Zorn: Senate 2018 budget plan supports key priorities

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn said on Thursday that the Michigan Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2018 budget plan that increases support for key priorities and strengthens the state’s finances.

“The Senate has approved a budget plan that continues Michigan’s positive momentum and makes smart investments in top priorities facing Michigan families and businesses,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Education is vital to having a successful career. While the Senate budget does increase the foundation allowance for local schools, I felt there was more flexibility to increase the foundation grant further, and I ultimately could not support the School Aid budget at this point.”

Zorn also could not support the Corrections budget because it would force the department to close an undetermined facility regardless of the impact on safety and the surrounding community.

The Senate included additional measures to ensure government efficiency and help students and workers get a well-paying job by increasing support for skilled training. The budget plan also would increase staffing for Michigan’s veterans homes and boost road funding by an additional $230 million.

“I was proud to support local students by including funding for career and technical education equipment for the Monroe County ISD, Ida schools and the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry in Hudson,” Zorn said.

Zorn added an amendment to require neutral and independent third-party evaluations of pilot projects in the Department of Health and Human Services that integrate behavioral and physical health. Zorn also succeeded in securing $650,000 for the state police to help ensure the roads are safe and traffic is moving on race days.

“The Michigan International Speedway is a major economic driver and tourist draw — attracting twice as many fans as a Super Bowl,” Zorn said. “Many of these fans are tourists from other states, and this funding will help make sure that visitors to MIS are able to get to and from the track safely while having a great time visiting Michigan sites and attractions.”

Senate Bills 134-149 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.