State Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) addresses the media at a press conference at Northern Michigan University on July 14, 2023.

MARQUETTE, Mich., July 14, 2023 — State Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) and House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) held a press conference today to brief the media on major budget wins for the U.P. The fiscal 2023-24 budget is the first in 40 years to have been crafted while Democrats hold control of state government.

“This bipartisan budget significantly reinvests in communities throughout the Upper Peninsula,” Hill said. “I’m proud that we’ve increased funding for rural school districts to help them cover the costs of transporting students. Recent events this year have shown how badly we need to improve water infrastructure; this budget includes hundreds of millions to repair dams, upgrade sewer systems and protect the Great Lakes. We’ve managed to make these generational investments while maintaining the largest rainy day fund in history and cutting taxes for seniors and working families.”

Speaker Tate is in the Upper Peninsula to meet with community leaders and hear from Yoopers directly about their needs and the challenges they face.

“I’m proud of the work that this budget will help us accomplish here in the U.P.,” Tate said. “This budget promises to make a tangible impact throughout the region, from repairing dams to providing better access to mental health care to building more affordable housing to safeguarding the Upper Peninsula’s spectacular natural resources. I look forward to seeing the difference these investments will make in Yoopers’ lives.”

The budget includes several items that will specifically benefit the communities of the 109th House District, which Hill represents. Notable highlights include:

  • $3 million to Baraga County for the construction of a new transportation maintenance facility and service center.
  • $3 million for the restoration of the Vista Theatre in Negaunee.
  • $1.8 million for the Republic Township dam and fish passage project.
  • $300,000 to extend the Iron Ore Heritage Trail into Lakenenland.
  • $150,000 to Chocolay Township for the purchase of firefighting equipment.

Other notable investments in the U.P. include:

  • $7.3 million for the Helen Newberry Joy Hospital.
  • $870,000 for Michigan Tech to maintain the nursing education for the former Finlandia University.
  • $200 million debt payment in the higher education retirement system.
  • $1.2 million for the Off-Road Vehicle Trail Improvement Fund to repair the flooded Lake Linden Trail in Houghton County.
  • $2.7 million for the Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund to repair the flooded Lake Linden Trail in Houghton County ($800,000), for local grants to purchase snow groomers ($1.5 million) and for snowmobile trail system maintenance ($400,000).