State Rep. Triston Cole today applauded his House colleagues in joining him to vote for a balanced budget that allocates a record amount for fixing and maintaining roads and bridges throughout the state.
Cole, of Mancelona, said the fiscal year 2017-18 budget approved by the House includes strategic state government downsizing to put more funds into asphalt and concrete and less state taxpayer money for administration purposes. Additional money for local government to complete road projects and provide vital services such as fire, police and emergency medical care is included as well.
“We made our transportation system – from the visible roads and bridges to the unseen infrastructure of underground water and sewer systems – a priority in this budget, and kept up pressure to make sure we had the funding necessary to have an impact,” Cold said. “The transportation system and infrastructure was all but ignored during the Lost Decade, and we have emphasized the need to dedicate more state money to fix the problems.”
Cole said the budget also includes record funding for K-12 education, including additional money for students in Northern Michigan to close the per-pupil funding gap that has existed for decades between wealthy downstate districts and smaller schools in Northern Michigan.
Other key factors of the budget include:
- The 2017-18 budget spends less on the state budget next year than was spent during the current year.
- Overall growth in spending does not exceed the rate of inflation. Just like families across Michigan, the Legislature is tightening the state’s belt by cutting inefficient programs and eliminating waste in state government.
- The budget helps make life better in communities across Michigan by adding money for road repairs, public safety departments, parks and other programs to improve our daily lives.
- The plan pays down millions of dollars in debt, helping relieve state liability and opening the door for a more secure financial future.