Bizon supports balanced 2020 budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Bizon, M.D. this week supported Senate passage of a fiscal year 2020 budget plan that increases funding for roads and schools to record levels while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

“It is important to invest in key priorities without implementing huge tax increases,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “This budget strikes the right balance. It rejects the governor’s unreasonable proposal of a 45-cent gas tax increase, and it avoids taxes on small businesses.”

Senate Bill 146 would invest $15.2 billion in education, representing a more than $2.6 billion increase in state funding for schools since FY 2011.

Under the bill, Michigan schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — which is $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan.

The Senate-passed budget includes an additional $51.2 million for constitutional revenue sharing for local governments, graduates 85 new state police troopers, invests $120 million for drinking water protections and fully implements $1.2 billion from the 2015 roads plan a year ahead of schedule — investing an additional $132 million entirely to local roads.

“Infrastructure needs remain important,” Bizon said. “Roads and bridges will be getting critical funding.”

The budget would also restore the governor’s planned funding cuts to programs that improve access to OB-GYN services in rural areas, strengthen rural hospitals, boost the number of medical residents in underserved areas, and support skilled trades training.

SBs 133-149 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.