Column: Let’s use data to put kids and families first

BY: - July 15, 2021

Every year, Kids Count in Michigan asks how government policies and budgets can better prioritize what’s most important to us: young people and their families. And these questions have been even more important during the pandemic. As billions of dollars in federal support come into the state and state policymakers consider how to make the […]

As SE Michigan rebuilds after flooding, how can the state better prepare for future disasters? 

BY: - July 14, 2021

As officials in Michigan are calling for more water infrastructure funding after June flooding ravaged through Southeast Michigan, the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has released a report outlining policy recommendations to improve how states prepare for and handle natural disasters. State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) and Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) held a […]

Whitmer signs $17B schools budget boosting childcare spending, closing district funding gap

BY: - July 13, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed the largest School Aid budget in Michigan history Tuesday, totaling $17.1 billion, which hits a longtime goal of eliminating the funding gap between districts. “As we look to the next school year and beyond, we know that every student deserves to be funded at the same level to ensure […]

As earmarks return, Michigan senators request $65M for projects across state

BY: - July 9, 2021

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) requested a joint total of over $65 million of “congressionally directed spending” be inserted into appropriations bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 to fund numerous projects across the state of Michigan.  The Energy and Water Development subcommittee had the first deadline for earmark […]

Whitmer signs historic $4.4 billion K-12 funding bill 

BY: - July 7, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Wednesday more than $4 billion of federal funds to go to Michigan’s K-12 schools.  At Ojibwa Elementary School in Macomb County, Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation, House Bill 4421, which appropriates $4.4 billion in federal COVID relief funding and works to close the per-pupil funding gap.  “We have a once-in-a-lifetime […]

‘It’s unbelievable’: Michiganders chide GOP lawmakers for leaving without passing emergency flood relief

BY: and - July 1, 2021

Greg Bowens, a Grosse Pointe Park resident, has spent much of the last several days in his basement trying to drain out water and sift through damaged belongings. Bowens is just one of many Michiganders attempting to recover from historic rainfall that hit parts of the state last Friday and early Saturday. The flooding hit […]

GOP-led Legislature passes last-minute schools budget, puts other funding on ice, despite deadline

BY: and - June 30, 2021

A long day in the Michigan Legislature culminated in the passage of a $17.1 billion School Aid Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget ready for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature, just one day before lawmakers’ self-imposed July 1 budget deadline. The K-12 investment for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 is the largest in Michigan’s history. Funding […]

Flush with federal cash, states invest in their crowded parks

BY: - June 29, 2021

For years, Michigan officials have fretted about the ever-growing list of overdue maintenance needs at their 103 state parks: roads and trails, water and sewer systems, restrooms and electrical infrastructure. All are in dire need of replacement or repair — with a price tag that exceeds a quarter-billion dollars. “A lot of these parks are […]

House passes bipartisan budget with record-high school funding

BY: - June 25, 2021

With less than a week to go before the state Legislature’s July 1 budget deadline, the Michigan House passed a bipartisan budget plan Thursday night that had been negotiated with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The budget for the next fiscal year includes Whitmer’s proposal to make a record investment in K-12 public schools, and closes the […]

Dem mayors call on GOP lawmakers to work with Whitmer on state budget as deadline looms

BY: - June 24, 2021

Two Democratic Michigan mayors on Thursday decried the GOP-led Legislature for taking its time on budget negotiations with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, calling for a swift agreement so local governments can support essential programs and make better informed funding decisions. It has now been over a month since Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders agreed to negotiate […]

Whitmer signs bill investing $2B of COVID relief in food, rental assistance

BY: - June 23, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed bipartisan legislation to invest $2.2 billion in COVID-19 relief funds in food and rental support for Michiganders, largely made up of federal funds.  The legislation comes just one week before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national moratorium on evictions expires on June 30. “As we look […]

Bills you may have missed, from vaccine incentives to regulating meat substitutes

BY: - June 22, 2021

Michigan residents could claim a $100 tax credit for getting a COVID-19 vaccine and driver’s licenses would be extended under bills recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Those are just two of the bills members of the House and Senate introduced in June on topics ranging from vaccines to broadband internet access to budgets. Republicans […]