Skubick: Meet the new $70B budget

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After a rough beginning, the GOP legislature and the Democratic governor have agreed to a $70 billion new state budget, including funding increases for a host of services.

The governor offered her budget when part of the economy was closed due to COVID-19; Republicans were livid and in no mood to negotiate.  

It was ugly.

“Unless we start re-opening, I’m not going to start having conversations with the governor,” said Tom Albert.

The governor’s budget guy hoped the angry GOP would back off.

“I’m going to try to be optimistic,” said Dave Masseron.

The optimism paid off, with the Senate unanimously passed the budget yesterday and the house did it today.

“A majority having voted for SB-82 it is adopted.”

There’s $7.7 million for more state troopers, $7.3 million for more prison guards, $40 million for the popular Pure Michigan tourism ads, $10 million to replace lead pipes in Benton Harbor and $1.5 billion for child care.

“Enabling nearly 100,000 more kids to enroll in child care and development programs and it will lower the cost for so many families. – rep kelly green

For nursing homes, mental health and other direct care workers there’s a $2.35 hourly pay boost.

These professionals put their lives on the line to save the rest of us. this bill gives them the raise they deserve,” said Rep. Brace.

The governor will probably veto some items in the budget but overall with no government shutdown, she is pleased.

Given the disdain he had for the governor when the budget began, Rep. Albert was singing a different tune today.

“Having a fully negated budget seemed impossible not long ago. but here we are with a budget agreement. if that does not strengthen one’s faith, I don’t know what will,” said Albert.

A rare kumbaya bipartisan moment in a deeply divided political climate in this town.

The $70 billion budget heads to the awaiting governor. 

Correction: An earlier title for this story said $70 million budget instead of $70 billion.

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