LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead on Tuesday voted to approve the state’s fiscal year 2022 budget plan, which funds priorities like education and infrastructure without raising taxes on hardworking families as the state continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Michigan is emerging from a difficult year, and our healthier and growing economy is reflected in the state’s new budget,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I fought to support vital programs and services that West Michiganders rely on every day, like our schools, police and fire departments, and job training programs. We’re also increasing our investments in critical infrastructure, like bridges and dams, and protecting our clean water resources.”
Bumstead highlighted the significant investments in the approved budget to clean up the environment and expand economic development opportunities in Muskegon. It includes $2 million to assist the city of Muskegon with an environmental cleanup project to mitigate potential health risks along the harbor of Muskegon Lake. Once the mitigation is completed, the site is expected to become the center of a residential and commercial development project.
“As chair of the DNR and EGLE budgets, I’ve made protecting our clean water and natural resources a legislative priority,” Bumstead said. “The funding in this budget will be critical to mitigating environmental risks in downtown Muskegon, and I’m proud to have this funding included in the budget.”
Senate Bill 82, which is the general omnibus budget bill, also includes:
- $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
- $40 million for the Going Pro program to support employee training,
- $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers,
- $14.5 million to local governments to remove PFAS from the water,
- $19 million to repair or replace local dams,
- $500 million to be deposited in the state’s rainy-day fund, and
- $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to increase its solvency due to fraudulent benefit payments.
Bumstead also noted the budget includes important oversight requirements concerning the behavior of state government. The budget requires transparency and accountability from the office of the governor during an emergency, requires the secretary of state to keep branch offices open to walk-in customers, and prohibits state and local governments and community colleges and universities from forcing people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Throughout our state’s battle against the coronavirus, residents were left in the dark about important decisions directly affecting their lives and were even prohibited from utilizing services they’d paid for and are required to use,” Bumstead said. “State government needs to be more accountable to our residents, especially in times of emergency. That’s why this budget will ensure our government is open to serve people’s needs, and Michiganders’ right to make their own personal health decisions regarding vaccines is protected.”
The Senate is expected to approve House Bill 4400 on Wednesday. The higher education-focused budget bill includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university public school employee retirement obligations — building on the $140 million investment to reduce school unfunded liabilities included in the previously signed K-12 school aid budget approved in July. It also provided a record level of state school funding for the current school year and boosted every school district’s foundation allowance up to at least $8,700 per student.
The state’s new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.