LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Wednesday commented on his support of the budget plan approved by the Senate.
“We dedicated record funding for both repairing our roads and supporting education, and we did that without raising taxes on the hardworking taxpayers of West Michigan,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Strengthening our economy, fiscal responsibility, and strong support for roads and education are all reflected in this budget. The governor’s proposal for massive tax hikes on Michigan families and small businesses is the wrong approach.”
The Senate plan increases the state’s road repair funding by speeding up the implementation of the 2015 law. State funding for transportation will have increased by over 88% since 2010. Transportation was not the only item to see increases in this year’s budget plan; schools would also receive a nearly $400 million increase from last year’s budget.
The Senate plan would invest $15.2 billion in education. Schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — the largest per-pupil increase in 18 years and $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan. Also included is money to support skilled trades training to get workers into high-demand jobs.
The plan approved Wednesday also includes $120 million to monitor and analyze water quality throughout the state. The money will be used to fund a number of measures. It would add the $120 million to current efforts to address water quality issues such as PFAS and other contaminants; Lead and Copper Rule implementation; well testing; Drinking Water Revolving Fund loan forgiveness; and more.
Also included is funding for Michigan’s community colleges and universities; $51.2 million in revenue sharing to assist local governments; money to train and graduate 85 new state police troopers; strengthened protections for rural hospitals; and money to be saved for a rainy day.
The budget bills now head to the House for consideration.