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Whitmer signs remainder of record budget

Interior of the state Capitol's rotunda.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Interior of the state Capitol's rotunda.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a $57 billion budget centered on infrastructure, public safety and public health in what was the first opportunity in decades that Democrats have had to craft a budget that reflects their legislative priorities.

The state’s highest-ever budget — nearly $82 billion when combined with $24 billion in funding for Michigan’s schools that Whitmer signed July 20 — was passed by the Legislature in late June after Democrats were able to receive the Republican support needed for it to take effect by the start of the next fiscal year on October 1.

“The budget protects public safety and improves access to health care, ensuring people feel safe in their neighborhood and have access to quality, affordable care that meets their needs," Whitmer said in a statement.

Michigan’s current budget is $76 billion but lawmakers began the budget process in February with an estimated surplus of over $9 billion because of high tax revenues. The new budget will leave about $300 million in general fund and $100 million in school aid fund dollars left unspent.

Republicans decried the transparency of the process at the time it was passed by the Legislature. They also said that the budget was too large and that more funding should have gone toward fixing roads.

Even with the objections, the budget received the six Republican votes needed in the Senate for it to take effect in time.

The $57 billion general budget provides funding for state departments, including over $6.5 billion for Transportation and $1 billion for the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy department. It also provides hundreds of millions in grants for public safety and infrastructure within communities.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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