As the landscape around us begins to change colors, we are working hard here in the Michigan House. Recently, we passed a budget that made historic investments in our state and Grand Rapids community. I wanted to reach out and provide an update on what was included in the fiscal year 22 budget and how it will impact our community at home.
The budget that was recently passed includes many benefits to our community. In total, it stands at $70 billion. Spending from the General Fund is expected to make up about $11.4 billion. Massive spending increases are targeted toward initiatives that will build a better Michigan.
Here are some of the highlights:
Environment and Infrastructure Spending
- $196 million for local bridge projects to replace nearly 100 crumbling bridges around Michigan.
- $14.3 million to help local governments prepare for climate change.
- $92.7 million toward improving our environmental infrastructure.
- Includes additional allocations to the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund, which provides blood lead surveillance, lead poisoning education and health services for victims of lead poisoning.
- $14 million to address PFAS pollution and $20 million to clean up contaminated sites across the state.
Public Safety Spending
- $16 million for 911 system upgrades and $5 million to support and hire first responders.
- $3.8 million to expand the use of body cameras for the State Police.
- $7.3 million to hire and train new corrections officers at state prisons.
- $20 million to protect state information systems against cyber threats.
Child Care and Public Health Spending
- $1.5 billion investment overall in child care, allowing 105,00 more children to be eligible for free or reduced care and drastically increasing the quality of child care centers.
- $1.1 million increase, bringing the total to $2 million, for the Double Up Food Bucks program.
- $19.1 million for the MiChoice program, which provides alternatives to nursing home care and allows seniors to stay in their homes.
- $414.5 million to give a permanent $2.35/hour wage increase for our direct care workers.
- $6.7 million for the Sickle Cell Disease Initiative to cover the cost of treatment for Michiganders with the condition, which disproportionately affects Black people.
These investments into our child care will help more families who need assistance as they go back to work and assure these families that their children are in good hands.
Michigan’s Education Budget
The state budget for higher education that was passed furthers Michigan’s ambitious investment into our communities. And the allocations for school aid play a central role in the lives of our K-12 students. The school aid budget that was signed before the entire budget delivered for educators and students by allocating the largest per-student investment in history. This budget has reached the goal of eliminating the funding gap between districts at the minimum and maximum foundation allowances set forth by Proposal A of 1994. This raises the per pupil foundation allowance to $8,700.
Here are some highlights:
- $168.5 million in increased funding to the Great Start Readiness Program, which provides preschool to families at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
- Intermediate school districts receive a 4% operational funding increase. These achievements are something to be very proud of, especially in our growing Grand Rapids community.
- $2.2 billion in allocations to our community colleges and higher education programs with an additional $70 million in supplementals.
- The Department of Education will receive an additional $451.7 million, including:
- $5 million for a one-time payment for before and after school programs.
- $1.3 million to support a new program for educator preparation and recruitment.
- $280,000 to waive fees or associated costs for teachers with expired teaching licenses to become recertified.
Budget Updates for Grand Rapids
Furthermore, I’m proud to have secured important investments on behalf of the Grand Rapids community, including:
- $500,000 for the Grand Rapids Public Museum Riverfront project.
- $7 million for the Grand Rapids Whitewater Rapids restoration project.
- $500,000 for the Grand Rapids Center for Transformation capital campaign.
- $4 million for the Kent County Sustainable Business Park.
- $240,000 for the Conductive Learning Center, which helps individuals with motor disorders related to premature birth achieve greater motor control.
These investments will drastically improve Grand Rapids’ natural beauty. Additionally, the allocations to the capital campaign as well as the business park will further bring out and build the quickly growing Grand Rapids business community.
Join us for our upcoming In-District Coffee Hour on Oct. 18 at 6:30 at Huff Park.
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Thank you for taking time to read this legislative update. As always, our office is here for you. If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at (517) 373-0822 or via email at RachelHood@house.mi.gov.