LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate has finalized a Fiscal Year 2017 budget plan that increases support for education and public safety while also strengthening the state’s finances, said Sen. John Proos.
“Budgets are about priorities. This budget continues our efforts to improve government efficiency, increase support for our schools to record levels and provide vital services to Michigan residents,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “An education is critical to success, and I am proud to support another increased investment in our kids. Under this budget, we are increasing support for our schools by more than $260 million while also paying down more than $1 billion in legacy costs — allowing more dollars to go into the classroom.
“We are also enhancing our efforts in STEM education and career training and increasing support for other key priorities important to Southwest Michigan, such as fighting Asian carp and extending the Secure Cities partnership to more communities, including Benton Harbor.”
Senate Bill 801 is the education budget for K-12 education, state universities and community colleges, totaling $16.1 billion. The bill includes increases for universities and community colleges, an additional $261 million for K-12 schools, and a total of $1 billion to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS).
House Bill 5294 contains budgets for state departments and the Judiciary and Legislative branches. It puts more resources into local revenue sharing and public safety, adds $5.3 million to increase the Skilled Trades Training Fund to $30.9 million, and invests $1 million more into the Pure Michigan campaign.
“As chairman of the Senate Corrections budget subcommittee, I saved more than $20 million beyond the governor’s budget recommendation by eliminating half of the 3,000 empty beds we were paying for in our prisons and reinvesting nearly $10 million in criminal justice reform,” Proos said. “I led the effort in the Senate on a bipartisan criminal justice reform package designed to help reduce recidivism and prison costs while keeping our communities safe. Refocusing our system on prisoner rehabilitation and reform is good for public safety and a smarter use of taxpayer dollars.”
Proos said many of the criminal justice reform goals are included in the budget.
“By improving the cost-effectiveness of state government and our criminal justice system, we can dedicate more resources on key priorities while still living within our means.”
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.