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Shirkey secures funding for local projects in state budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Shirkey on Tuesday supported approval of a balanced fiscal year 2022 state budget that addresses the realities facing Michigan families, workers and job providers.

“A budget is a statement of priorities, and this budget responsibly and effectively invests in building healthy families and communities, a healthy economy and a healthy future for the people of Michigan,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Building on the historic K-12 education budget signed this summer, we are focusing on getting Michigan and its people back on track and back to work. This 2022 budget will help people and businesses recover from the pandemic and the governor’s shutdowns while investing in our families and our local communities.”

Shirkey said the budget measure passed by the Senate includes $1 million for a Cascades Ponds dredging project to improve a beloved recreation spot, $150,000 for the Litchfield Skilled Trades Training Center to enable students to get an education in a skilled trade, $210,000 for the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office to improve outdated communications equipment, $10 million for renovations at the Jackson ISD Frost Elementary School Building to turn the existing structure into a center for students with special needs, and $224,000 to help clean up the soil at the site of the new Jackson YMCA building.

Senate Bill 82 is the general omnibus budget and features:
• $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers,
• $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
• $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers,
• $40 million for the Going Pro program to support employee training, and
• $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers.

The plan also deposits $500 million in the state’s rainy-day fund and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to increase its solvency due to fraudulent benefit payments.

On Wednesday, the Senate is also expected to approve House Bill 4400, which includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations — which would build on the $140 million in the already signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.