Michigan’s budget for fiscal year 2023 signed by Gov. Whitmer

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Wednesday.

According to our sister station WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, the $75.5 billion spending plan sends $6 billion on roads and infrastructure, directs funds to public safety, improves dental care access for those on Medicaid, pays to replace lead water lines and supports scholarships for higher education and retraining.

“We aren’t out of the soup,” Whitmer says. “We are bracing for what may be tough times ahead. But I think the prudent way that we’ve designed this budget will help us sustain fundamental investments and really put Michigan on the long-term path to prosperity.”

The budget, which is the state’s largest ever, does not raise taxes as it had bipartisan support. The state’s new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Press Release from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor:

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a balanced, bipartisan state budget for Fiscal Year 2023 that delivers on the kitchen-table issues and does not raise taxes by a dime. The governor signed the budget at The Corner Ballpark, a historic venue that was formerly the home of the Detroit Tigers and in recent years has been the home of the Detroit PAL program, a partnership between law enforcement and local communities on youth sports and enrichment. Today’s budget funds the Detroit PAL program, helping it expand to more communities and serve more kids.

“Today, I am thrilled to sign my fourth balanced, bipartisan state budget that delivers on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to working families, was done on time, and does not raise taxes by a dime,” said Governor Whitmer. “The budget will protect public health and public safety, expand mental health resources, grow Michigan’s economy and workforce, empower working families and communities, and pays down billions in debt. I look forward to working with the legislature and furthering this spirit of collaboration to invest the billions of dollars in additional revenue we still have on the table to offer real relief to families right now, especially as they face rising prices on groceries, gas, and other everyday expenses. I will work with anyone to put Michiganders first and get this done.”

The Budget

The Fiscal Year 2023 budget is balanced, does not raise taxes by a dime, pays down billions in debt, and brings Michigan’s rainy day fund to an all-time high of $1.6 billion. It makes game-changing investments in every student and classroom, empowers working families and connects communities, grows Michigan’s economy and empowers its workforce, and protects public health and public safety.

The FY23 budget totals $76 billion, including a general fund total of $15.2 billion and a school aid budget totaling $17.5 billion. It provides a significant amount of one-time funding while maintaining balance in future years and does not utilize one-time funds for ongoing purposes.

The budget also makes a $180 million deposit to the Budget Stabilization Fund, which brings the rainy day fund balance to nearly $1.6 billion, an all-time high.

“I am pleased we were able to effectively use taxpayer dollars to provide critical everyday services while also improving our infrastructure, protecting our communities, and building a stronger economy,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas (R-Midland). “We have achieved a transformational state budget focused on long-term results and economic growth. And it does it all while living within our means, setting aside resources to provide future tax relief to struggling Michigan families and saving for a rainy day.”

“In Michigan, we have proven once again that Democrats and Republicans can come together to get things done,” said Senator Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing). “This bipartisan budget will make a real difference in the lives of Michiganders. With investments in workforce programs, key regional projects, public safety, and so much more, we are investing in the people of Michigan. I am thankful for Governor Whitmer’s leadership and will continue to work with my colleagues so that we can invest the billions that are still on the table and give families facing high prices relief.”

“This is a strong budget for the people of Michigan; we are proud to deliver this funding and are grateful it’s been met with the Governor’s signature. The budget we passed is built on a foundation of long-sought Democratic priorities and puts our dollars in direct support of hardworking Michiganders and their families,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “House Democrats have fought for years to secure this level of investment in education, investments in public safety and emergency response personnel, and to offer a real jumpstart for our local communities with significantly increased revenue sharing.”

“The budget signing today is a beacon for Michigan’s bright future. Our efforts and collaboration have led to the passage of this state budget and carved a path that deserves recognition. The budget will support community growth and a commitment to change throughout the state,” said State Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “In my own community, this focus is present in the $75 million to the Community Development Financial Institution, the $500,000 to Mack Avenue Corridor Improvement, for its Engineering Phase and $4 million to the Detroit Historical Society Museum. This budget grants the opportunity of a new road to growing and thriving communities throughout Michigan.”

Supporting Strong Families and Connected Communities

There are three key areas of the budget that invest in families and communities.

1) Honoring Those Who Serve

To ensure those who served have the support they need, the budget funds construction of a new veteran’s home in Marquette, backs a suicide prevention outreach campaign, and shores up the pensions of MSP troopers. To honor the memory of those we have lost, it establishes a veteran’s cemetery in Grayling.

2) Building Up Infrastructure

The budget expands on the investments in the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan signed in April by speeding up replacement of lead service lines, reducing traffic congestion at local rail crossings, improving state fish hatcheries, and funding long-overdue maintenance projects at state facilities.

3) Funding Critical Local Projects

The budget will make critical improvements to Selfridge Air Force Base in Macomb County, invest in Innovate Mound, a transformative project to rebuild Mound Road, one of the most important corridors in Southeast Michigan, and fund modernize Michigan’s armories, shoring up our readiness and supporting local construction jobs.

Growing Michigan’s Economy and Investing in Michigan’s Workforce

Budget investments in Michigan’s economy and workforce can be divided into three key sections: talent and workforce, regional economic development, and support for small businesses.

1) Talent and workforce

The budget’s talent and workforce investments will help build a skilled workforce that attracts transformative projects and economic development to Michigan and meet the governor’s bold Sixty by 30 goal to ensure 60% of Michiganders have a postsecondary degree or skills training certificate by 2030. It funds Michigan Reconnect, a program that has offered tens of thousands of Michiganders a tuition-free pathway to higher education and skills training. The budget also funds Going Pro, which helps small businesses develop in-house talent and fill high-skilled, good-paying job openings.

2) Regional economic development

To spur economic development in every region of Michigan, including rural communities, the budget kicks off a “Buy Michigan” campaign to support Michigan grown and raised products, funds the Pure Michigan campaign to promote tourism and boost local economies, and funds the Office of Rural Development, which was established by Governor Whitmer to focus on development in rural areas and provide support for food and agriculture businesses through economic development. These investments will uplift regional economies and create jobs in every corner of our state.

3) Small business growth

To create jobs and help small business owners fill openings, the budget will provide wraparound support for job seekers. The budget will help reduce barriers to employment, like lack of transportation, childcare, or tools, that keep people out of the workforce and slow economic growth.

Protecting Public Health and Public Safety

Public Health Investments

Budget investments in public health can be broken down into two aspects—behavioral health and community health.

1) Behavioral Health

The budget funds construction of a new state psychiatric hospital complex, replacing Hawthorn Center and Walter Reuther Hospital, to increase patient capacity and improve efficiency. To ensure Michiganders have access to mental health resources, the budget expands behavioral health capacity at existing facilities and offers student loan reimbursement for providers in Michigan.

2) Community Health

The budget funds construction of a new state public health and environmental laboratory to ensure that Michigan has the latest capabilities to protect communities. It betters health outcomes by improving access to dental care for Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid and boosting reimbursement rates for critical health services. Finally, for community health, the budget speeds up lead service line replacement, cleans up contaminated sites, and seals 182 abandoned oil and gas wells.

Public Safety Budget Investments

The public safety budget can be broken down into two categories—law enforcement training and resources and criminal justice. It will keep families safe by fighting crime and reducing violence.

1) Law Enforcement Training, Resources, and Community Programs

The budget makes several investments to improve relationships between communities and law enforcement, including funding for community policing programs and an expansion of the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to more communities. It also graduates more state troopers to protect families and communities, establishes two new units for cybercrime and organized retail crime, supports training and equipment for narcotics teams, and provides funding to attract new recruits and police officers. Finally, the budget funds a pilot program to support victims’ needs early in their interactions with the criminal justice system while building partnerships with victim advocacy organizations.

2) Criminal Justice

The budget supports the development and implementation of a statewide judicial case management system to improve data management and efficiency and reduce court costs. It supports specialty programs addressing the root cause to stop the cycle of crime, funding a new Jobs Court program, an initiative to pair low-level, non-violent offenders with local businesses providing gainful and a long-term career path, and increase for problem solving courts targeting the mental health and drug use issues at the root of criminal activity. The budget also supports corrections officers and employees with investments that keep them safe on the job. Finally, the budget supports efforts to reduce the trial court case backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring continued access to justice for victims and the accused.

“As an elected public official, I know personally how difficult the budget process can be to achieve the desired outcome,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “Which means I am also appreciative for what Governor Gretchen Whitmer has managed to do for Wayne County in the budget she has signed today. There are a number of wins in this budget for our community, which demonstrates the Governor’s commitment to improving the quality of life for our citizens.”

“This historic, bipartisan budget pays down debt and makes key investments in talent for a brighter future in Michigan,” said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “Record funding for the Going Pro Training Fund and Michigan Reconnect program will set our citizens and small businesses up for long-term success. The ongoing funding for Tri-Share, an innovative program to share the cost of childcare between the employers, employees and the State of Michigan, make us a national leader in the work to expand access to childcare.”

“Michigan’s next decade of economic growth depends on implementing creative, bold and untraditional workforce solutions,” said Wendy Block, Vice President of Business Advocacy and Member Engagement for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “We applaud the Governor and Legislature for coming together to find meaningful solutions to help bridge the talent gap and build Michigan’s future workforce. In particular, continued resources for the Going Pro Talent Fund will make meaningful, lasting progress by assisting our state’s employers in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees, as well as providing essential wraparound support for job seekers with barriers to employment such as the lack of affordable childcare and transportation.”

“This legislation will fund critical water priorities, including cleaning up contaminated sites, protecting our freshwater resources and investing in our water infrastructure so Michiganders have safe, clean water to drink,” said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Cleaning up toxic contamination and ensuring Michigan communities have safe, clean water are not partisan issues, and this bipartisan budget demonstrates that. We commend the governor and the Legislature for working together to fund our water.”

“Simply put, the projects announced today are good for Michigan because they represent an investment in our shared future,” said Tom Lutz, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights. “They will boost economic activity throughout the state, improve services offered to Michigan residents, and help attract future jobs and investment as the auto industry shifts to electric vehicles. On top of that, these projects will create good-paying construction jobs that support hard-working families all across our state.”

“The continued need for investment in our state’s roads and bridges has not slowed, so it is very encouraging to see that reflected in the budget. It shows that there is an understanding from Governor Whitmer and the Legislature that these projects, and the careers they help sustain, are necessary to our state and economy,” said Douglas W. Stockwell, Operating Engineers 324 Business Manager. “The highly-skilled members of Operating Engineers 324 have kept Michigan running for over 100 years by building the infrastructure of the state, and this budget ensures we will be able to continue the work of moving Michigan forward.

Work Ahead to Cut Taxes, Put Money in Pockets

Right now, Michiganders are facing rising prices at the pump, the grocery store, and on countless everyday expenses. After the budget, Michigan still has billions of dollars in revenue left on the state balance sheet. Governor Whitmer has proposed temporarily suspend the state sales tax on gas to lower prices for every driver, rolling back the retirement tax to put an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of our seniors, tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit to deliver an average tax refund of $3,000 to 730,000 working families, and delivering $500 inflation relief checks to Michiganders.

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