VanderWall supports balanced 2020 budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall this week supported Senate passage of a fiscal year 2020 budget plan that increases funding for roads and schools to record levels while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

“This budget makes key investments without burdening our hardworking residents with outrageous proposals, such as the governor’s plan of a 45-cent gas tax increase,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “One of the important elements is increased support for education.”

Senate Bill 146 would invest $15.2 billion in education, representing a more than $2.6 billion increase in state funding for schools since FY 2011.

Under the bill, Michigan schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — which is $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan.

The Senate-passed budget includes an additional $51.2 million for constitutional revenue sharing for local governments, graduates 85 new state police troopers, invests $120 million for drinking water protections and fully implements $1.2 billion from the 2015 roads plan a year ahead of schedule — investing an additional $132 million entirely to local roads.

The budget also would improve health care access in rural areas, strengthen rural hospitals, boost the number of medical residents in underserved areas, and support skilled trades training.

“The budget will strengthen our efforts to make Michigan the place where people want to live, work and raise a family,” VanderWall said.

SBs 133-149 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.