Michigan’s state budget deal between Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-controlled legislature is winning widespread praise from various interest groups in the state. Among them were representatives of the municipal government, business leaders and the state medical society.
The Michigan Municipal League released a statement from its president Barb Ziarko of Sterling Heights.
“The budget approved by the legislature makes an important investment in the people of Michigan and the places where they call home. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Lowell), Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), and the Governor and his team, this budget will bring needed relief to communities and improve their ability to move forward.
“Some of the budget highlights that will help strengthen our local communities include:
$750 million to help underfunded municipal pension plans
$16 million to fund an ongoing 5% increase and a one-time 1% increase in revenue sharing, resulting in one of the largest increases in two decades
$75 million for blight elimination
$31 million for city and town streets
$94 million for local federal assistance for road and bridge construction
$30 million for public safety academy assistance program
$11 million for community policing
$3 million to fund economic development efforts in rural communities through the Office of Rural Development
The action of the Legislative Assembly builds on the positive momentum of past investments in our communities. With billions in revenue still available, these remaining resources can be invested equitably to ensure Michigan is an attractive place for talent and supports thriving communities in a way that benefits everyone. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislative leaders in the months ahead to identify additional investments that support people and the places where they live, work and play.
Business Leaders of Michigan, leading many of the state’s largest employers, is also “all for” fiscal compromise, as its CEO Jeff Donofrio has pointed out:
“We commend the Legislature and the Governor for reaching a bipartisan budget agreement that will help Michigan win jobs and new businesses, attract talent, support our students and teachers, and provide opportunities for a more widely shared prosperity in our state. We are excited to see a number of the investments in public education and talent that Michigan business leaders prioritized in our Compete to Win plan incorporated into the agreement, in particular:
Increased per-student funding for K-12, including additional funding for at-risk students and those receiving special education services
Funding for Michigan’s Future Educator Fellowship, which will help address the state’s teacher shortage
New funding to increase availability of after-school and summer programs
Funding to support voluntary school clusters and infrastructure investments
Funding for the Michigan Public Schools Employee Retirement System and other underfunded municipal pensions
Investments in post-secondary scholarships and worker training
“Business Leaders for Michigan is also celebrating $100 million for the Detroit Center for Innovation, the result of a partnership between Related Companies, Olympia Development of Michigan and the University of Michigan. This center for world-class research, education and entrepreneurship – and more – is essential to keeping our economy competitive on the world stage.
“A lot has been accomplished with this budget deal, including staying focused on investing in Michigan’s future and avoiding fiscal cliffs. Now, we encourage policy makers to continue working across the aisle towards a consensus to invest more in economic development, especially in funding the development of ready-made sites and the creation of a sustainable funding mechanism for the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund. These investments are essential for Michigan to be more competitive and to be part of the Top 10 states.
“We need to keep the momentum going so Michigan can compete to win.”
The Michigan State Medical Society, which represents doctors and other medical professionals, is also “on board” for the budget compromise. Thomas Veverka, MD, FACS, president of the Michigan State Medical Society, applauded lawmakers for agreeing to a budget funding increased Medicaid reimbursement for certain adult and pediatric primary care services.
“It’s wonderful when our lawmakers recognize the problems and work together to implement solutions, and that’s exactly what happened today with the announcement that an increase in Medicaid would be funded in the budget. general this year.
“On behalf of our member physicians across the state, I would like to commend Governor Whitmer, the Senate leadership, and our state legislators for not only recognizing the problems that low Medicaid reimbursement presents to patients and providers in the Michigan, but also for working together to find and fund a solution. This now-approved Medicaid increase will expand access to care, support the sustainability of primary care and physician practice, and most importantly, improve the health of patients, and all of that deserves to be celebrated.
“Now more than ever, patients need timely access to primary care, and today’s announcement that Medicaid reimbursement rates will receive a much-needed increase will go a long way to ensuring that patients in the Michigan can access the care they need when they need it from doctors they trust.