Updated: $1.3B budget supplementals shoot to governor

By: - December 21, 2018 10:58 am

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

Updated, 8:10 a.m. Dec. 21

In the wee hours of the morning, the Michigan House voted in bipartisan fashion on supplemental budget spending totaling more than $1.3 billion. The Senate gave its final stamp of approval, sending bills to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The legislation includes funding for PFAS cleanup, the Soo Locks and school districts with changing populations of at-risk students.

The budget supplementals are some of the last big-ticket items on lawmakers’ plates in the frantic Lame Duck session. Thursday was the last scheduled day of legislative action. Both the House and Senate were still at work wrapping up items left on their agendas into Friday morning.

The Senate adjourned around 7:30 a.m., followed by the House a little after 8 a.m., which was met by considerable cheering in the chamber.

Pothole after spring rain in Lansing, Michigan | Susan J. Demas

The votes on two budget bills for additional funding came after House Bill 4991, sponsored by state Rep. Ed Canfield (R-Sebewaing), landed on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk after passing the Senate on Thursday and the House this morning.

HB 4991 shifts revenue from the School Aid Fund (SAF) to carry out road repairs and environmental cleanups. While Democrats have decried the moved, Senate Republicans said that schools will essentially be “held harmless.”

Senate Bill 601, sponsored by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell), was approved in the House an 84-23 vote. The Senate’s final vote was 34-4.

Spending items in the Christmas tree bill include, but are not limited to:

  • $950,000 to increase the daily per diem for homeless shelters
  • $10 million for PFAS environmental contamination response
  • $2 million for workforce development programs
  • $15 million to hire 175 new Child Protective Services case workers
  • $100 million for the state’s “Rainy Day” fund
  • $52 million in state spending to help maintain the Soo Locks in the Upper Peninsula
    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

  • 10 million for sexual assault victim assistance grants
  • $7.1 million for Hepatitis A outbreak response

A separate measure, SB 149, sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), was approved in a 96-11 vote. The Senate unanimously concurred, 38-0.

Education-related items include:

  • $31.3 million for mental health support services
  • $18 million in additional funding for districts with fluctuating numbers of at-risk pupils
  • $1.5 million for early literacy initiatives

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.