Whitmer Signs Record High $76 Billion State Budget

The state budget for next year is set and official. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signs the largest budget in state history.

The legislature passed the budget with wide support late last month and this week Whitmer’s office announced only a handful of line item vetoes, mostly around anti-abortion funding. The rest of the package got the go-ahead Wednesday.2k8a1444 Original

In total, the budget comes in at $76 billion, with $19 billion going to education.  That’s a very large number but the state budget is that high because of higher than expected state revenues, and billions of dollars of federal COVID relief money. That money will not be there going forward and with a looming recession, can we plan on the state revenues being as high as they can be? Whitmer says this budget can protect them from both.

“The prudent way that we designed this budget will help us to stay in those fundamental investments,” said Whitmer.

The budget passed through Lansing with ease. The state is chock full of money right now and spending like it. Those who put it together say it’s okay to do so.

“We used one time dollars for one time items, we used ongoing dollars for ongoing items,” Said Sen. Jim Stamas, Republican from Midland, “If you look at the consensus revenue estimating, we have a recession built within the projections of the ongoing dollars.”

Stamas is the Senate Appropriations Chair. He worked directly with Whitmer’s team on the plan to not only project a revenue dip but prepare for it.

“We’ve been strategic,” said Whitmer, “We’ve also made a record investment in our rainy day fund.”

Another saving grace will be to increase revenue through population growth. Spend money now to make money later.

“Immediate investment going into infrastructure and water septic and across the state,” said Stamas, “That will help continue to make Michigan an attractive state for continued investment.”

The legislature only has one scheduled session day between now and September but negotiations continue since there are billions of dollars left on the table for more supplementals, that could possibly include tax rebates or even tax cuts.