LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Legislature and Whitmer administration finalized the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which includes more than $60 million spread across access to education, support for mothers and access to childcare.
The budget funds are distributed among education, economic development, public health, public safety and the environment.
When Governor Whitmer introduced a recommended budget to the Legislature back in early February, Michigan had yet to experience its first case of COVID-19 and nobody knew how difficult the road ahead would become.
“Saying that the development of the 2021 budget has been difficult would be an understatement, but I am very proud that we’ve been able to work together with the Legislature to put together a budget that moves Michigan forward,” said Gov. Whitmer.
The budget will provide $30 million to fund the Michigan Reconnect program, providing a tuition-free pathway for adults looking to earn a postsecondary certificate or associate degree, while providing $12.6 million for the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program to ensure women are given the care they need to have a healthy pregnancy. A total of $26 million is also included to expand access to childcare for families by increasing the income limit from 130% to 150% of the federal poverty level.
The 2021 budget will include critical funding for programs focused on Michigan’s economic recovery, including $100 million for business attraction efforts and the restoration of $15 million for the popular Pure Michigan campaign.
“And, we did it all without raising taxes on our hardworking citizens. This budget is proof that our citizens and our state benefit most when there is an equal and cooperative relationship between the legislative and executive branches of government,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.
The budget will also include $14.3 million in broadband funding to help expand Internet access across the state. The budget keeps schools, colleges, universities, and local government at their 2020 funding level.
“The economic impact of the coronavirus created an unprecedented challenge for state government, but more importantly it also created an incredible challenge for Michigan families,” said Chatfield.
The budget bills will be delivered to the governor in the coming days when she will then review and sign the bills prior to the start of the fiscal year on October 1.