More troopers on roads, improved laboratory equipment
State Rep. Aaron Miller recently voted for a state budget that reins in government spending and pays down debt while investing in public safety measures to better protect hard-working taxpayers and their families.
Rep. Miller, of Sturgis, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police, said statewide trooper strength will be at its highest level in 18 years.
“We are training 155 new state troopers, which will go a long way in helping to make our communities all across Michigan safer,” Rep. Miller said. “This is the third consecutive budget in which we have trained more than 100 new troopers. Making our communities and highways safer is a key priority.”
Rep. Miller said the budget also invests in more laboratory equipment for the State Police, which will provide the tools necessary to quicken investigations and remove criminals from local communities.
The House plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 focuses on:
- Savings for taxpayers. While investing more in top priorities, overall the state is spending less in the next budget year than during the current year. A prison will be closed and budgets for several state departments will decline as state government becomes more efficient and eliminates waste.
- Road repairs. The new plan accelerates the timeline for desperately needed improvements, spending $4 billion overall on road repairs next budget year – a record-high investment up about $1 billion in state money alone from just a few years ago. Projects must be done on time and on budget, with strengthened warranties to ensure quality.
- Workforce development. Michigan students will have more opportunities to train for high-demand jobs and higher wages through a $100 million program Gov. Rick Snyder has named the Marshall Plan for Talent. It’s part of the strategy to continue Michigan’s economic comeback, which has seen unemployment drop from 14.6 percent in June 2009 to 4.7 percent this spring.
- Record-high resources will help struggling schools get better and allow good schools to flourish. More than a quarter of the overall budget proposal goes to K-12 schools, with $14.8 billion establishing a new record for investment – including the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years, ranging from $120 to $240 per student. Early literacy and support for academically at-risk students are priorities.
- School safety. The plan dedicates roughly $60 million to upgrading school security in buildings across Michigan. The OK2SAY confidential tip reporting program will be expanded.
- Campus safety. Universities will be held accountable to better protect students. This plan includes provisions to raise standards for handling sexual assault complaints at universities.
- Smart financial planning. The new budget pays down debt and puts more money into the state’s main savings account, key steps that will continue to reduce the burden on Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers in the future.
House Bill 5579 and Senate Bill 848 advance to the governor for his consideration.