LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt joined his colleagues this week in voting to approve the fiscal year 2022 state budget.
“This budget highlights several of my priorities and does so without raising taxes. It funds the state’s most important needs and puts us on solid financial ground as we look toward the future,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “These bills build on the record K-12 funding my colleagues and I approved earlier this summer and take us another major step toward our recovery from COVID-19.”
The Senate approved Senate Bill 82, which is a general omnibus budget that includes:
- $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers;
- $190 million to repair or replace local bridges;
- $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers;
- $40 million for the Going Pro program to support employee training;
- $55 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to provide tuition-free community college and training;
- $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers;
- $14.5 million to local governments to remove PFAS from the water; and
- $19 million to repair or replace local dams.
The bill deposits $500 million in the state’s rainy-day fund and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to help the fund recover from heavy caseloads and fraudulent benefit payments.
The budget also contains projects specific to northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Included is a number of bridge upgrades; funding for a new ambulance facility in St. Ignace; a new Steve Mariucci Family Beacon House in Marquette to support families during medical care; sewer upgrades in Mancelona to serve businesses and the community; funds for Great Lakes Central and Lake State Railway so our state can safely transport goods; funds to the Antrim County Road Commission to build infrastructure and connect Shanty Creek Resort and the surrounding communities; and improvements to Mackinac Island’s 300-year old coal dock so the island can continue to receive goods and function.
The Senate also approved House Bill 4400, which includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations — which would build on the $140 million in the already signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.
“We’re still working on our state’s recovery, but we’re continuing to press forward and tackle issues one-by-one,” Schmidt said. “We’ve made record investments in schools, our economy, our workforce and our families, and most importantly, we did so without passing on an additional burden to taxpayers.”
SB 82 and HB 4400 now go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature, which will complete the 2022 state budget if signed.