LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Wednesday supported supplemental budget bills to resolve a $2.2 billion deficit through spending cuts, hiring freezes and using a portion of the state’s “rainy day fund” while also directing federal funds to education and vital services that were hit hardest by the cost of COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put countless Michiganders out of work and taken a huge toll on our economy,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “This budget season has challenged us with many unknowns, but because we have been fiscally responsible and saved money in the recent past, we are able to respond to the coronavirus crisis. This bipartisan solution will address the unprecedented budget shortfall while also protecting Michigan families, schools and communities.”
The bipartisan plan will save $936 million by reducing state spending, and will direct additional federal COVID-19 funds to cover expenses by schools and local governments due to the virus, including:
- $555 million for schools;
- $200 million for universities and community colleges; and
- $350 million for local governments.
“With these bills, we will have sent over $3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to schools, businesses, workers and families affected by the pandemic,” Nesbitt said.
As part of the agreement, the Senate Appropriations committee approved an executive order from the governor to reduce current-year spending. Most state agencies will see reductions, including the executive and legislative budgets. The budget plan also uses $350 million from the state’s budget stabilization fund to support funding for critical programs.
“I am glad we were able to work together on a responsible budget that helps Michigan families without raising taxes and uses federal dollars to be most helpful,” Nesbitt said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to maintain a responsible budget as we continue to fight back against the coronavirus and help rebuild our economy.”
Senate Bill 373 and House Bill 5265 now head to the governor to be signed.