Sen. Nofs supports state budget priorities

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan budget for 2018-2019 was signed by Gov. Snyder Thursday, finalizing the balanced budget ahead of schedule for the eighth year in a row.

Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, supported many of the items in the budget, including provisions for road funding, schools, public safety and veterans’ benefits.

“The funding in this budget brings our added investment in roads to $2.4 billion since 2017,” Nofs said. “While roads are the biggest issue for many Michiganders, this budget does a lot of other great things as well, including training 155 new state police troopers, investing $14.8 billion in education — the most in history — and providing over $6.2 million for programs that support our veterans.”

The 2019 budget puts $300 million toward road repairs in addition to a $30 million supplemental that was added to the 2018 budget.

The budget also provides $11.9 million to train 155 state police troopers and $9.5 million to train new corrections officers. These new hires will both replace retiring officers and expand the pool of available staff.

The school funding in this budget is the most ever allocated and the largest per-pupil increase in funding for most schools in 17 years. Details of the allocation include $500 million to help at-risk students, $28.6 million more for public universities and a $12 million increase in grants and financial assistance.

The budget provides specific services for veterans as well, investing $600,000 to help ensure Vietnam veterans get the care and benefits they have earned, setting aside $1 million to fund the Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority, and providing an additional $2.1 million to support county veterans programs statewide.

“I’m proud that this budget covers our biggest priorities while staying financially responsible,” Nofs said. “It’s a tough balancing act, but the state’s Republican leadership has been able to get it done for eight years in a row now. I hope the people of Michigan appreciate that we’re spending their tax money as cautiously as if it were our own.”