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Sen. MacDonald supports responsible 2023 state budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald this week voted for a Senate budget plan for fiscal year 2023 that increases record K-12 school funding and dedicates resources to provide tax relief to Michigan families.

“This is a responsible budget plan that focuses on once again providing record K-12 school funding for our students, supporting our workers and local communities, growing our economy, providing critical services and showing that we can do it all while also reducing taxes on struggling families,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “The Michigan people need their state to effectively and efficiently use their tax dollars to provide safe and secure communities for them to live, work and achieve their dreams. Our plan achieves those goals while living within our means and proving families with much-needed tax relief.”

Senate Bill 832 would invest $17.9 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $938 million. After making history last year by closing the per-pupil foundation allowance gap between schools, the Senate plan would use $630.5 million to increase the minimum foundation allowance by another $450 to $9,150 per student. The bill includes an additional $70 million specifically to help address learning loss due to the governor’s COVID-19 shutdowns.

SB 842 would provide a nearly $996 million increase for higher education, including $581 million to pay off MPSERS unfunded liabilities for universities still in the retirement system and $361 million for a new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which would cover up to $3,000 annually at a community college or $6,000 annually at a university.

The budget plan increases support to $55 million for the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, provides $40 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to assist people seeking an associate degree or a trade certificate, invests $41.7 million to improve access to dentists for low-income families, and invests nearly $2 billion in local government transportation funding to help fix local roads.

The plan also prioritizes more revenue sharing for local governments, a $1 million increase for Secondary Road Patrol grants to help support emergency response and traffic enforcement on local county roads, and more resources to train and hire 170 new state troopers.

“I hope the governor will work with us to find common ground on a balanced budget that improves our state and addresses the enormous challenges we face, while also helping people struggling with rising costs on everyday items,” MacDonald said.

SBs 827-843 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration