Sen. MacDonald supports balanced 2022 state budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate this week approved a budget plan focused on building healthy families and communities, a healthier economy, and a healthy future for the people of Michigan, said Sen. Michael D. MacDonald.

“As the COVID-19 situation improves throughout our state, we must target how we use our limited taxpayer resources to effectively and efficiently meet our challenges, provide the critical services people rely on every day and make wise investments to improve our state,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “I am proud this spending plan puts a priority on ensuring our students get the education they need to succeed, supporting our workers and local communities, and helping Macomb families and small businesses recover from the pandemic and the state’s shutdowns.

“This is the next step in finalizing a balanced budget on time and within our means — while we also continue work on a supplemental to provide much-needed COVID-19 relief for people and entities effected by the virus.”

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 by $250 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 tuition-free community college and 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.

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