LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Legislature has passed the largest state budget ever with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
After an early Friday vote, the state legislature passed a full budget for the next fiscal year. It will head to the governor for her signature.
“Today, I am proud to announce that the Legislature and I have reached a deal on a balanced, bipartisan state budget for Fiscal Year 2023 that does not raise taxes by a dime and is delivered on time,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This is our fourth collaboration on a fiscally-responsible budget delivers on the kitchen-table issues that matter and lowers costs for families struggling with inflation. I am proud that the budget will grow Michigan’s economy and workforce, make record investments in every student and classroom, protect public health and public safety, expand mental health resources, and empower working families and communities.”
According to House Republicans, the budget will include about $75.5 billion in spending in total, including:
- $6 billion for roads and infrastructure
- $2.6 billion in pensions reduction
- An increase in per-pupil funding to a record $9,150
- $693 million for school safety and infrastructure
- A major investment in special education resources of $1.92 billion
The deal marks the first time the budget is done by the July 1 deadline established by statute after a disastrous 2019 budget process.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways. Thank God he had me go to the Marine Corps — I think it prepared me for the challenges of (preparing the budget),” state Rep. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said. “Really this term, you go from January of 2021 when I became appropriations chair, it’s been one continuous budget negotiation the whole time. If you look at the end of March. we passed a $4.7 billion infrastructure supplemental. That was going on at the same time we were building the House budgets. So it’s been a long process and I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished, where we are today.”
Even with a massive spending package, the state is also holding back some $7 billion. Some of that money may be used to help prop up the state in a future economic downturn that some fear could be coming. Some will be used as some sort of tax break for residents. All of that will be decided after the current budget process is done.