LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer submitted her third budget for the state of Michigan Thursday.
She’s looking to right the financial slip during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full budget is $67 billion. Whitmer looks to draw down on the Michigan General Fund by $11.5 billion and the School Aid Fund by $14.7 billion.
The budget is 7% more than the 2020 budget, but it’s not just an inflationary budget, it’s really just a 2% increase.
“This is a restrained budget,” Whitmer said. “It’s the reality of the moment we are in. Stay laser-focused on getting through this tough time. Been disciplined in those spaces. Common ground. Getting fundamentals right.”
Outside of COVID, Whitmer focused on education, claiming the largest spending increase in state history. She wants to spend more than $200 billion on K-12 education, pushing per pupil funding over $8,000.
She also is looking at a considerable one-time spending on dealing with the educational problems of COVID with $250 million for academic recovery, $200 million to stabilize school district budgets.
There’s the direct COVID response for public health. Whitmer wants $360 million to keep in place the $2 an hour wage increase for direct care workers and wants another $38 million to help nursing homes.
$300 million has been planned for bridge repair and she wants to help Michigan cities with a $175 million budget stabilization for COVID response.
Whitmer and the Legislature continue to battle over their visions of how to spend the COVID relief funds with $50 million approved unspent.