State Rep. David Martin and the Michigan House today approved a new state budget plan that will help Michigan families, workers and job providers continue to recover from the pandemic while taking steps to put the state on stronger financial footing for the future.
Martin, of Davison, emphasized the need to offer stability for families, workers and job providers as the state gets back to normal.
“After all of the stress and confusion we’ve experienced over the past year and a half, people are more than ready to get back to normal – and this new state budget will help move us in the right direction,” Martin said. “It includes funding for all of the essential services local families rely on while taking steps to prevent government overreach and making one-time investments needed to get our economy back on track.”
The Unemployment Insurance Agency trust fund took a major hit during the pandemic, so the new budget invests $150 million to offset losses to fraudulent claims allowed by the administration. This investment helps keep the UIA system stable and ensures job providers aren’t asked to pay more into the system.
The new state budget plan invests heavily in workforce development, bringing the total investment to roughly $100 million. The funds will go to existing programs such as Going PRO, internship and apprentice programs.
“In Genesee County, we all know just how valuable skilled trades training can be,” Martin said. “These programs will help more people learn the skills they need to land well-paying jobs with local companies that are desperately in need of workers.”
Other highlights of the budget include:
- Preventing government overreach: Language in the budget plan requires enhanced reporting requirements for emergency orders issued by the administration. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be required to develop reports related to emergency orders involving an epidemic issued during that fiscal year, and the report must include an explanation of the scope of the epidemic and a description of each area of the state that is determined to be threatened by the epidemic. The budget also includes language that would leave decisions on whether masks should be worn in schools to local school boards and parents – not the state or unelected bureaucrats.
- Ensuring financial stability – Michigan’s budget stabilization fund dipped below $1 billion during the pandemic. The spending plan for the new state budget year includes a largest-ever $500 million deposit to replenish it and put the state in a stronger financial position moving forward, particularly in case of economic trouble.
- Supporting communities and local infrastructure: The Department of Transportation budget, mostly road funding, tops $5.2 billion. The plan shifts MDOT’s $195 million share of federal COVID relief transportation funds to local governments to repair local bridges – a far more effective and responsible method than the governor’s recent decisions to add to road-related debt. More money is allocated for dam safety and water pollution cleanup. Local communities will receive a 2-percent increase in revenue sharing to help provide essential services to residents.
The budget plan received overwhelming bipartisan support. It will now soon advance to the governor for her expected signature.
State Rep. David Martin today vowed to continue fighting for accountability and change at the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency after a new report revealed the agency paid out an estimated $8.5 billion to fraudulent claims during the pandemic.