VanSingel fights for continued investment in higher education in tight budget year

Categories: VanSingel News

Legislature-approved budget moves to governor’s desk

Rep. Scott VanSingel, of Grant, today voted to support the Michigan Legislature’s state budget investing more in roads and bridges, public health and safety, and education across the board – without raising taxes.

VanSingel’s votes came as the Legislature completed its work on the state budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

“This budget supports the needs of our state’s public colleges and universities and their many students,” said VanSingel, who chairs the House Higher Education and Community Colleges budget subcommittees. “My goal when we began our budget process was to continue to invest in higher education to lower costs for students and improve the earning potential of our workforce.”

VanSingel said this budget ensures the American Indian Tuition Waiver will be fully funded for the first time since the 1998-1999 school year and also increases funding across the board for all of Michigan’s higher education institutions.

“It’s a tight budget year, but I’m proud we’ve still found a way to prioritize education and the future of our students in every area of the state,” VanSingel said.

The universities closest to VanSingel’s district, Central Michigan, Ferris State and Grand Valley State universities, will each receive a boost of more than $1 million.

The Legislature’s budget also places a priority on:

  • Public health. Another $120 million is dedicated to protect drinking water against PFAS, lead and other contaminants. Funding to prevent opioid abuse and provide substance abuse treatment increases by more than $30 million. A statewide mental health hotline is supported by a $2 million commitment.
  • Public safety. Eighty-six new Michigan State Police troopers will be trained. Statutory revenue sharing increases by 2.3 percent to help local governments maintain essential public services including police and fire departments.
  • Economic growth. Investments continue and increase in programs such as Going Pro to train more workers for good-paying, high demand careers so they can support themselves and their families – continuing Michigan’s economic comeback. This builds upon the previously approved schools budget providing significant increases in career and technical education. The new budget also makes a $4 million investment in the Food & Agriculture Investment Grant program supporting innovation and job creation.
  • Another $400 million is invested in road and bridge repairs, continuing the Legislature’s commitment to improving roads without tax increases or cuts to essential services. Michigan’s Department of Transportation budget will top $5 billion and provide more money for road repairs than ever before.

The K-12 education budget approved last week includes a record $15.2 billion for Michigan students, increasing the foundation allowance by more than $300 million — up to $240 more per student. Additional support is provided for special education, early literacy, school safety and several other programs.

The budget now moves to Gov. Whitmer’s desk for her consideration. The Legislature-approved budget costs taxpayers significantly less than the plan she proposed in March and does not include her recommended 45-cent per gallon gas tax increase.

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