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Whitmer signs $62 billion Michigan budget a day before it begins

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs Michigan's $62 billion 2020-2021 budget.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs Michigan's $62 billion 2020-2021 budget.(source: State of Michigan)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 2:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s $62 billion 2020-2021 budget on Wednesday, a day before it takes effect on Oct. 1.

The budget makes no cuts to K-12 or higher education and local governments below their spending levels in the current state budget.

Whitmer said the new spending plan also boosts many of her priorities, including the $30 million Michigan Reconnect free college tuition program and funding for the $12.6 million Healthy Mom, Healthy Babies pregnancy program.

“While this budget faced many challenges along the way amidst a global pandemic, I am pleased that we were able to come together and produce a budget that funds the programs and services that matter most to our residents,” Whitmer said. “This has not been easy, but in the end the executive and legislative branches of government worked together to do what is expected and demanded of us and we now have a budget that will serve Michigan well.”

Other highlights of the new budget include:

  • $161 million additional for schools to pay increased costs of providing education during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • $135 million to continue a $2 per hour hazard pay wage increase for direct health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • $100 million for Michigan Economic Development Corp. business attraction efforts.
  • $28.7 million for the Going PRO program, which helps defray businesses' costs in training workers in high demand skills.
  • $26 million to expand access to child care services.
  • $20 million to support nursing homes facing cost increases.
  • $20 million to improve access and care and Michigan’s psychiatric hospitals.
  • $15 million for the Pure Michigan advertising campaign.
  • $14.3 million to expand broadband internet access statewide.
  • $10 million to support foster families and keep children out of congregate care homes.
  • $7 million to add more Michigan State Police troopers.
  • $5.7 million for literacy coaches and additional training for educators on literacy learning.
  • $5.6 million to students' mental health needs.
  • $5 million to attract and retain first-year teachers.
  • $4.2 million to implement crisis intervention and de-escalation training recommendations for police.
  • $3 million for a statewide pre-apprenticeship program to encourage students to consider skilled trades careers.
  • Funding for $500 hazard pay bonuses for teachers and $250 for support staff.
  • $2.5 million for mental health services for first responders.
  • $2 million for additional education support for vulnerable students learning remotely.
  • $2 million for Detroit Public TV to foster early childhood learning initiatives.
  • $2 million for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund.
  • $1 million to forgive school meal debts.

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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