Sen. Bizon votes for balanced 2021 state budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Bizon, M.D. on Wednesday voted to support a fiscal year 2021 budget plan that balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important priorities like K-12 education and public safety.

“It has been a challenging year for all of us, and tackling the budget was no exception,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “We faced an enormous hole due to the shutdown, but we were able to pass a bipartisan budget that invests in key priorities.

“I am pleased we were finally able to secure previously denied money for disaster and emergency assistance connected to the Portland ice jam and flooding last year.”

For expenses incurred during the ice jam and flash flooding event that resulted in a state of emergency declaration, the budget provides $56,000 to the city of Portland, $2,309 to the city of Belding and $105,316 to Ionia County.

Senate Bill 927 is an education omnibus budget featuring a $65 per student increase in state aid payments for all schools in addition to restoring the $175 per pupil reduction made to balance the FY 2020 budget. It also includes an additional $66 million for growing schools, $37 million for student mental health support and $3 million more for early childhood literacy.

House Bill 5396 is a general omnibus budget that increases local revenue sharing and fully funds the 2015 plan to help fix the state’s roads. It includes $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents, $13.5 million to help train approximately 700 new corrections officers, $26 million for the Going Pro program to help train private sector employees, and $30 million for Michigan Reconnect to help people complete an associate degree or skills certificate.

The budget invests $15 million in the popular Pure Michigan tourism campaign, deposits $35 million in the state’s rainy day fund, and provides an increase of $14.3 million to give out more broadband connectivity grants to extend broadband internet service to unserved areas.

The budget bills now head to the governor for consideration. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.