Legislature approves FY 2021 budget agreement

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday finalized a fiscal year budget plan that that balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important priorities like public safety, nursing home protections and the state’s struggling economy.

“The coronavirus has left families, businesses and communities across the state, especially in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, hurting as they struggle to get by,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “This agreement provides funding for resources to help those who remain out of work get back on their feet and provide for their families, while also providing crucial funding for public safety, roads and other priorities.”

House Bill 5396 is a general omnibus budget that increases local revenue sharing and includes $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents, $7 million to graduate at least 50 new state troopers and maintain trooper strength, $26 million for the Going Pro program to help train employees, and $30 million for Michigan Reconnect to help people complete an associate degree or skills certificate.

The legislation includes $3 million to support mental health in Northern Michigan. This money will be used for additional beds at McLaren Northern Michigan in Cheboygan and other measures to improve access to mental health services in the region.

The budget also invests $15 million in the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, deposits $35 million in the state’s rainy day fund, and fully funds the 2015 plan to help fix the state’s roads.

“We have a long road and some difficult times ahead of us yet, but this plan is a great step in the right direction as we continue working to address the needs of our state in the wake of the coronavirus,” Schmidt said. “This bipartisan agreement proves what can be done when we work together to solve problems.”

HB 5396 now heads to the governor for consideration. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by visiting www.SenatorWayneSchmidt.com and clicking “Photos” under the “In the News” tab.

Photo caption: Assistant Senate Majority Leader Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, discusses the budget with Senate Appropriations Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, on the Senate floor as negotiations were being finalized Wednesday afternoon.