Legislator continues fighting on behalf of critical access hospitals
State Rep. Greg Markkanen, of Hancock, today joined the Michigan House of Representatives in the passage of a plan to restore budget funding vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year.
The governor vetoed nearly $1 billion in Legislature-approved funding when she signed the budget plan for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
The House plan approved today would restore the most critical of those vetoed funds, including Markkanen’s measure to return $34.3 million in essential funding for critical access hospitals. Baraga County Memorial Hospital, as well as the Aspirus hospitals in Iron River, Ironwood, Calumet Township and Ontonagon will directly benefit from the restoration of this funding.
“If the governor’s funding cuts are not reversed, it’s going to devastate hospitals that local families depend on every day,” Markkanen said. “If one of these hospitals were forced to shut its doors, it could be the difference between life and death during an emergency.”
The funding plan approved today also includes:
- $7 million to help small, isolated school districts offset the higher costs they have for transporting students.
- Full funding for payments local communities receive in lieu of taxes on state land.
- $10 million for school safety grants.
- $13 million for the secondary road patrol program.
- Restored tuition grant money for 17,000 independent college students.
- Nearly $2 million to continue the fight against opioid drug abuse.
The plan now advances to the Senate for further consideration.