LANSING, Mich., June 28, 2023 — The Michigan House of Representatives passed its fiscal 2023-24 budget today. It includes the largest investment in education in Michigan’s history, in addition to substantial investments in workforce recruitment and retention, infrastructure and public safety. It would provide every public school student with free breakfast and lunch and make pre-K affordable for more families.
“This budget reinvests in Michigan,” said Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit). “Decades of underinvestments have led to infrastructure failures, worker shortages, population loss and rising costs for working families. This budget puts people first by investing in teacher recruitment, expanding access to health care, and putting federal dollars to work repairing roads, bridges and water infrastructure. We’ve passed a budget that rises to meet the challenges our state faces and puts money to work in communities across the state.”
The budget includes substantial support for small businesses to help keep Michigan’s downtowns unique and bustling. It would strengthen Michigan’s labor force by lowering costs for aspiring teachers and attracting more health care workers to the state. The budget also includes specific allocations to promote Michigan’s agricultural economy.
“We’ve listened to our constituents and created a budget to address their highest priorities,” said state Rep. Angela Witwer (Delta Township), chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “We’re increasing support for mental health care for students and first responders and opening 19 additional Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics across the state. We’re making a generational investment in students, teachers and schools. I’m proud that we’ve managed to fund such excellent priorities, all while creating a school rainy-day fund.”
In addition to making pre-K universally affordable and providing free breakfast and lunch to every public school student, the School Aid budget supports mentoring programs, support for at-risk youth, literacy programs, improved school transportation and MI Kids Back on Track, which provides tutoring to help kids catch up from pandemic learning loss. The budget would increase the school operations budget substantially.
“There’s no better investment than our kids,” said state Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education. “This transformative budget ensures that the highest-need students in our state have the tools and resources they need to learn by expanding access to free preschool, investing more than ever in special education and economically disadvantaged students, and providing free school breakfast and lunch for all. I’m proud of the investments we’ve made in our students, our teachers and our future.”
The budget would help graduate dozens of Michigan State Troopers, upgrade Michigan’s ballistics system to help police solve more crimes, and devote funding to the communities most affected by crime. It would provide grants to communities across the state to upgrade fire departments. Additionally, the budget includes mental health funding specifically for first responders.
“Democrats have moved aggressively to protect communities from gun violence, and this budget furthers our commitment to keep Michiganders safe,” said state Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw), majority vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. “This budget will improve training to ensure that first responders are prepared to handle any crisis. It also invests in veteran housing to ensure that we honor those who have served and protected their country. These investments are long overdue.”