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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs $57.4 Billion State Budget, Investing in Infrastructure and Education

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs $57.4 Billion State Budget

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs $57.4 Billion State Budget

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a historic $57.4 billion state budget on Monday, marking the first time in 40 years that the budget was crafted under a Democratic trifecta in Lansing. Touting it as her fifth bipartisan budget, Governor Whitmer named it the “Make It In Michigan” budget, emphasizing its investments in the state’s economic future.

The budget allocates a record surplus to fund infrastructure projects, expand access to higher education, and provide recreational opportunities for students, among other initiatives.

Bipartisan Support for Fiscal Year 2024

House Bill 4437, the omnibus appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year starting on October 1, gained bipartisan support and immediate effect following approval from GOP members in the state Senate.

The tweet below verifies the news:

The bill also includes nearly $5.4 billion in supplemental spending for the current fiscal year. The budget, along with a series of tax cuts, is expected to utilize most of the state’s surplus, previously estimated at $9.2 billion in January.

Prioritizing Infrastructure and Education

The “Make It In Michigan” budget channels funds into critical infrastructure projects, such as replacing water lines, with the aim of enhancing the state’s economic resilience. Additionally, the budget temporarily extends a tuition-free path to higher education for more Michigan residents and provides every fourth-grade student with a trip to a state park.

Governor Whitmer has emphasized how the budget will contribute to growing Michigan’s economy and creating job opportunities.

Collaborative Approach to Budget Allocation

State Senator Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing, and State Representative Angela Witwer, D-Delta Township, led the collaborative effort to allocate the surplus wisely, seeking input from communities across the state. The budget’s comprehensive approach aims to address various needs, including improving schools, roads, and cities that have been overlooked in the past.

Republicans Criticize Grants and “Pork” Projects

While the budget received bipartisan support, Republicans have raised concerns about the allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to special projects and grants. Some criticize these initiatives as “pork” and claim that they favor political allies at the expense of taxpayers. Nonetheless, Governor Whitmer defends the budget, emphasizing its strategic use of one-time funds for targeted investments and essential services.

Education Budget and Total Expenditure

Earlier this summer, Governor Whitmer approved a $24.3 billion education budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This budget focuses on per-pupil spending, free school meals, and expanding access to the state-funded preschool program. Combined with the omnibus budget, the total expenditure amounts to $81.7 billion.

Vetoed Items

Although Governor Whitmer did not issue any line-item vetoes in the education budget, she vetoed two items in the omnibus budget. These vetoes included $5 million designated for the Great Lakes Water Authority to support sewer infrastructure repairs and $2 million for the relocation of Livingston County Catholic Charities.

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