Lawmakers, Whitmer announce deal to finalize state budget

Posted at 8:33 AM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 08:33:41-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Top lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration announced a deal Wednesday to finalize the next state budget.

They had waited to work out spending plans for state departments and funding for universities, community colleges and local governments after enacting a preK-12 budget over the summer.

The Republican-led Legislature is expected to vote next week, about a week before the Sept. 30 deadline. Details of the agreement were not immediately released.

The pending legislation will cover all non-school spending, including social services, public health, roads and environmental protection.

“The last year and a half has been hard on all of our families and communities. Addressing their needs — from jobs to education to government accountability — is at the center of today’s budget deal,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, a Midland Republican, said in a statement.

Rep. Thomas Albert, a Lowell Republican who chairs the House budget committee, said the pending budget in part will continue Michigan’s COVID-19 recovery.

“It reflects shared priorities that will move Michigan forward as we continue to emerge from the pandemic as an even stronger state,” said budget director Dave Massaron.

Legislators and the governor’s team entered negotiations with a big surplus thanks to increased consumer spending of federal stimulus checks and other coronavirus relief funds. Two recent federal rescue laws — signed by then-President Donald Trump in December and President Joe Biden in March — provided direct relief such as cash payments, enhanced unemployment benefits, tax credits, business grants and rental assistance.