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LaSata votes for balanced FY 2022 state budget

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kim LaSata on Tuesday voted to approve a balanced fiscal year 2022 budget plan that increases investments in important state priorities.

“This budget outlines and funds many of the state’s most important priorities and does so without raising taxes on hardworking Michigan families,” said LaSata, R-Coloma. “Building on the record K-12 funding passed earlier this summer, we’re working to continue emerging from the pandemic, getting people back to work and improving government efficiency.”

The Senate approved Senate Bill 82, which is a general omnibus budget. Among other things, SB 82 includes:

  • $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers,
  • $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
  • $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers,
  • $40 million for the Going Pro program to support employee training,
  • $55 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to provide tuition-free community college and training,
  • $40 million for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign,
  • $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers,
  • $14.5 million to local governments to remove PFAS from the water, and
  • $19 million to repair or replace local dams.

The plan also deposits $500 million in the state’s savings account and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to assist with record caseloads experienced during COVID-19.

Also included are a number of projects specific to the 21st Senate District, including a $5 million investment in an 800 MHz frequency tower that will assist local first responders in carrying out their duties and keeping residents safe.

“This tower will help fill signal gaps in Berrien County, especially in the south-central portion of the county,” LaSata said. “This project will provide a tremendous benefit to the approximately 156,000 residents of Berrien County and more than 50 public safety and service agencies in the region.”

Funding to complete a permanent police and fire location at the Berrien County Youth Fair and support the St. Joseph County United Way’s suicide prevention programming also was included.

On Wednesday, the Senate is also expected to approve House Bill 4400, which includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations — which would build on the $140 million in the already signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.

“I am proud of what we were able to get included in this budget,” LaSata said. “The final product is a bipartisan effort between the Senate, House and governor’s office that addresses the most important needs and issues facing our state — from roads and bridges, to education and workforce development to public safety.”

With the governor’s signature on SB 82 and HB 4400, the 2022 state budget will be complete.