State Rep. Timmy Beson and the Michigan Legislature today approved a balanced, bipartisan budget that supports critical efforts such as public safety and education.
The plan will fund state government for fiscal year 2023, which begins Oct. 1 of this year, while saving billions of dollars for possible tax relief. Beson emphasized the budget savings, as well as funding for schools and public safety.
“Our bipartisan budget will support the work that needs to be done in Michigan,” said Beson, R-Bangor Township. “Students will keep on learning. Police will keep us safe. And the dollars we’re saving could help us get tax relief — keeping more money in working people’s hands.”
Highlights of the plan include:
Educating students: The school aid budget allocates a record $19.6 billion to support education for Michigan students. After last year’s budget provided schools with equal per-pupil foundation allowance funding for the first time, the new plan increases the amount of each grant from $8,700 per student to $9,150. The Great Start Readiness Program for at-risk preschoolers will also receive $9,150 per child. Increased investments will support special education, bringing the total to $1.92 billion, and additional help for at-risk students, a total of $747.5 million. Keeping students safe remains a top priority, with $168 million for school safety grants and $25 million for school resource officers. Other funds will help support student mental health.
Protecting communities: On top of regular police funding, additional support for state and local law enforcement will help officers protect people throughout Michigan and form relationships in the communities they serve. The budget provides $30 million to help meet critical staffing needs in public safety departments with funding for police officer academies, scholarships, and cadet salaries. To help bring law enforcement and community members together, $16 million will support community policing initiatives, and $7.5 million will replicate Detroit’s successful Police Athletic League in other communities, helping foster relationships between police and local residents. Further resources will help pay for upgrades to equipment, such as communication towers.
Saving taxpayer dollars: Strategic investment, saving, and debt reduction in the budget will conserve resources entrusted to the state by Michigan residents. The plan preserves billions of dollars that can be used to offset relief for Michigan taxpayers. Already this year, the Legislature has approved multiple bipartisan tax relief plans — a gas tax pause and two proposals for income tax relief — but the governor vetoed all three efforts. A $180 million deposit will bring the balance of the state’s “rainy day fund” above $1.5 billion. The plan puts down a total of roughly $2.6 billion to reduce the debt of public retirement systems, including for local government employees, educators and school staff, and the Michigan State Police.
The budget, contained in House Bill 5783 and Senate Bill 845, now advances to the governor, who is expected to approve the plan.
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