LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday approved a package of bills that would fund the state of Michigan for the 2019 fiscal year.
“My colleagues and I have worked very hard to get Michigan back on track and in the position we are currently in,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “We have passed balanced budgets well ahead of schedule for seven years and we are on track to accomplish that yet again this year.”
Horn added that it is important to get the budget approved early because local governments and schools, among others, need to know what funding they’ll receive from the state so they can balance their own budgets.
“Schools, for instance, start their fiscal year in July,” Horn said. “If we wait until the last minute, we are holding them up from making investments and financial decisions for their districts. It’s simply not a responsible or efficient model.”
The K-12 budget tops $14.6 billion, which marks the highest investment increase in the state’s history. Schools will see a foundation allowance increase of between $115 and $230 per pupil. Skilled trades programs will also see $40.9 million to prepare workers for high-demand jobs.
Horn said he was also happy to support setting aside funds for Career Education Planning Districts that have not been able to get Career Technical Education (CTE) millages passed and are therefore lacking funding. This money is earmarked for CTE training and for equipment.
“I have been calling for increased skilled trades funding for a number of years,” Horn said. “I have employers in my district who are begging for qualified workers to come and fill some of these positions. I am beyond pleased that we are increasing our efforts toward filling those positions and once again teaching people how to work with their hands.”
This budget plan also includes funding for numerous other important services and programs.
The package makes improvements to public safety by hiring 100 new state police troopers, training an additional 80 troopers and investing in improvements to sexual assault awareness programs on our college campuses.
The budget also includes investments for what has remained on residents’ minds for years: roads. When adding the 2019 budget and the recent road funding package, the Legislature will have invested an additional $2.1 billion more in our roads since 2017.
“This budget supports key programs and services, puts money aside for emergencies and makes smart investments in our state’s future,” Horn said. “I may not agree with every single thing included, but I was happy to vote yes and get one step closer toward yet another balanced budget ahead of schedule.”
Senate Bills 850-865 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.