Sen. MacDonald votes for balanced 2021 state budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Wednesday voted to support a fiscal year 2021 budget plan that balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important priorities like K-12 education and public safety.

“In the aftermath of COVID-19, I am proud we have approved a responsible budget on time that will enable us to live within our means, balance our deficit, support our schools, protect our communities and help build a brighter future for everyone,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “By working together, we reached a funding agreement that supports vital services without raising taxes. Macomb County families and job providers have made enormous sacrifices during this pandemic, and this budget will help provide the environment for them to succeed.”

Senate Bill 927 is an education omnibus budget featuring a $65 per student increase in state aid payments for all schools in addition to restoring the $175 per pupil reduction made to balance the FY 2020 budget. It also includes an additional $66 million for growing schools, $37 million for student mental health support and $3 million more for early childhood literacy.

House Bill 5396 is a general omnibus budget that increases local revenue sharing, fully funds the 2015 plan to help fix the state’s roads and deposits $35 million in the state’s rainy day fund. It also includes $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents, $7 million to graduate at least 50 new state troopers and maintain trooper strength, $26 million for the Going Pro program to help train employees, and $30 million for Michigan Reconnect to help people complete an associate degree or skills certificate.

“This budget focuses on education and increase K-12 school funding to meet the challenges of teaching during a pandemic,” MacDonald said. “We are also protecting our seniors, supporting our first responders and helping unemployed workers get back to work.”

The budget bills now head to the governor for consideration. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.