State Rep. Bob Bezotte, of Marion Township, today voted to approve a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that makes critical investments for people in Livingston County.
The budget proposal funds crucial services while ensuring the state emerges in strong shape from the COVID-19 pandemic and executive orders in response. Bezotte highlighted a continued commitment to public safety within the plan – including nearly $5 million in new funding to ensure local and secondary road patrols are fully funded. An additional $4.9 million will be set aside for a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper recruit school and $4.5 million will be used for professional development within MSP.
“These important investments will help keep our communities and the public safe,” said Bezotte, a retired Livingston County sheriff with 33 years of experience as a law enforcement officer within the county. “I have heard from many people about the need to ramp up public safety and these resources will work to accomplish this. Everyone deserves to live in a community that is safe, and people and their families should feel protected while calling our state home.”
The budget proposal also establishes protections against government overreach and promotes a state government that works in a transparent and accountable fashion when making decisions that impact so many.
Other highlights of the budget include:
- Fixing local infrastructure: The Michigan Department of Transportation’s $195 million share of federal COVID relief transportation funds will be shifted to local governments for infrastructure needs. This adjustment gets available funds directly into the hands of local communities that best know where repairs need to be made. The overall MDOT budget tops $5 billion and does not include tax increases.
- Helping Michigan workers: The new state budget plan for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 invests heavily in workforce development, bringing the total investment to roughly $100 million. The funds will go to existing programs such as Going PRO, as well as internship and apprentice programs.
- Supporting families: Lack of affordable child care was one of the state’s biggest workplace issues before the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an even bigger issue now as parents head back to the workplace after shutdowns. Efforts to make child care more affordable and accessible are supported with $1.4 billion in federal COVID relief funds. This will provide grants, increase the income eligibility threshold, and temporarily boost provider reimbursement rates.
- Supporting job providers: 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 after the hardships they have faced the past several months. The proposal also features a continued commitment to leveling the playing field for small businesses by helping them save on federal taxes.
The budget plan received overwhelming bipartisan support. It will now soon advance to the governor for her expected signature.