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Senate approves FY 2023 budget

LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Kim LaSata on Friday voted in support of a balanced fiscal year 2023 budget plan that addresses the realities facing Michigan families and communities.

“This budget funds critical services Michigan families and employers rely on every day, like our police and fire departments and job training programs. We are also increasing our investments in critical infrastructure like local roads and bridges while paying down debt and addressing local needs in Southwest Michigan and across the state,” said LaSata, R-Niles.

Sturgis Hospital, which has faced closure in recent weeks as a redesignation has been in the works, received funding under the budget approved Thursday by the Senate — something LaSata had worked closely on and was instrumental in securing funding for.

“The goal was to keep the hospital open for patients as the process to redesignate the facility as a ‘rural emergency hospital’ continues toward completion,” LaSata said. “This really is a critical issue for the community. The nearest hospital is roughly 30 minutes away — there just really aren’t a lot of options for local families. I am relieved we were able to negotiate this and get the funding secured.”

State funding would allow the facility to stay open and become a rural emergency hospital on Jan. 1, 2023, when a new federal law takes effect that allows small hospitals to be recognized as a rural emergency hospital.

The Senate also passed House Bill 5783, which includes, among other measures, $2.3 billion to help fix local roads and bridges and $110 million for the Going Pro and Michigan Reconnect programs to help train and retain workers. Local governments would see a $750 million boost to help meet their pension obligations, which would free up funds for community priorities and essential services. Under the spending plan, the city of Three Rivers would receive funding to continue blight cleanup and help offset costs from previous cleanup efforts.

The budget also prioritizes public safety by training more new state police troopers and corrections officers, as well as resources to support the Berrien County and Cass County sheriff’s departments to ensure they can do their jobs safely and effectively.

Also included in the plan approved Thursday, was funding for school safety grants to help schools improve safety and security measures and to address student mental health and boost Michigan’s commitment to increasing access to mental health care.

“The plan passed today continues a longstanding effort of fiscally responsible budgeting that addresses major needs, in road and bridge repairs, community safety and more, while also setting aside resources for tax relief for Michigan families as those discussions continue,” LaSata said. “We were able to utilize money from better-than-expected state revenues and one-time funding to make major improvements that will benefit Michigan for generations.”

The budget bills now go to the governor for final consideration.