Dear Friends and Neighbors:
This week, the Michigan Legislature passed a nearly $70 billion budget for the 2022 fiscal year. Senate Bill 82 is the omnibus general government budget, and House Bill 4400 provides funding for higher education.
There is a lot to be excited about in these budgets, including two local programs that I advocated for on behalf of Ingham County.
- The Advance Peace Peacemaker Fellowship, Ingham County and the city of Lansing’s joint effort to curb gun violence, will receive $357,000. The county and city will fund most of the three-year project, whose total cost is nearly $2 million. The $357,000 investment from the state will close the current funding gap.
Advance Peace’s mission is to reduce gun violence in urban areas. Its work uses a community-based public health approach, focusing on individuals who are at risk for future violence.
- Child and Family Charities will receive $2 million to repurpose the McLaren Hospital Greenlawn campus in south Lansing to consolidate its services and expand its capacity. Child and Family Charities offers a full spectrum of prevention and treatment services, with outreach to over 8,000 children, youth and families each year in the mid-Michigan area and 15,000 statewide. The McLaren Greenlawn campus will allow Child and Family Charities to offer all of their services available in one place with room for future expansion.
I have no doubt that both the Advance Peace Program and the Child and Family Charities expansion will strengthen our community by improving and saving lives.
Some other budget highlights include:
- $1.49 billion for child care assistance, which will expand eligibility while increasing provider rates.
- $135 million for workforce development programs, including employer-based training grants, and tuition-free community college for frontline workers and Michiganders age 25 and older.
- A 5% increase in higher education funding.
- A permanent $2.35 per hour raise for direct care workers.
- $196 million for bridge repairs.
- $8.4 million to reduce health disparities, including increasing the use of community-based navigators, improving data sharing and implementing a statewide screening and referral tool.
- A 2% increase in revenue sharing to counties, cities, villages and townships.
- $100 million for community revitalization and placemaking grants to redevelop neighborhoods and support small businesses.
- Funding for drinking water and environmental cleanups, including $15 million for lead removal and home repair grants and over $20 million for contaminated site remediation and targeted development projects.
- $4.5 million to train Michigan State Police personnel in mental health, de-escalation and cultural competency.
- $3.8 million for body cameras for the Michigan State Police.
- $5 million for training and recruiting first responders.
I was proud to vote yes on both budget bills. I am encouraged that nearly all of my colleagues worked together to pass a budget that funds so many crucial programs and services, including historic investments in child care and higher education.
However, there are still significant funds that we need to get out to communities. Michigan still has approximately $1.8 billion in the General Fund; $1 billion in the School Aid Fund; and $5.77 billion from the federal American Rescue Plan. There is also an additional roughly $2.1 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds. I hope the Legislature can work together to allocate the rest of this funding through the supplemental budget process.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at email@example.com if we can help.