LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer put forward a $79 billion budget on Wednesday that puts a significant investment into schools and public health, and lowers taxes for retirees and low-income households.
If approved, the budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year would be Michigan’s highest ever. The expansive budget proposal comes as Michigan’s surplus is projected to exceed $9 billion.
Many health and education organizations from across Michigan reacted positively to the budget’s focus on supporting public universities and health institutions.
“We commend Governor Whitmer for proposing investments aimed at reaching our shared goal of having sixty percent of Michigan residents possess a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030.Dan Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities
“Gov. Whitmer and her administration demonstrated their commitment to protecting hospitals and supporting healthcare workers with the release today of the 2024 executive budget recommendationBrian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association
“Gov. Whitmer’s education budget recognizes that our leaders in Lansing have chronically underfunded our schools for decades, depriving students of the education they deserve. Her plan to provide funding for tutoring services to all K-12 students is important to help catch students up to their peers around the country, and providing free breakfast and lunch to all public schools will help our kids stay focused on their learning rather than hunger.Trina Tocco, Executive Director of the Michigan Education Justice Coalition
The Fund MI Future Coalition called the proposal a “good start,” but stated that it doesn’t go far enough in holding “corporations and wealthy individuals” responsible.
“Hard-working Michigan families and seniors deserve these critical investments for schools, infrastructure, the environment, health, and housing outlined in the Governor’s budget proposal. However, there is still much work to be done to remedy decades of underfunding by Lansing lawmakers. Michiganders from Detroit to the UP are clamoring for high-quality schools, clean air and water, accessible and affordable childcare, and the public services that help create prosperity for all.MoReno Taylor II, Executive Director of the Fund MI Future Coalition
Another organization that was critical of the budget was the National Coalition of Public School Options, voicing disappointment with the budget’s handling of full-time online public charter schools.
“The Governor’s budget rightly recognizes that Michigan children are struggling coming out of the era of pandemic ‘learning,’ and that resources are needed to bring students back to where they need to be academically. What is confounding, however, is that while spending hundreds of millions on these initiatives, the Governor’s proposal at the same time slashes funding for children who have found their academic homes at one of Michigan’s full-time online charter public schools.Amy Dunlap, Chair of the Michigan Chapter of the National Coalition of Public School Options
You can read the entirety of Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal at Michigan.gov.