LaSata: Prior budget cuts restored to help state, local efforts

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday passed legislation to restore hundreds of millions in funding that was cut by the governor last year.

The bill also provides additional support for new challenges facing the state, including combating the coronavirus.

“This is important legislation that restores the budgets of many programs that began the year without necessary funding,” said Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “It also provides support for emerging needs, like our efforts to mitigate coastal erosion and to combat coronavirus.”

A High Water Infrastructure Repair program would receive $5 million to provide grants that counties, cities, villages and townships could compete for to help fix public infrastructure damage from, or implement preventive measures against, high water and shoreline erosion.

The bills also include $750,000 to make needed improvements to the historic Langley Covered Bridge, which was constructed in 1887.

Additional programs that would see funding restored include:

  • $15 million for the Going PRO talent fund that rewards employers for helping train, develop, and retain current and newly hired workers.
  • $16 million for the popular and successful Pure Michigan travel and tourism campaign.
  • $25 million for state efforts to combat the coronavirus.

Senate Bill 151 now goes to the governor for her signature.

“I am hopeful that the governor will sign this funding bill quickly,” LaSata said. “With these cuts restored, I also hope we will be able to move on with the state’s next budget, avoid the drama from last year, and approve a spending plan that is balanced and on time.”