LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan students are in line for a record-breaking amount of state aid as part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new budget proposal.
Gov. Whitmer’s budget closes the gap for every student in every district. Each one will get the same 5% state aid boost, if lawmakers agree.
“That’s $614 million in an ongoing investment that will mean another $458 per pupil in the next year and will bring the highest ever amount of $9,608,” said State Budget Director Chris Harkins.
The public school education community is obviously overjoyed with the proposed hike.
On top of that, the governor is recommending feeding every school kid during the week.
“Free breakfast and lunch for everyone at a cost of $1.4 million, which would make Michigan the fourth state in the nation to have this program,” said Whitmer.
While kids are getting free food, every fourth grader would get a free pass to every state park.
Additionally, Gov. Whitmer is also funding a free higher education tuition program on top of a 4% increase for every university in the state.
“This covers four out of every five students and reaches two-thirds of all students who will get free tuition,” continued Gov. Whitmer.
All of these freebies and other state programs will have a price tag of around $79 billion, including most of the $9 billion state surplus.
Other highlights include a 5% hike in state aid to local governments, including a 2% in state aid for training local police and violence prevention efforts and money to retain police officers and firefighters.
Additionally, Gov. Whitmer wants to hire 50 more state troopers and order body cameras on all state corrections officers.
In terms of transportation, Gov. Whitmer wants a state tax credit of $2,400 for electric vehicle purchasers and wants to create more plug-in facilities to reduce “range anxiety.”
The proposals won’t see the light of day until lawmakers vote yes and with the Democrats controlling the House and Senate budget panels, Gov. Whitmer has a pretty good shot at getting most of what she wants.
“I look forward to working with you,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We’re going to do a lot of good stuff together.”