Rep. Calley: State budget plan protects priorities during tough budget year
State Rep. Julie Calley said the new state budget plan signed into law today overcomes the financial challenges posed by COVID-19 and protects funding for priorities like education, roads and the essential services provided by local communities.
Calley, of Portland said the plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 once again was approved without tax increases and without growing state government.
“We worked together in a bipartisan manner to meet the financial challenges posed by COVID-19 and maintain our investments in the programs that matter most to families all across our state,” Calley said. “This plan protects and maintains funding for shared priorities like students and schools, roads and the shared communities services people rely on every day.”
The per-student foundation allowance for K-12 schools remains unchanged, plus schools will receive an additional one-time payment equal to roughly $65 per student. The school aid fund will surpass $15.5 billion, a record-high investment. In addition, the K-12 budget plan preserves funding for public charter schools, provides resources for students engaged in virtual learning and continues to invest in vital programs like CTE, special education, STEM competitions and First Robotics.
The new state budget plan also fully protects revenue sharing payments made to cities, townships and counties – helping fund the essential local services Ionia and Barry county residents rely on every day.
While smart planning and previous COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government bought some time, Calley said the state must prepare for future budget challenges. The new budget returns about $35 million to the state’s budget stabilization or “rainy day” fund.
Other highlights for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 include:
Workforce training: The Legislature successfully fought to continue the Going Pro initiative to increase the viability, versatility and potential of Michigan’s workforce. This program – funded with more than $28 million in the upcoming budget year – has helped residents pursue careers in skilled trades and support themselves and their families.
Road funding: The Legislature continues to follow through on the plan approved in 2015 to invest significantly more money in road repairs every year through 2021.
Rural broadband: The ability to connect to the internet is more important than ever for school, work and countless other activities, including more than $14 million to implement and maintain a broadband program for underserved areas.
Disaster relief funding for Portland: The new spending plan includes money for expenses incurred in response to the ice jam that caused flooding in February 2019. The budget provides $161,600 to reimburse the city of Portland and Ionia County.