Gov. Whitmer Proposes $79 Billion Budget For Fiscal Year 2024

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By Scott McLallen (The Center Square)

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed a $79 billion budget for fiscal year 2024, which would be about a $2 billion spending increase from her last proposed budget and the largest state budget in history.

The budget recommendation aims to spend heavily on education, workforce development, public safety, and infrastructure. About 41% of the budget is derived from federal grants.

State Budget Director Christopher Harkins said the proposed plan would spend all but $250 million of the state’s projected $9.2 billion surplus by the end of fiscal year 2024. 

“Today, I am proud to introduce my executive budget proposal to lower costs, grow our economy, and build a brighter future for anyone who wants to call Michigan home,” Whitmer said in a statement. “My budget includes investments to put money back in people’s pockets, help students thrive in school, put more people on paths to higher education and good-paying jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, keep our communities safe, and improve public health.”

The budget recommendation totals $79 billion and includes a general fund total of $14.8 billion and a School Aid Fund total of $19 billion.

“Governor Whitmer’s Executive Budget Recommendation is a proposal for making Michigan a state where everyone can succeed,” Harkins said in a statement. “Through strategic investments we can leverage our state and federal resources to rejuvenate and reinvigorate our state. I look forward to working with the legislature over the next few months to ensure we enact a budget that makes Michigan stronger.”

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The budget recommendation includes investments to lower costs, including:

  • Rolling back the retirement tax, saving 500,000 households $1,000 a year.
  • Expanding Earned Income Tax Credit, providing 700,000 homes nearly $3,200 combined tax refunds.
  • $257.3 million toward the goal of offering universal preschool to all of Michigan’s 4-year-olds.
  • Providing up to a $3,000 refundable tax credit to child care and preschool teachers.
  • Temporarily pausing the sales and use tax on the purchase of an electric vehicle to save families up to $2,400 off the first $40,000 of the price of an EV.

Whitmer’s education budget aims to provide a $900 million deposit into a new rainy day fund for schools, $614 million to support school operations through a 5% increase in the base per pupil for a total of $9,608 per pupil, and includes $160 million to provide breakfast and lunch to all public school students.

Other proposed education spending includes $442.4 million for literacy grants, $318 million for school safety programs, $300 million for tutoring, $300 million for student mental health, and $150 million to fund matching grants for school districts to modernize their bus fleet by switching over to electric vehicles.

Related: Whitmer Kidnap ‘Plot’ In Disarray After FBI’s Questionable Tactics, Agents Arrested

Whitmer’s economic development budget includes a $500 million annual deposit Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund, as well as:

  • $200 million over 10 years for the Onshoring Clean Energy Supply Chain Tax Credit, designed to encourage businesses to invest in clean manufacturing and industrial decarbonization projects.
  • $200 million for the Michigan Regional Empowerment Program to support regional economies through a competitive grant process.
  • $135 million for the Michigan Main Street Initiative to provide support small and micro businesses.
  • $15 million in federal funding to supplement the $15 million ongoing funding for Pure Michigan advertising campaign.
  • $10 million to promote Michigan as a destination for special events and national conventions.

The proposal recommends a $200 million deposit to the Budget Stabilization Fund, which would bring the rainy day fund balance to nearly $2 billion by the end of fiscal year 24, an all-time high.

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.

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