Balanced budget calls for investments to lower costs, expand MI Kids Back on Track, grow our economy
LANSING, Mich. — On Feb. 8, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her fifth executive budget recommendation. The Governor and State Budget Director Christopher Harkins outlined the proposal to a joint session of the Senate and House Appropriations committees Wednesday morning.
The budget recommendation makes investments to support the success of Michigan students and teachers, improve the state’s infrastructure, better the health of residents, protect natural resources, and expand opportunity for families, communities, and businesses.
“Today, I am proud to introduce my executive budget proposal to lower costs, grow our economy, and build a brighter future for anyone who wants to call Michigan home,” said Whitmer. “My budget includes investments to put money back in people’s pockets, help students thrive in school, put more people on paths to higher education and good-paying jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, keep our communities safe and improve public health. In the months ahead, I look forward to working with my partners in the legislature to deliver a balanced budget that makes a real difference in people’s lives. Let’s get it done.”
The budget recommendation totals $79 billion and it includes a general fund total of $14.8 billion and a School Aid Fund total of $19 billion. It provides a significant amount of one-time funding while maintaining a structural balance in future years and does not utilize one-time funds for ongoing purposes.
The budget recommendation includes investments to lower costs and help Michiganders fight inflation:
- Rolling back the retirement tax, saving half a million households $1,000 a year.
- Expanding the Working Families Tax Credit (formerly known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC), providing 700,000 homes nearly $3,200 combined tax refunds.
- Taking the first step toward providing pre-K for all of Michigan’s 4-year-olds, putting children on the path to a brighter future and saving families an average of $10,000 a year.
- Providing up to a $3,000 refundable tax credit to child care and preschool teachers.
- Temporarily pausing the Sales and Use Tax on the purchase of an electric vehicle to save families up to $2,400 off the first $40,000 off the price of an electric vehicles.
Education – Getting Kids Back on Track
- $900 million deposit into a new rainy day fund for schools – funds set aside for future budgetary needs – ensuring long-term financial stability of the state’s public education system.
- $614 million to support school operations through a 5% increase in the base per-pupil that equates to an additional $458 per student, for a total of $9,608 per pupil.
- $318 million for school safety programs, building off existing school safety grant opportunities for districts and implementing cross-sector approaches to prevent mass violence through partnerships between schools, public safety, mental health professionals and communities.
- $442.4 million to help students reach their full academic potential, including expansion of existing payments for literacy grants and literacy coaches.
- $300 million for tutoring through the MI Kids Back on Track program.
- $300 million to continue historic investments for student mental health to ensure students needs can be identified and provided with the right support.
- $257.3 million toward the goal of offering universal preschool to all of Michigan’s 4-year-olds, putting all children on the path to a brighter future.
- $195 million in recognition of the crucial role high-quality teachers play in the success of their students. Including continued support for the MI Future Educator Program (which provides a tuition free path for college students to become certified teachers) and funds to retain and develop existing teachers through mentorship programs.
- $160 million to help students thrive by providing free breakfast and lunch to all of Michigan’s 1.4 million public school students.
- $150 million to fund matching grants for school districts to modernize their bus fleet by switching over to electric vehicles.
- $120 million investment in various educator supports, including continuation of the MI Future Educator Fellowship, student teacher stipends and professional development.
- $94.4 million for literacy-related programs and activities in Detroit public schools.
- $79.9 million to continue expanded support for special education students – a 12.5% increase in the current allocation.
- $66.5 million to provide a 5% increase in funding to support academically at-risk students, English language learners and students in rural school districts.
- $64.7 million increase, for a total of $812.2 million, in funding for academically at-risk, economically disadvantaged students.
- $30 million supporting new math intervention programs.
- $25 million for additional supports for vocational education and career and technical education equipment upgrades.
- $4 million to establish the Nature Awaits program, providing every Michigan fourth grader with a free field trip to a state park.
Higher Education & Workforce Development
- A 4% ongoing increase for university and community college operations.
- $200 million in Infrastructure, Technology, Equipment and Maintenance (ITEM) funding to assist community colleges and universities improve existing facilities, infrastructure, and technology.
- $140 million to temporarily lower the eligibility age for Reconnect from 25 to 21, making a tuition-free associates degree or skills training available to more Michigan residents who were impacted by the pandemic.
- $100 million additional investment for the ongoing costs of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, lowering costs for college students, bringing the FY24 investment to $350 million.
- $75 million for the Reconnect Bachelor’s Degree Pathway program to provide college affordability grants to students whose education was disrupted by the pandemic.
- $55 million for a Student Wellness Fund to help universities and community colleges improve student wellness resources on campus.
- $35 million of additional funding for Going Pro to further expand employer-based training grants.
- $35 million for a Retraining and Retooling fund to support small manufacturers address their workforce needs.
- $30 million for Student Wraparound Services and Basic Needs Supports for students at public colleges and universities and tribal colleges to improve graduation and completion rates.
- $25 million for the College Success Fund to provide competitive grants to institutions of higher education to adopt national best practices in strategies shown to improve retention and completion rates.
- $20 million for Talent Retention and Expansion efforts to develop customized solutions to fill talent gaps in key industries.
Public Health – Strengthening Families
- $210.1 million to increase wage support to direct care professionals serving in nursing homes and extended care facilities.
- $150 million for efforts aimed at attracting and establishing a Michigan-based insulin manufacturing facility to lower the cost of insulin while creating new high-skill, high-demand jobs.
- $129.7 million for additional Medicaid health access and equity to improve enrollee access to services.
- $62.1 million to fund Healthy Moms, Healthy babies, a bipartisan program that supports pregnant women, new mothers and young children.
- $58 million to implement recommendations from the Racial Disparities Task Force, including neighborhood health grants, mobile health units, sickle cell support and more.
- $30 million increase in support to local health departments to provide essential services.
- $15 million to create a new foster care respite care program to provide temporary, occasional relief to foster parents.
- $6.2 million to fund the Medicaid Plan First! program – expanding access to family planning services and cancer screening.
Public Safety – Keeping Communities Safe
- $50.4 million to leverage the State Police Training Academy to serve as a criminal justice training hub to support realistic, multi-disciplinary training opportunities for law enforcement agencies across the state.
- $36.6 million in new statutory revenue sharing (2% ongoing and 5% one-time) dedicated specifically for public safety, including employee recruitment, retention, training and equipment for first responders.
- $18.2 million to provide in-service training to licensed law enforcement officers.
- $11.5 million for the Selfridge Air National Guard Base to improve and maintain infrastructure at the base to continue to position Michigan to compete for next generation aircraft and future fighter missions.
- $10.8 million to establish the Office of Community Violence Intervention Services to partner with community-based organizations already working to reduce violent incidents.
- $10.4 million to improve safety and accountability in correctional facilities, including $7.1 million to outfit corrections officers with body cameras.
- $9 million to run a Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School, graduating an anticipated 50 new recruits.
- $5 million to enact various recommendations from the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform, including creating a Juvenile Justice Services Division within the State Court Administrative Office and expanding the scope of the Office of the Children’s Advocate.
- $5 million to expand the Jobs Court, a program that aims to reduce recidivism by providing jobs and services to disadvantaged offenders.
- $1.9 million to implement gun violence prevention policies.
- $72 million increase over current year funding, for a total of $220.9 million, for Michigan Indigent Defense Commission grants to local judicial systems across the state.
Roads, Bridges, Transit, Electrification
- $350 million in a reserve designed to allow the State to leverage infrastructure dollars.
- $200 million investment supporting Michigan’s Bridge Bundling program to replace or rehabilitate structurally deficient bridges across the state.
- $160 million for Intermodal Capital Investment Grants to support investments in rail, marine, intercity and local transit infrastructure that have the potential to leverage federal funding opportunities.
- $65 million to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure networks and access.
- $41.2 million for the Information Technology and Investment Fund for modernization of legacy IT systems supporting local income tax collections for those communities that elect to participate, environmental permitting and inspection, groundwater protection, occupational safety and health, and talent recruitment and retention.
- $45 million for the Michigan Clean Fleet Initiative to support local governments and businesses transitioning their vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and clean fuels.
- $10 million to begin the transition the of State of Michigan’s fleet to electric vehicles.
- $6.6 million to improve permitting processes and reduce permit issuance wait times.