Earlier today, state Rep. Beth Griffin and the Michigan House approved a budget plan to reverse many of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s misguided budget vetoes – a key step in the effort to restore funding for school safety grants, veterans services, education and other vital programs.
Whitmer vetoed nearly $1 billion in Legislature-approved funding when she signed the budget plan for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The House’s passage of a supplemental budget restores much of this critical funding and fends off the governor’s numerous attempts to force her proposed 45-cent per gallon gas tax hike.
A measure sponsored by Griffin – restoring $10 million in safety school grant funding – was incorporated into the House-approved measure. The initiative secures grants awarded to the Van Buren ISD and Mattawan Schools, and will increase school safety through panic alert systems, intercom systems, secure doorways and locks, security cameras, shatter-resistant windows, two-way radios and more. Griffin said the plan she spearheaded also allocates money to give school districts the option to utilize a statewide panic button app.
“As an educator, I understand the need for improved safety measures in our schools,” said Griffin, of Mattawan. “Students and faculty should feel safe when going to school each day, and parents also should know their children are safe in the classroom. The governor’s decision to cut school safety grants was a severe misstep and it’s why I have actively fought to ensure any new budget plan restores funding to enhance security within our schools.”
The House-approved budget plan Griffin cast her vote in support for also restores funding for:
- Clean drinking water. The measures restore $15 million for grants to 15 airports for PFAS and other emerging contaminants remediation, which was appropriated as part of the $120 million for a new drinking water protection and innovation program.
- The plan reinstates $4 million to the County Veteran Service Fund to help connect veterans with the benefits they have earned through their military service. Local county veteran service departments and accredited service officers play an important role, especially in rural parts of Michigan, in assisting veterans and their families navigate the VA system when filing claims for certain benefits.
- Public Safety. The budget plan reverses the governor’s $13 million in cuts to the program allowing sheriffs to hire patrols for secondary roads.
- County Jails. The House restored funding to reimburse county jails for housing inmates that would otherwise be housed at state correctional facilities.
- Jobs for Michigan Graduates. The plan restores funding for JMG, a program that connects Michigan students to careers in their community.
- Autism Services. The supplemental budget restores the over $1 million in funding for vital programs such as the Autism Navigator and Train the Trainer.
“The governor used children, seniors, veterans and all Michigan residents as political pawns in her quest to raise the gas tax by 45 cents per gallon,” Griffin said. “I’m not going to stand for it. Our plan provides another chance to restore important funding the people of Michigan rely on and deserve.”
The budget plan approved by the House now advances to the Senate for further consideration.