UPDATE: State government leaders agree on how to spend over $3 billion in federal money in Michigan budget

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Today state officials reached a bipartisan budget agreement.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, and House Speaker Lee Chatfield came to the agreement which includes adjustments to the fiscal year 2020 budget and allocates Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars.

The deal includes how to spend $3.1 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and how to make up for a $2.2 billion revenue shortfall for the current fiscal year.

At $648 million the biggest single chunk of federal cash will go to public health emergency response.

Additionally, $512 million goes to schools, $53 million to hazard pay for teachers, and $200 million will go to universities and community colleges.

Another $150 million is going to local governments to cover public health and safety costs and hazard pay for first responders. Also, $94 million still remains to be allocated.

To make up for the $2.2 billion revenue shortfall in the general and school aid funds, the agreement would save $490 million in hiring and spending freezes as well as layoffs. Take $350 million from the rainy day fund as well as $553 million in state aid reductions to schools, universities, community colleges, and local governments.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our state budget. In this time of crisis, it is our responsibility to come together and build a budget that reflects a bipartisan commitment to the things we value most as Michiganders. This agreement provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools, and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the virus.  

“Our collective priority is a healthy state and a healthy economy. We are committed to working together to address the remaining shortfalls in next year’s budget and we are looking to our partners in Congress for support to help maintain the essential services relied upon by our families and small businesses.” 

Joint statement from Whitmer (D), Chatfield (R) and Shirkey (R)

The changes outlined are for the current state budget while the new fiscal year starts on October 1st.

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