in Michigan.
- $10 million for Missing Middle housing programs to build on existing $50 million within the current year budget.
- $2 million to expand capacity of the State Land Bank Authority, which facilitates productive reuse of land in our communities.
Water, Parks, Agriculture, Environment
- Nearly $600 million for Michigan’s water infrastructure, protecting access to drinking water, replacing lead service lines, rebuild sewers, and more.
- $150 million to reopen the Palisades nuclear power plant, securing good-paying jobs.
- $23 million for improvements at Belle Isle State Park
- $23 million to create an endowment for the new Flint State Park
- $20 million to establish an environmental justice contaminated site clean-up fund to remediate and redevelop contaminated sites in historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
- $13 million for agricultural climate resiliency and soil health to research new regenerative agriculture practices and help farmers reduce run off and increase crop diversity.
- $10.1 million for Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program, using federal funds to boost resiliency in Michigan’s food systems.
- $7.7million in state parks operations funding to provide additional park rangers and provide essential resources to state parks.
- $5.5 million for Michigan Saves to incentivize private investment in clean energy improvements for Michigan residents and businesses.
“This budget will move a heck of a lot of dirt, create a heck of a lot of jobs, and make a heck of a difference for hardworking people and their families,” said Pat Dillion, Executive Vice President, Utility Workers of America. “From saving the Palisades plan to making record investments in economic development, housing, community revitalization projects, roads, and pipes, this budget will create powerful economic opportunities for our members and hardworking Michiganders in every region of the state. We are grateful for this commonsense, balanced budget that delivers on so many key priorities, grows the economy, and helps anyone ‘Make it in Michigan.’”
"Last year, Michigan made a historic multi-billion-dollar investment in clean water," said Charlotte Jameson, Chief Policy Officer for the Michigan Environmental Council. "With a new budget deal that allocates hundreds of millions more, the Governor and the Democratic Legislature have continued their commitment to ensure all Michiganders have access to clean, affordable water. We still have a long way to go, but this budget will play a critical role in our intensifying efforts to fix infrastructure across the state, safeguard our scenic waterways, and provide clean drinking water."
“We know that agriculture must play a central role in achieving water quality and climate goals in Michigan,” said Tom Zimnicki, Agriculture and Restoration Policy Director at the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “The investments made in this budget are an important step to move towards more environmentally sustainable production systems in Michigan.”
The budget makes investments centered on economic development, including:
- $500 million annual deposit in the Make it in Michigan Fund, also known as the bipartisan Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund.
- $350 million for the Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund to win federal resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Michigan is set to receive over $1.5 billion (4th highest in the nation) through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to expand high-speed internet access to over 200,000 Michiganders in unserved and underserved areas across the state.
- $15 million for talent action teams to fast-track assistance to businesses looking to expand or locate in Michigan.
- $10 million to promote Michigan as a destination for special events and national conventions, plus an additional $10 million in convention and visitor bureau grants.
- $5 million for the Michigan Defense Center to protect and grow the defense and homeland security industry in Michigan.
“As we stand at the cusp of the most transformative time in the history of manufacturing, there is perhaps nothing more impactful to the future success and prosperity of Michigan and its citizens than a thriving manufacturing sector. And there is nothing more critical to a thriving manufacturing sector than a robust and skilled workforce,” said John J. Walsh, President & CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA). “Funding for programs like Going PRO Talent Fund, Michigan Reconnect will serve to expand and bolster Michigan’s manufacturing talent base to attract and maintain manufacturing capital investment and high-paying careers. In addition, the creation of a much-needed Research & Development tax credit will keep Michigan manufacturers on the leading edge of innovation.”
Fiscally Responsible, Balanced Budget
The budget deposits $200 million into the Budget Stabilization Fund, or ‘rainy day fund,’ bringing the balance to nearly $2 billion by the end of FY24, an all-time high. The budget also invests $450 million in a new rainy day fund for the School Aid Fund to protect our students from unforeseen future economic conditions.
Additionally, $26.7 million is included to provide a 5% increase (4% ongoing and another 1% ongoing to communities that obligate all available ARP) in statutory revenue sharing to help counties, cities, villages, and townships; and new dedicated statutory revenue sharing funds, 2% one-time, for public safety initiatives; plus, an additional $64 million over current year funding in constitutional revenue sharing payments.