House Appropriations Chair Shane Hernandez today said the Michigan Legislature is moving quickly to send a balanced budget plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – continuing investments in schools and roads without tax increases.
A key step was accomplished today as legislators from the House and Senate – working together in budget conference committees – advanced plans to boost school funding and safeguard drinking water. The measures will soon advance to the full House and Senate chambers for further consideration.
Hernandez said at this point work on the budget is proceeding without the governor’s administration. Whitmer halted budget negotiations this week because she does not want the new budget plan to include any additional support for road repairs at all – even though, just a week ago, she had been insisting on a massive gas tax increase as part of the budget.
“I’m ready and willing to work with the governor – as soon as she stops spending all her energy playing political games,” Hernandez said. “I don’t have time for that. I want to get a new state budget approved by the Oct. 1 deadline, and today we took an important step in that direction.”
The plans advanced by legislative conference committees boost K-12 school funding by more than $300 million. The plan would triple funding for literacy coaches to improve K-3 reading and invest more in career readiness.
The plans advanced today also include $120 million in drinking water protections and money to add 85 new troopers to the Michigan State Police.
“We are able to do all this by finding efficiencies and savings in the budget,” Hernandez said.
More conference committees are expected next week, including one that would dedicate more money to road repairs without tax increases. The conference committees include legislators from both the House and Senate, working to advance budget plans to full legislative membership for later votes.
“Michigan taxpayers and families expect us to invest in what matters most to them without asking them for more money,” Hernandez said. “We made progress today, and we will continue to do so until we have delivered a balanced and responsible budget to the governor.”