LANSING, AP — Michigan lawmakers approved a state budget early Friday that increases funding for education, but delayed a decision on how to cut taxes, unable to yet bridge the disagreement between the governor. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican Legislative Leaders.
Michigan is on edge with federal pandemic aid that has fueled a surge in resident incomes and consumer spending, but the Democratic governor and GOP-controlled legislature disagree on how to reduce taxes in response.
Lawmakers were aiming to approve at least the state’s K-12 spending plan by the end of June, because that’s the start of the school districts’ budget year. The state’s fiscal year doesn’t begin until October, but the fall election has created a strong incentive to wrap up budget planning by Friday.
The spending plan that was passed by both houses was the result of extensive budget discussions between the governor and GOP lawmakers.
State Sen. Jim Stamas, a Republican from Midland who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, said negotiators had produced a spending plan “Major investments to educate our children, improve our infrastructure, protect our communities and build a stronger economy.
Lawmakers approved a $450 per student increase in base funding for K-12 schools, an increase of about 5.2%. The Michigan Department of Education said the $9,150 per student commitment is the highest total in state history and Superintendent Michael Rice called the spending plan a “to win” for Michigan children.
“After years of underfunding schools, the fiscal year 23 budget has the potential to be the budget we point to as the backbone of strengthening public education in Michigan in the future. where we have made the most substantial progress towards adequate and equitable education. school funding, Rice said in a statement.
Lawmakers also pledged $575 million for programs to increase the number of teachers in the state, a priority in Whitmer’s original budget proposal.
Negotiators could not agree on how to cut taxes, however, and agreed to draw up a broader public spending plan without resolving this dispute. The $76 billion proposal includes $6 billion for state and local roads, bridges and other transportation projects.
Lawmakers also agreed to invest about $2.6 billion in public pension systems. House Republicans have paid particular attention to it during budget discussions this year, and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Thomas Albert of Lowell called it critical support for schools and government. local.
Leaders said discussions would continue on how to cut taxes and estimate $7 billion remains available for tax changes.
Whitmer has proposed targeted tax changes, including a reversal of the 2011 earned income tax credit cuts and lower pension taxes. Republicans, however, wanted broader tax changes, including lower personal and corporate income tax rates.
“Let’s continue in this spirit of collaboration to invest the billions of dollars in additional revenue we still have on the table and provide real relief to families right now, especially as they face rising fuel prices. ‘groceries, gas and other daily expenses’, Whitmer said in a statement released Thursday as lawmakers geared up for votes on the budget. “I will work with anyone to put the Michiganders first and get it done.”
The education and general budgets now go to Whitmer for his review.