These have been an important few weeks in the Michigan Legislature as we inch ever closer to finalizing the state budget. Read on for the latest information on the recently approved supplemental state budgets.
Michigan’s Budget on the Cusp of Final Resolution for Fiscal Year 2019-20
On Dec. 4, the Michigan House of Representative voted to advance a pair of supplemental budget bills that could finally wrap up a contentious and unpredictable year of negotiations on the fiscal year 2019-20 state budget. Senate Bills 152 and 154 would restore funding to items vetoed by the Governor or defunded via budget transfers made by the State Administrative Board last September. The bills also include some new funding for various projects.
I voted in favor of these bills not because they were perfect but because they represent a reasonable, bipartisan compromise that would fund critical programs and initiatives across Michigan.
Earlier today, the Senate amended Senate Bill 152 to include language that would allow the Legislature to, by a simple majority vote in both chambers through concurrent resolution, restore funds transferred by the State Administrative Board. The amended SB 152 passed the Senate unanimously. It will now be returned to the House for final approval before being transferred to the Governor for her signature.
Other bills related to the budget compromise were also passed by the Senate today. If signed into law, these bills would restrict the ability of the executive branch to override the intent of the Legislature in budgeting matters.
- HB 5176 would create a 30-day notice process for the State Administrative Board to provide notice of intended action
- HB 5177 would require the Legislature to send a budget to the Governor by July 1 each year
- HB 4336 and 4574 would provide the Office of Auditor General access to certain executive branch office records
Together, these six bill represent a compromise that would resolve a two-month budget impasse between legislative leadership and the Governor.
Below is a list of programs that would either be restored or newly funded through Senate Bills 152 and 154:
- Early literacy teacher coaches (new funding, $10.5 million)
- School safety grants (restored, $10 million)
- Charter school foundation increase (restored, $35 million)
- Small and isolated districts (restored, $7 million)
- Higher education tuition grants (restored, $38 million)
- Competitive scholarship program (new funding, $6 million)
- Rural hospital payments and rate increases (restored, $58 million)
- Neonatal and pediatric provider rate increases (restored)
- Foster care visitation (new funding, $2.9 million)
- MiDocs primary care residency program restored, 17 million)
- PFAS monitoring and testing (restored, $15 million)
- Multicultural organizations (restored, $8 million)
- Autism services (restored)
- Senior citizen programming (restored)
- Opioid response funding (restored)
- Specialty Courts (restored and new funding, $400,000)
- County veterans’ services (restored, $4 million)
- Transit funding (restored and new funding, $13 million)
- Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments to local governments (restored, $27 million)
- County jail reimbursement program (restored, $14.8 million)
- Secondary Road Patrol to county sheriffs (restored, $13 million)
- Public Safety Communications Network (new funding, $8 million)
- Corrections Officers funding (restored and new funding, $10.5 million)
- Local law enforcement training (restored, $654,000)
- No Fault Auto Insurance Law implementation costs (new funding, $3.2 million)
- 2020 Census funding (new funding, $10 million)
- Independent Redistricting Commission funding (new funding, $2 million)
Below is a list of funding or programs that were not restored:
- One-time road funding ($375 million)
- English language learners categorical ($3 million)
- Career and Technical education (multiple lines vetoed)
- Year-round calendar support ($750,000)
- MI education corps literacy program ($3 million)
- Statewide Hospital Outpatient rate increase ($95 million)
- Pharmacy dispensing fee increase ($7 million)
- Centers for Independent Living ($3.5 million)
- Private duty nurse rate increase ($3.9 million)
- Adoptive family support network ($250,000)
- Court appointed advocates and guardians ($3.2 million)
- Going Pro job training ($37 million)
- Rural jobs and capital investment fund ($10 million)
- Pure Michigan campaign ($37 million)
- Museums funding ($1.5 million)
- Urban blight removal grants ($250,000)
- MSU animal research grant ($3 million)
As I mentioned above, Senate Bills 152 and 154 are not perfect. Were it solely my decision to make, I would have restored some of the programs that didn’t make the cut and rejected some that did. To those of you who asked me fight for certain items and were disappointed, I say; don’t give up the fight! If the latest version of SB 152 is signed into law, I expect that many, if not all, of the previously transferred budget items will be restored (including the lines for Centers for Independent Living, Court appointed advocates and guardians, Museum funding and Urban blight removal grants). And, of course, the fiscal year 2020-21 budget process is set to begin in a matter of weeks, and there is plenty of room for negotiation!
I believe that the Governor and the Legislature learned a lot in going through this process. There was certainly a lot of wrangling and political gamesmanship that took place to the detriment of our citizens; but at the end of the day, perhaps it was necessary to establish boundaries and mutual respect. I am guardedly optimistic that 2020 may bring a return to more civil negotiations resulting in a timelier and less dramatic state budget process.
Thank you all for your interest. I will keep you posted as new developments with our state budget continue to unfold.
54th House District