By Scott McLellan (The Center Square).
Govt. Gretchen Whitmer proposed a $79 billion budget for fiscal year 2024, a nearly $2 billion spending increase from her last proposed budget and would be the largest state budget in history.
Budget recommendations aim to spend heavily on education, workforce development, public safety and infrastructure. About 41% of the budget is derived from federal grants.
State Budget Director Christopher Harkins said the proposed plan would spend all but $250 million of the state’s projected $9.2 billion surplus by the end of the 2024 fiscal year.
“Today, I am proud to present my executive budget proposal that will lower costs, grow our economy and build a brighter future for everyone who wants to call Michigan home,” Whitmer said in a statement. “My budget includes investments to put money back in people’s pockets, help students thrive in schools, get more people on paths to higher education and good-paying jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, keep our communities safe and improve public health.”
The budget recommendation totals $79 billion and includes a general fund total of $14.8 billion and a school aid fund total of $19 billion.
“Governor Whitmer’s executive budget recommendations are about making Michigan a state where everyone can succeed,” Harkins said in a statement. “Through strategic investments we can leverage our state and federal resources to revitalize and revitalize our state. I look forward to working with the Legislature over the next few months to ensure we enact a budget that makes Michigan stronger.”
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Budget recommendations include low-cost investments, including:
- Roll back the retirement tax, saving 500,000 households $1,000 a year.
- Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing 700,000 households with a combined tax refund of about $3,200.
- $257.3 million toward the goal of offering universal preschool to all 4-year-olds in Michigan.
- Providing up to $3,000 in refundable tax credits to childcare and preschool teachers.
- Temporarily suspending sales and use taxes on electric vehicle purchases to save families up to $2,400 off the first $40,000 of an EV’s price.
Whitmer’s education budget aims to put $900 million into a new rainy day fund for schools, $614 million to support school operations through a 5% increase totaling $9,608 per student, and includes $160 million for breakfast. and lunch to all public school students.
Other proposed education spending includes $442.4 million for literacy grants, $318 million for school safety programs, $300 million for tutoring, $300 million for student mental health and $150 million in matching grants for school districts to modernize their bus fleets with electrification. Vehicle
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Whitmer’s economic development budget includes a $500 million annual deposit into the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, as well as:
- $200 million over 10 years for the Onshoring Clean Energy Supply Chain Tax Credit, designed to encourage businesses to invest in clean manufacturing and industrial decarbonization projects.
- $200 million for the Michigan Regional Empowerment Program to support regional economies through a competitive grant process.
- $135 million for the Michigan Main Street Initiative to provide support to small and micro businesses.
- $15 million in federal funding to supplement ongoing funding for the Pure Michigan advertising campaign.
- $10 million to promote Michigan as a destination for special events and national conventions.
The proposal recommends a $200 million deposit into the Budget Stabilization Fund, which would bring the rainy day fund balance to nearly $2 billion by the end of FY24, an all-time high.
Syndicated with permission from Center Square.