LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kevin Daley on Wednesday supported supplemental budget bills to resolve a $2.2 billion deficit through spending cuts, hiring freezes and using a portion of the state’s “rainy day fund” while also directing federal funds to education and vital services that were hit hardest by the cost of COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected our economy and the state’s budget,” said Daley, R-Lum. “Michigan families, businesses and teachers have faced unique and incredibly difficult challenges because of this health crisis, and this bipartisan agreement addresses many of the unprecedented budget shortfalls we are currently facing.”
The bipartisan plan will save $936 million by reducing state spending and will direct additional federal COVID-19 funds to cover expenses by schools and local governments due to the virus, including:
- $555 million for schools;
- $200 million for universities and community colleges; and
- $350 million for local governments.
“We have sent over $3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to businesses, workers and families affected by the pandemic,” Daley said. “By working together, we have resolved a $2.2 billion deficit while directing federal funds to education and vital services that were hit hardest by the cost of COVID-19.”
The agreement includes a net increase of $175 per pupil to help schools address the challenges posed by COVID-19 as the state considers the future of education. Daley specifically applauded Michigan teachers for their ability to quickly adapt to distance learning and allowing students to finish the school year.
“Teachers have shown an incredible dedication to their profession during these difficult times,” Daley said. “This budget includes a hard-earned $500 in one-time hazard pay for the countless hours and resources they put into educating students throughout the pandemic.”
As part of the agreement, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an executive order from the governor to reduce current-year spending. Most state agencies will see reductions, including the executive and legislative budgets. The budget plan also utilizes $350 million from the state’s rainy day fund to support funding for critical programs.
“I am happy to support this bipartisan agreement that tightens up state spending and uses critical federal resources where they are needed most,” Daley said.
Senate Bill 373 and House Bill 5265 now head to the governor to be signed.