Plan also addresses spread of coronavirus in Michigan
State Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) this week voted in favor of an emergency budget plan to restore support for health services, job growth and combat the spread of coronavirus in Michigan.
The emergency budget measures overwhelmingly approved by the House restore funding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed for a variety of programs, including several of which are on the verge of disruption because of the governor’s actions as the new budget year began Oct. 1.
“Before Michigan can truly move full-steam ahead to the upcoming budget year, there was still uncertainty lingering around many statewide initiatives due to the governor’s budget vetoes that needed to be addressed,” Hall said. “As a result, I cast my vote to approve bipartisan emergency funding to reverse most of the funding cut in last year’s state budget. This includes restoring funding for programs aimed at strengthening our workforce talent and economy, increasing access to essential health services, and supporting education.”
Programs receiving funding restoration include:
• Going PRO – which provides training to enhance skills and talent of Michigan’s workforce through grants to employers – will receive $15 million.
• Michigan Reconnect – which provides grants for people 25 and older to earn a skill certificate or degree at a local community college – will receive $35 million to be fully implemented.
• Centers for independent living – which provide services to ensure high-quality independent living for people with disabilities – will receive over $2 million.
Western Michigan University will also see restored funding for a programs it administers. WMU’s Michigan Geological Survey will receive $500,000 to full restore its funding to promote the wise use of natural resources. Additionally, the university will receive $1.4 million to start up a resiliency program within its unified clinic center to assist children and families dealing with trauma, toxic stress, neurological disorders, chronic disabilities or addiction.
Hall, a WMU graduate, was a strong advocate for these programs and played a pivotal role in securing funding for the university.
“After the governor’s harmful budget vetoes, many Calhoun and Kalamazoo residents reached out to me to underscore the importance of these programs and work toward reversing the spending cuts,” Hall said. “As a proud WMU alumnus, I am glad to see these two highly praised programs offered by the university receive the funding they deserve to fulfill their important missions and bring significant value to families in surrounding communities.”
The budget measures also go beyond funding restorations to address evolving challenges such as coronavirus in Michigan. A total of $25 million will assist in virus monitoring, testing, infection control, and continuation of critical state government functions.
The budget plan now moves to the Senate for consideration.