LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Legislature and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have worked together to put a Fiscal Year 2021 budget in place that will soon become law. It is a budget that funds shared priorities such as education, economic development, public health, public safety, and the environment.
When Governor Whitmer introduced a recommended budget to the Legislature back in early February, Michigan had yet to experience its first case of COVID-19 and nobody knew how difficult the road ahead would become. The global pandemic has created not just public health challenges but created one of the most challenging and unique budget cycles in Michigan history.
“Saying that the development of the 2021 budget has been difficult would be an understatement, but I am very proud that we’ve been able to work together with the Legislature to put together a budget that moves Michigan forward,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I’d like to thank Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield for their hard work and collaboration at a time when Michigan needed us to come together. I appreciate their commitment and the trust that has been built over this past year.”
The budget will provide $30 million to fund the Michigan Reconnect program, providing a tuition-free pathway for adults looking to earn a postsecondary certificate or associate degree, while providing $12.6 million for the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program to ensure women are given the care they need to have a healthy pregnancy. A total of $26 million is also included to expand access to childcare for families by increasing the income limit from 130% to 150% of the federal poverty level.
The 2021 budget will include critical funding for programs focused on Michigan’s economic recovery, including $100 million for business attraction efforts and the restoration of $15 million for the popular Pure Michigan campaign.
“COVID had an unexpected impact on the budget and the budget process. The legislature and the Governor’s team worked together to move forward and deliver a spending plan for Michigan that increases school funding, protects funding for local communities, and supports the men and women who keep us safe. And, we did it all without raising taxes on our hardworking citizens. This budget is proof that our citizens and our state benefit most when there is an equal and cooperative relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government,” said Shirkey.
The budget will also include $14.3 million in broadband funding to help expand Internet access across the state. The budget keeps schools, colleges, universities, and local government at their 2020 funding level.
“The economic impact of the coronavirus created an unprecedented challenge for state government, but more importantly it also created an incredible challenge for Michigan families,” said Chatfield. “The people of this state need our help, and they need the resources that will keep them safe and help them make ends meet once again. I am happy to say this budget agreement delivered. Our budget committees and representatives did great work finding a way to balance this budget while still protecting critical funding for healthcare, schools reopening safely, local public safety, fully phasing in the 2015 road funding plan, and other top priorities for Michigan families.”
The budget bills will be delivered to the governor in the coming days when she will then review and sign the bills prior to the start of the fiscal year on October 1.
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