State Rep. Rodney Wakeman and the Michigan House today approved a new state budget plan that will help Michigan families, workers and job providers continue to recover from the pandemic while taking steps to put the state on stronger financial footing for the future.
Wakeman, of Saginaw Township, emphasized the need to offer stability for families, workers and job providers as the state gets back to normal.
“In addition to continuing funding for all of the essential programs Michigan families rely on every day, we’re making some crucial one-time investments that will help put our economy back on track,” Wakeman said. “It’s time to start putting the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic behind us and give people more certainty as we move forward into the future. This budget will move us in the right direction.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- Promoting tourism: The Pure Michigan campaign promotes what’s best about our state. A $40 million investment in this coming year will focus on helping industries like tourism, hospitality and recreation that were hurt most by the governor’s economic shutdowns.
- Helping Michigan workers: The new state budget plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 invests heavily in workforce development, bringing the total investment to roughly $100 million. The funds will go to existing programs such as Going PRO, internship and apprentice programs.
- Supporting families: Lack of affordable child care was one of the state’s biggest workplace issues before the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an even bigger issue now as parents head back to the workplace after shutdowns. Efforts to make child care more affordable and accessible are supported with $1.4 billion in federal COVID relief funds. This will provide grants, increase the income eligibility threshold, and temporarily boost provider reimbursement rates.
- Supporting job providers: The Unemployment Insurance Agency trust fund took a major hit during the pandemic, so the new budget invests $150 million to offset losses to fraudulent claims allowed by the administration. This investment helps keep the UIA system stable and ensures job providers aren’t asked to pay more into the system.
- Dam safety: The flooding catastrophes of 2020 were a wake-up call for Michigan. With that in mind, we are investing $19 million into multiple funds dedicated to dam safety and emergency response.
The budget plan received overwhelming bipartisan support. It will now soon advance to the governor for her expected signature.
Rep. Wakeman talks about House passage Wednesday of a bipartisan package of legislation that makes child care more accessible in Michigan, a move he says will help Michigan families and make employment more available.
“I hear people’s concerns and remain focused on common-sense reforms that have broad support,” Wakeman said. “These changes will ensure best practices are followed in future elections and help restore faith that our processes are safe and secure.”