Gov. Snyder celebrates 7 for 7 – seven years of balanced budgets completed months prior to new fiscal year
Grand Rapids, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder signed the state’s fiscal year 2018 budget into law today, charting a comprehensive and thoughtful path toward the future that keeps Michigan’s momentum moving forward. The budget provides funding for key priorities that will protect and keep Michigan families healthy, drive the state’s economy, and foster education. The bill signing marks the seventh straight year the state budget has been completed before the required deadline.
“I am proud to say we can again celebrate our success in getting the budget signed well ahead of the new fiscal year,” Snyder said. “With significant investments in healthcare, education, public safety, infrastructure, natural resources, and our economy, this budget maintains our long-standing commitment to fiscal responsibility while making critical investments that will continue moving Michigan forward.”
The total investment plan for the state, including federal funding, totals $56.5 billion. The bills, HB 4313 (education omnibus) and HB 4323 (general omnibus), were signed into law by the governor at the Kent Intermediate School District Career Tech Center, which trains students from Kent and Barry Counties in professional trades such as mechatronics, aviation and avionics, culinary arts and 3D design.
“The budget signed by the governor today provides critical support and services that will help families across Michigan,” State Budget Director Al Pscholka said. “The hard work put in by all parties these past few months has resulted in a smart, fiscally responsible budget that makes key investments in areas of need and keeps Michigan moving in a positive direction.”
With an unemployment rate which remains at its lowest mark in the past 17 years, falling from over 14 percent at its peak to just 4.2 percent today, Michigan’s comeback remains in full swing. More than 500,000 new private sector jobs have been added since December 2010, and Michigan is now number one in the Great Lakes region for private sector job growth.
“This budget shows that Michigan is serious about attracting business opportunities and training a 21st Century workforce that is prepared for the jobs of our future,” Snyder said. “Michigan has come a long way since we first started work on reinventing our state, but there is still much to be done and this budget keeps us on the right path for a strong future.”
Specific highlights of the fiscal year 2018 budget include:
Focusing on Michigan’s Future
• Provides a total of $115.5 million for business attraction and community revitalization efforts.
• Funds the Going Pro program with more than $46.4 million to provide Michigan workers with the skills they need for in-demand jobs, whether it’s skilled trades, information technology, or other high demand occupations.
• Adds $9.5 million to the Community Ventures program to support the continued effort to promote social enterprise in the state’s most distressed urban areas.
• A total of $4.7 million to support the attraction of new, mid-sized food and agriculture processing. This funding also supports a new full-time staff member in the International Marketing and Export Assistance program.
Accountable, Quality K-12 Education
• A total increase in state funding for K-12 education of $1.9 billion since fiscal year 2011, with an increased foundation allowance of $60 - $120 per pupil in this year’s budget.
• An increase of $120 million for at-risk youth focused on improving academic achievement for children in difficult financial situations, providing for a 24-percent increase in eligible students.
• Additional support for the Pathways to Potential program to combat chronic absenteeism in schools and link families with appropriate community resources.
• Funding for First Robotics increased to $2.8 million while STEM grants are enhanced and programs moved to regional STEM centers.
• The education omnibus complements the work of Gov. Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission.
• An increase of 2 percent for university operations and an increase of at least 3 percent for community college operations (including excess Personal Property Tax payments).
• Increased student financial aid resources of $16.3million.
• Tuition increases are held to no more than 3.8 percent, or $475 per student (whichever is greater), helping to keep college costs down.
Investing in Infrastructure
• Incorporates the funding needed to support the 2015 transportation package to ensure we continue on the path to fixing our roads.
• New funding of $35 million added to the Michigan Infrastructure Fund.
• An investment of $115 million for the Department of Health and Human Services Caro Center replacement for a new state psychiatric hospital.
• Extensive capital outlay funding for the state’s universities and colleges that will primarily support STEM and health care fields.
• Supplemental funding of $2 million to implement the statewide asset management database which better aligns and coordinates infrastructure projects.
Protecting the Public
• Additional investment in another Michigan State Police trooper recruit school aimed at producing 150 new troopers, bringing trooper strength to its highest level in more than 15 years. • Ongoing appropriations in the areas of cyber and homeland security.
• Investments in the statewide public safety communication systems to replace outdated equipment to help ensure quick and effective first response.
Commitment to Natural Resources
• $5 million is included for the DNR Enhance Challenge for Trail Development to help build out the 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails from Ironwood to Belle Isle.
• Provides funding for the hiring, training, and outfitting of additional conservation officers.
• Increases to the Wetland Mitigation Banking program in the amount of $3.8 million.
• Helps fight Chronic Wasting Disease in whitetail deer, with $1 million allocated, with additional resources going to promote conservation and fight invasive species.
Healthy, Strong Communities
• Total investment of $4.1 billion, primarily federal dollars, in the Healthy Michigan Program providing expanded Medicaid coverage to thousands of Michiganders.
• Funding of the Vapor Intrusion Program which addresses contaminated soil and ground water.
• A total of $45 million to support direct care worker wages, providing a 50-cent per hour increase to those who provide critical services to Michigan residents within the behavioral health system.
• Funds an additional 72 full-time employees within the state’s psychiatric hospitals totaling $4.9 million from the general fund.
• $150 million deposit into the Budget Stabilization Fund, which continues the fiscally responsible approach to building the state’s savings account, bringing the rainy day fund balance to $886 million in fiscal year 2018, up from $2 million in 2010.
• Reduced the assumed rate of return from 8 percent to 7.5 percent for the state’s retirement system, keeping Michigan in line with the fiscally responsible movement toward more conservative assumptions.
The bills become Public Act 107 and Public Act 108 of 2017.
For more information on the legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.
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