Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.
$76 Billion Bipartisan Budget Signed Into Law, Includes Historic Investment in Education
Last month, the governor signed a $76 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23. This included a historic $19.6 billion in K-12 school funding. This investment in education will add $450 per pupil to base funding, bringing all school districts to $9,150 per pupil. Other highlights of the School Aid budget (Senate Bill 845) include:
- A $300 million statewide increase to special education funding that will allow districts to expand services.
- $168 million increase for public safety grants that can include training on threat response and responsible gun ownership.
- A $223 million increase in funding for at-risk students.
- $200 million for teacher retention and recruitment.
- $250 million for student mental health services.
- $452.5 million for the Great State Readiness Program.
The general state budget (House Bill 5783) for fiscal year 2022-23 includes:
- A 5% ongoing increase and a 1% one-time increase in constitutional revenue sharing for cities, villages and townships.
- $212.8 million in Michigan infrastructure grants.
- $251.5 million in economic development and workforce grants.
- $5 million for Michigan Reconnect, which offers two years of free college or career training for students 21 and older.
- A 3.8% increase for community colleges.
- A 3.7% increase for universities.
While all of these investments will help our area prosper and our residents succeed, I would like to highlight a few budget items that will directly benefit the Lansing region:
- $5 million for the Lansing Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to address the loss of business from state employees.
- $5 million to assist with the repurposing of the old McLaren Greenlawn campus into facilities for Child and Family Charities.
- $2 million for Potter Park Zoo’s animal hospital.
With these crucial investments, we’re laying the foundation for our state’s future success. Michigan has $7 billion in available funding remaining.
There is Still Time to Enroll Your 4-Year-Old in Free Pre-School
The Michigan Department of Education is encouraging eligible parents of 4-year-old children to enroll their children in free part-day and full-day preschool through the Great Start Readiness Program. Household income, which includes families of four earning up to $69,375, primarily determines eligibility. However, other factors such as diagnosed disability, parental education and primary home language may also be considered. Last year’s budget expanded the Great Start Readiness Program to provide access to high-quality preschool for every eligible child in Michigan.
Contact your local school district or visit GreatStarttoQuality.org to get your four-year-old enrolled for the upcoming school year.
Application Open for Third Round of Child Care Stabilization Grants
The application period for the third round of Child Care Stabilization Grants opened on Aug. 9. Under this program, child care providers in Michigan can apply for funding to help stabilize operations and support the health and safety of children and staff. Nearly 6,000 child care providers received funding and 38,000 caregivers employed by these providers received bonuses.
Eligible providers include licensed child care centers, licensed family homes and group homes, and tribal-based child care. Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs that provide tuition-based child care are also eligible. This is not a competitive grant, so all eligible providers should apply. The window for Child Care Stabilization Grant applications closes Sept. 9. Find more information and apply here.
Ingham County Needs More Participation in Internet Survey
The lack of reliable internet service is an issue I know affects many residents of the 67th House District. This need for reliable internet service became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To address this need, Ingham County is currently collecting data on internet reliability and access throughout the county. Interested residents and businesses are encouraged to fill out a five-minute survey that will be used to develop a broadband service expansion plan. This survey can be accessed at www.michiganmoonshot.org/ingham or by texting “@moon” to (855) 613-1746. Paper surveys can be requested by calling (517) 676-7206. Responses must be submitted by Aug. 31.