Wendzel Applauds MI Budget Protecting Schools, Public Safety and Taxpayers

Expressing great pride in the bipartisan effort that has produced a new state budget today, State Rep. Pauline Wendzel says that the Michigan Legislature has approved a budget that overcomes the financial challenges posed by COVID-19.

Wendzel says that the State House this afternoon approved a budget plan that protects funding for K-12 schools, local communities and other shared top priorities of Michiganders despite the impact COVID-19 has had on the state economy.

She says, “I’m incredibly proud of the bipartisan work the legislature and governor have done to pass a responsible and balanced budget,” and adds, “This plan protects funding for students, public safety, economic development, and most importantly- the public health of our community.  Working together, partisanship was set aside, and we delivered for the people we serve.”

The per-pupil foundation allowance for K-12 schools remains unchanged, but schools will receive an additional one-time payment equal to roughly $65 per student, along with other changes to increase the commitment to Michigan’s school aid fund. The school aid fund will surpass $15.5 billion – a record-high investment.

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The budget plan also fully protects revenue sharing payments made to cities, townships and counties — helping fund essential local services that residents across Michigan rely on every day.

Other highlights for the budget year beginning October 1st include:

  • Public safety: Wendzel says, “Defunding the police is just plain wrong. This budget funds our police at the state level and maintains resources to do so at the local level in communities across Michigan.”
  • Commerce and tourism: Rep. Wendzel successfully continued funding for important Berrien County initiatives such as Going Pro and Pure Michigan, along with investments to support rural broadband initiatives vital to economic development.
  • Protecting public health: The Legislature’s efforts to fight COVID-19 continue, including $20 million to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) in skilled nursing facilities. The budget also includes resources supporting mental health, children with autism, and cleanup of PFAS and other pollution threatening drinking water.
  • Children, families and seniors: The budget includes support for the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program, child advocacy centers, and senior citizen program grants. A pilot program will be established helping connect isolated seniors with callers who check in on their welfare.

The budget plan – contained in House Bill 5396 and Senate Bill 927 – advances to Governor Whitmer next for her expected signature.