LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson this week voted to support a fiscal year 2023 state budget that increases investments in important priorities facing families and workers and helps build a healthy future for the people of Michigan.
“This proactive budget plan will continue record support for our students, keep our communities safe, fix more local roads, and improve our economy. And it achieves all those goals while also providing resources to reduce the tax burden on Michigan families struggling with sky-high inflation,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “A quarter of all Michigan families rely on private wells as their primary source of drinking water. This plan includes critical funding to help these homeowners ensure their well water is safe to drink.”
Senate Bill 840 features $5 million for grants to local health departments to provide free or low-cost water testing to private well owners.
SB 832 would invest $17.9 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $938 million, including an additional $70 million to help address learning loss due to the governor’s COVID-19 shutdowns. The Senate plan uses $630.5 million to increase the minimum foundation allowance by another $450 to $9,150 per student.
Johnson spoke in support of an amendment that was adopted to add $6 million for Oxford Community Schools to help the students and staff deal with the aftermath of the November 2021 school shooting.
“My heart was broken seeing the impact of the horrific tragedy that took place at Oxford High School. Nothing we do can turn back the clock, but we can provide the school and community with the necessary resources to support the students, teachers, staff and families affected by this tragedy,” Johnson said.
SB 842 would provide a nearly $996 million increase for higher education, including $361 million for a new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which would cover up to $3,000 annually at a community college or $6,000 annually at a university.
The budget plan increases support to $55 million for the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, provides $40 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to assist people seeking an associate degree or a trade certificate, invests $41.7 million to improve access to dentists for low-income families, and invests nearly $2 billion in local government transportation funding to help fix local roads.
The plan also prioritizes more revenue sharing for local governments, a $1 million increase for Secondary Road Patrol grants to help support emergency response and traffic enforcement on local county roads, and more resources to train and hire 170 new state troopers.
SBs 827-843 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.