Sen. MacDonald supports measures to resolve FY 2020 budget deficit

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Wednesday supported measures to resolve a $2.2 billion deficit in the current fiscal year through spending cuts, hiring freezes and using a portion of the state’s “rainy day fund.” The actions also direct federal COVID-19 relief funds to education and vital services that were hit hardest by the virus.

“Macomb County families, students, workers and job providers have all made huge sacrifices due to COVID-19, and I am proud we were able to support them as we solved a historic deficit caused by the pandemic,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “Under this bipartisan agreement, the state will be shouldering the load of the shortfall with spending cuts and other cost-saving measures.

“By working together, we are balancing an unprecedented budget deficit almost at the end of the fiscal year without affecting education or public safety and without raises taxes.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved an executive order from the governor to reduce current-year spending. As part of a bipartisan agreement, most state agencies will see reductions, including the executive and legislative budgets.

Under the agreement, the state will save $936 million in fiscal year 2020 by reducing spending and other cost-saving measures. The budget plan also uses $350 million from the state’s rainy day fund to support funding for critical programs.

With passage of two supplemental budget bills, the state will have directed over $3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to schools, communities, job creators, workers and families for costs resulting from the pandemic, including:
• $555 million for schools;
• $200 million for universities and community colleges; and
• $350 million for local governments.

“We are using available federal resources to help schools make the improvements necessary to provide a safe place for students to learn — either in person or remotely,” MacDonald said. “This budget plan will also allocate $500 in one-time hazard pay to our teachers in appreciation of their efforts to ensure Macomb students continue to learn during this global pandemic.”

Senate Bill 373 and House Bill 5265 will be sent to the governor to be signed after being finalized by the House.