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Whitmer signs bills to complete budget, hails bipartisanship

Whitmer signs budget bill.jpg
Posted at 1:47 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 14:24:30-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed $55 billion in spending to complete the state budget, hailing the bipartisan bills as an example of finding common ground with Republicans despite partisan tension during the coronavirus pandemic.

She emphasized Wednesday how the budget will expand eligibility for child care subsidies, provide $1,000 bonuses to child care workers and continue to fund new tuition-free assistance for adults ages 25 and up and frontline workers.

The funding also will repair or replace 100 local bridges, clean up polluted sites and fix aging dams.

The budget also addresses drinking water concerns by funding the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor.

“This is a budget that puts Michiganders first. We are coming together to grow the middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is a comprehensive budget that builds on the school aid budget I signed this summer, which made the largest investment in K-12 education in Michigan history without raising taxes. The budget fully funds Michigan Reconnect and Futures For Frontliners, putting 167,000 people on a tuition-free path to higher education or skills training, fixes 100 crumbling bridges, expands low or no-cost childcare to 105,000 kids, replaces lead service lines in Benton Harbor and beyond, permanently raises hourly pay for direct care workers, puts $500 million into our rainy-day fund, and make additional investments to protect water and environment. The budget is a testament to what we can do when we work together. Now, we should continue in that spirit of collaboration to use the billions of federal dollars we have to help our families, communities, and small businesses thrive.”