When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduced a recommended budget to the Legislature back in early February, Michigan had yet to experience its first case of COVID-19 and nobody knew how difficult the road ahead would become. The global pandemic has created not just public health challenges but created one of the most challenging and unique budget cycles in Michigan history.
The Michigan Legislature and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have worked together to put a Fiscal Year 2021 budget in place. It is a budget that funds shared priorities such as education, economic development, public health, public safety and the environment.
The budget will provide $30 million to fund the Michigan Reconnect program, providing a tuition-free pathway for adults looking to earn a postsecondary certificate or associate degree, while providing $12.6 million for the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program to ensure women are given the care they need to have a healthy pregnancy. A total of $26 million is also included to expand access to childcare for families by increasing the income limit from 130% to 150% of the federal poverty level.
The 2021 budget will include critical funding for programs focused on Michigan’s economic recovery, including $100 million for business attraction efforts and the restoration of $15 million for the popular Pure Michigan campaign.
The budget will also include $14.3 million in broadband funding to help expand Internet access across the state. The budget keeps schools, colleges, universities and local government at their 2020 funding level.