Rep Mark Huizenga
Rep. Huizenga: Budget will keep schools and local communities whole in trying times
RELEASE|September 23, 2020
Contact: Mark Huizenga

State Rep. Mark Huizenga, of Walker, today supported a responsible and effective state budget plan that overcomes financial challenges presented by COVID-19.

Huizenga’s vote helped the Michigan House advance a proposal that protects K-12 schools, local communities and other shared top priorities of Michigan residents – despite the impact COVID-19 and economic shutdowns have had on the state economy.

“No reduction in K-12 public school funding and no decrease in revenue sharing for local governments throughout the state are two pivotal elements of this plan,” said Huizenga, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government. “It sends a clear message that our children will still be able to learn and grow and our local communities will still be able to thrive as we go forward in the face of COVID-19. It’s important to ensure a healthy population, economy and future. This plan works to accomplish that.”

The plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 once again was approved without tax increases. The budget does not grow state government, returning about $35 million to the state’s budget stabilization fund.

The per-student foundation allowance for K-12 schools remains unchanged, but schools will receive an additional one-time payment equal to roughly $65 per student, along with other changes to increase the commitment to Michigan’s school aid fund. The school aid fund will surpass $15.5 billion, a record-high investment, allowing students to have the resources they need to succeed whether they are learning in-person or online this school year.

Cities, townships and counties will also enjoy fully protected revenue sharing payments, allowing them to continue funding critical services people rely on.

The proposal also makes investments in:

  • Jobs through funding for important initiatives such as Going Pro and Pure Michigan. Almost $29 million in General Fund money will go toward the Going Pro program that provides employer-based grants to train employees. An additional $15 million will go to ‘Pure Michigan’, which promotes the state’s vital tourism industry.
  • Public safety by training additional Michigan State Police troopers and supporting local-level road patrols.
  • Public health by committing $20 million to the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) in skilled nursing facilities. The budget also includes resources supporting mental health, children with autism, and cleanup of PFAS and other pollution threatening drinking water.
  • Children, families and seniors by supporting Healthy Moms Healthy Babies program, child advocacy centers, and senior citizen program grants. A pilot program will be established helping connect isolated seniors with callers who check in on their welfare.

The budget plan – contained in House Bill 5396 and Senate Bill 927 – advances to the governor for her consideration.

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