by Scott McClallen
The GOP-led Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer struck a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown before the next fiscal year.
Budget officials welcomed the deal.
“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 Chair Jim Stamas, R-Midland, said in a statement. “By working together our divided Michigan government has shown what can be accomplished when Michigan families are put first. Michigan families are counting on us to invest in them. This budget does that by laying the groundwork for a healthy economy for Michigan’s future. I thank House Appropriations Chair Thomas Albert, Budget Director David Massaron, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their collaboration.”
The budget agreement announced signals the Legislature will move forward with an omnibus budget – covering the funding for all state departments and agencies for the next fiscal year.
Over the summer, leaders landed a $17 billion K-12 education budget despite 16 months of arguing over a COVID-19 response.
“This is a significant step forward,” Albert, R-Lowell, said in a statement. “A historic investment in schools already has been finalized, and now we are close to finishing work on other parts of the state budget that will help meet the needs of Michigan residents and continue the state’s recovery from the COVID pandemic. I would like to thank Budget Director Massaron and Senate Appropriations Chair Stamas for their work, and I look forward to votes on the budget soon.”
The budget process is expected to proceed normally with conference committees and a floor vote in the upcoming week. Whitmer’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“I am very pleased that we now have a budget agreement and I’d like to thank Sen. Stamas and Rep. Albert for the good working relationship that we forged during this process,” Massaron said. “This is a budget that is good for Michigan. It reflects shared priorities that will move Michigan forward as we continue to emerge from the pandemic as an even stronger state.”
The new budget year kicks off on Oct. 1.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Whitmer announces grant” by Michigan WDI.