Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs 2021 budget

New spending plan in place starting Oct. 1
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 2:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has just signed her second budget into law, which means Michigan has its spending plan in place prior to the start of the new fiscal year on Oct 1.

“While this budget faced many challenges along the way amidst a global pandemic, I am pleased that we were able to come together and produce a budget that funds the programs and services that matter most to our residents ,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This has not been easy, but in the end the executive and legislative branches of government worked together to do what is expected and demanded of us and we now have a budget that will serve Michigan well.”

The budget protects schools, colleges, universities, and local governments from state level funding reductions below their original 2020 funding. The budget also includes new education investments focused on providing students, teachers, and adults across Michigan with needed resources.

“For Michigan to succeed in the global race for talent, we need effective tools that help our citizens get the skills the 21st century economy demands,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The 2021 budget includes funding for the popular Pure Michigan campaign, set at $15 million.

“Increasing access to education beyond high school and enhancing training opportunities for high-demand careers is fundamental to achieving higher income and a healthy economy,” LEO Director Jeff Donofrio said.

Funding is provided for initiatives directed at the environment, including $5 million that draws down more in federal funding for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to reduce runoff of contaminants into Lake Erie and other watersheds. The budget also adds $1 million to Michigan Saves, a program with the goal of helping Michigan families make energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

A total of $4.2 million is provided to implement the pre-trial incarceration task force recommendation for crisis intervention and de-escalation training through the Michigan Coalition on Law Enforcement Standards. The budget also includes $7 million to increase the number of troopers within the Michigan State Police.

Addressing an issue more rural families may have been dealing with, $14.3 million of the budget will be invested in broadband funding to expand internet access across the state, a service which some have begun to view as critical as Michiganders rely on telework, telehealth, and virtual learning to keep life going during the pandemic.

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