Schmidt: Fiscally responsible budget prioritizes education, public health and safety, veterans

LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, issued the following statement Tuesday after the Senate approved its Fiscal Year 2016 budget:

“Today the Senate approved a budget that deals with Michigan’s deficit and pays down nearly $1 billion in unfunded liabilities without placing further burden on taxpayers through smart reductions while protecting the programs and services residents rely upon.

“Obtaining a quality education is the key to a person’s future, and we have again made it a top budget priority. We will continue to support early childhood education programs, further invest in K-12 schools while making sure those dollars go to classrooms where they belong, and work to drive down the costs of higher education so more Michigan students have the opportunity to earn a college degree.

“The fundamental responsibility of government is to protect the health, welfare and safety of citizens, and the Senate’s budget holds true to that as well. Our budget preserves small and rural hospitals and obstetrical programs at rural hospitals, provides for the hiring of 75 additional Michigan State Police troopers to help keep our communities safe, and expands support for veterans service organizations that serve the men and women who serve us in our military once they return home.

“Michigan has come a long way in the past four years and the Senate’s budget keeps that positive momentum going.”