Sen. Ruth Johnson supports state budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson this week voted to support a fiscal year 2022 budget plan focused on building healthy families and communities, a healthier economy, and a healthy future for the people of Michigan.

“This is a responsible spending plan that prioritizes support for our students, communities and workers without increasing the burden on Michigan families and small businesses struggling to make ends meet after a very difficult year for everyone in our state,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “Our plan would boost the minimum foundation allowance for K-12 schools by $250 per student, which is 34% more than the governor proposed. We also provide more resources for local governments, job training, child care, and fixing local roads.”

Senate Bill 83 would invest $15.8 billion in K-12 education, an increase of $249 million. The bill would increase the minimum foundation allowance to $8,361 per pupil, dedicate an additional $20 million to assist students dealing with mental health challenges and boost preschool funding by $32 million to help reduce class sizes. It also dedicates $1.7 billion to help cover the costs of school employee retirement.

The 17-bill budget plan also includes $72 million for competitive and need-based scholarships for higher education students, $40 million in the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, $30 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to provide support for community college and vocational training, $77 million to provide child care for more families, and $161 million for wage increases for direct care workers and front-line workers at child care institutions.

The bills prioritize more revenue sharing funding for local governments, more resources for state road and bridge construction, $2.2 billion for local transportation infrastructure projects, a 50% boost for grants to help struggling veterans with expenses, and a new program to incentivize local governments to reduce their long-term debts.

“This is part of the process to enact a new state budget for next year, but the Senate also continues to work on a separate measure for using federal COVID-19 relief funds this year to help people and businesses seriously impacted by the pandemic,” Johnson said.

SBs 77 and 79-94 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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