Gov. Whitmer releases 2021 Michigan budget plan: Here’s what’s included

Includes boosts in education, skills training programs

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis) (Al Goldis, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has released her proposed 2021 state budget recommendation.

The budget recommendation totals $61.9 billion, up 3.9 percent from the current fiscal year 2020 budget. It includes a general fund total of $11 billion (up 5.8 percent) and a school aid fund total of $15.9 billion (up 4.9 percent).

  • WATCH LIVE in the video player above: Whitmer’s 2021 Michigan budget plan to be outlined

“This is a thoughtful budget that focuses on increased funding for education and skill development, providing for the health and needs of working families, and protecting Michigan’s water,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Our future depends on making strong investments in these core priorities, and while we cannot correct decades of underfunding overnight, particularly in the area of education, this budget builds on last year’s budget to provide additional funding in these critical areas.”

Here are some of the key inclusions of the 2021 budget proposal:

Education and skills:

  • The school aid fund includes a base funding increase of $150 to $225 per pupil, which equates to $8,336 per pupil for districts at the minimum and $8,679 per pupil for districts at the maximum, reducing the gap between the highest and lowest funded districts to $343 per pupil.
  • $35 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to provide a tuition-free pathway for adults looking to upskill and earn a postsecondary certificate or associate degree.
  • $27.9 million for the Going Pro program to support job training grants to businesses to support training for current and new employees in high-demand, skilled trades industries.


  • $27 million to expand access to childcare for families by increasing the income limit from 130% to 150% of the federal poverty level, expanding childcare services to an estimated 5,900 children.
  • $12.3 million to expand response to the opioid crisis and assist families and communities with this continued epidemic.
  • $10 million for a Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund to protect Michigan families from lead in their homes.
  • Funding for paid parental leave to provide state employees up to 12 weeks paid leave if they are the parent of a newborn or newly adopted child.


  • $40 million for local climate resilient infrastructure grants for local units of government to help plan for and prevent the negative impacts of Michigan’s changing climate conditions like high water levels.
  • $40 million in grants to school districts for infrastructure upgrades to ensure students have healthy learning environments.
  • $15 million for the Pure Michigan program, with an invitation for the tourism industry to contribute additional funding to support the campaign.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield today released the following statement on Gov. Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal:

“I look forward to talking with Gov. Whitmer about the priorities her team laid out this morning. There are some areas where we will have to improve upon her agenda, where she continued to pick winners and losers with schoolchildren and rural Michigan families. But there are also many areas where we all agree and can work together to get things done for the people we serve, including fixing our crumbling roads and the help for shoreline erosion we requested.

“Our budget committee will now go through her proposal line by line to vet her suggestions and build the best possible plan for the people of this state. With a willing partner, we will pass a strong plan that keeps Michigan on the comeback path for years to come.”

Check out the full 2021 budget proposal below:

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.