Sen. Peter MacGregor comments on finalizing state’s budget

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, issued the following statement on Tuesday after the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget plan was finalized with strong bipartisan support.

“I am happy that, for the eighth year in a row we were able to come together to approve a structurally sound budget more than three months ahead of schedule. This is a fiscally responsible plan for our state that saves money and makes investments in programs and services that residents rely upon.

“Supporting our children’s education is always a top priority, and this year more is being dedicated to their schooling than ever before. We have also prioritized school safety in this budget, from security grants to boosting funding for the OK2SAY program and adding $30 million for mental health support services within schools.

MacGregor noted that the K-12 per pupil foundation allowance funding has also been increased, from between $120 and $240 per pupil. The range in funding relates to providing larger dollar increases to school districts with lower foundation allowances than to those with higher foundation allowances.

“The budget also supports programs and services for the health and wellbeing of our communities, including $9.25 million dedicated for public health departments, which could support local efforts to deal with emergent health needs, including PFAS,” said MacGregor. “I am also pleased that we are continuing efforts to invest in skilled trades training programs to prepare workers for in-demand jobs to support our growing economy.

“Additionally, the budget provides $11.9 million for the training of 155 state police troopers to protect our communities, funds to hire new conservation officers to protect our natural resources, and $2.1 million to support county veterans programs throughout the state.”

Other highlights from the fiscal year 2019 budget include:

  • $330 million more for roads and bridges, bringing the total added investment in Michigan’s roads and infrastructure to $2.4 billion in three years;
  • $115 million for the state’s “rainy day fund” which will bring the balance to $1 billion;
  • $25 million in school safety grants;
  • $25 million for environmental cleanup efforts;
  • $5.3 million for chronic wasting disease research and response, and
  • $21.5 million in constitutional revenue sharing for local governments.

“This is a solid budget that builds upon the strong financial foundation we have worked to establish to help make Michigan the best place to live, work and raise a family,” MacGregor said.

The budget bills await the governor’s signature.