Glardon votes to approve budget with more funding for roads, schools

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State Rep. Ben Glardon on Tuesday voted to approve budget measures that include an additional $350 million to improve roads and bridges and almost a half-billion for Michigan public schools.

Glardon said the budget keeps overall spending below the rate of inflation, but money for priority areas such as education have been set above the rate of inflation.

House Bill 4328, one of two state budget bills, includes $351 million in additional funding for roads and infrastructure. A portion of the new road funding dollars will be restricted in order to meet the federal match.  The rest of the funding is a new budgetary line item to be used for “high priority roads” in Michigan.

“This initial funding will help kick start the long process to improve Michigan’s roads and bridges over the long term,” said Glardon, vice chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  “With a projected price tag of about $1.2 billion for an improved infrastructure, we’re about a third of the way there.

“The House also has approved a state budget months before the deadline for the third year in a row, giving our local governments and schools plenty of time to formulate their budgets.”

The state’s K-12 system also will see an increase of more than $443 million, according to the budget measures.  The budget receiving the most state funding is the school aid budget, which includes K-12, community colleges, and colleges and universities.  The school funding includes $40 million more for early childhood education.

HB 4328 and HB 4228, the other budget measure, now go to the Senate for consideration.