Zorn: Senate 2019 budget invests in key Michigan priorities

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday supported a Senate budget plan for fiscal year 2019 that increases support for key priorities, including educating Michigan students, protecting families and continuing the state’s economic recovery.

“The Senate’s budget plan is focused on making smart investments in top priorities facing Michigan families and job providers,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I am proud that the Senate has once again passed a budget that increases education funding to record levels and helps continue to build a positive environment for job creation and innovation.

“Under this plan, every school would receive a foundation allowance increase of between $115 and $230 per pupil — the largest per-pupil increase in over a decade.”

Senate Bill 863 is the K-12 education budget. It includes $14.7 billion in total K-12 education funding, nearly $500 million to help schools educate at-risk students, $5 million for a new career and technical education incentive, and a $1.3 billion deposit into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS).

“The increase in the per-pupil foundation allowance and continued support of career and technical education in this budget would help ensure that all Michigan students receive an education that prepares them for success,” Zorn said.

The entire state budget plan features $7 million to support rural hospitals, a $10 million boost for local public health departments, a $24.7 million increase in constitutional revenue sharing, $40.9 million for Going Pro skilled trades training to prepare workers for in-demand jobs, and $725,000 for the state police to help ensure the roads are safe and traffic is moving on race days at Michigan International Speedway.

“During my time in the Legislature, we have accomplished much to improve our state and our economy, but we still have work to do,” Zorn said. “This budget makes wise investments to meet our challenges, educate our children, provide essential services, and to attract tourists and job creators to Michigan — while living within our means.”

SBs 850-865 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.