LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman on Wednesday voted in favor of the Senate’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan.
“One of the main things we wanted to do with this budget was get some additional money into roads and avoid dumping a massive tax increase on taxpayers,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes. “The budget would fully fund the 2015 roads plan, which puts more money into roads now, and frees up opportunities for us to look at future funding. Road commissioners in my district have called this funding a game-changer and I’m happy that we were able to put more into their budgets.”
Under this budget, the Legislature will have increased annual state spending on transportation by over $1.75 billion since FY 2010. The plan fully funds the implementation of the $1.2 billion from the 2015 roads plan a year ahead of schedule and invests an additional $132 million entirely to local roads.
The Senate plan also included a nearly $400 million increase in education funding, reaching a total investment of $15.2 billion. Schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — the largest per-pupil increase in 18 years and $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan. Also included is money to support skilled trades training to get workers into high-demand jobs.
The plan approved Wednesday also includes funding to monitor and analyze water quality throughout the state.
“There’s been a lot of talk about PFAS and water quality throughout the state, especially in my district, and I’m glad to see we’re continuing to dive deeper into the issue and searching for solutions,” Outman said. “As chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, this is something I have spent a great deal of time on. I have met with the DEQ, discussed the issue with my colleagues, and listened to folks back home. My focus remains on working to continue improving the quality of our water.”
The Senate budget includes $120 million to monitor and analyze water quality throughout the state. The money will be used to fund a number of measures. It would add the $120 million to current efforts to address water quality issues such as PFAS and other contaminants; Lead and Copper Rule implementation; well testing; Drinking Water Revolving Fund loan forgiveness; and more.
Also included in the Senate budget is funding for Michigan’s community colleges and universities; $51.2 million in revenue sharing to assist local governments; money to train and graduate 85 new state police troopers; strengthened protections for rural hospitals; and money to be saved for a rainy day.
The budget bills now head to the House for consideration.