Zorn supports Senate’s 2023 state budget plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn this week voted for a Senate budget plan for fiscal year 2023 that increases record K-12 school funding and dedicates resources to provide tax relief to Michigan families.

“The Senate budget plan prioritizes building a brighter future in Michigan while also providing much-needed tax relief for families struggling to make ends meet in the face of the highest inflation in 40 years,” said Zorn, R-Onsted. “In addition to directing funds to fix local roads and support Michigan workers, we are building on our historic commitment to K-12 education. Helping our students get a great education is critical to the future of our state, and this budget increases our record level of school funding by over $860 million — including $70 million to help address learning loss due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

“While focusing on educating our kids, energizing our economy and keeping our communities safe, our plan includes funding to reduce the tax burdens on hardworking Michigan families.”

Senate Bill 832 would invest $17.9 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $938 million. After making history last year by closing the per-pupil foundation allowance gap between schools, the Senate plan would use $630.5 million to increase the minimum foundation allowance by another $450 to $9,150 per student.

Zorn said to help students beyond high school, SB 842 would provide $361 million for a new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which would cover up to $3,000 annually at a community college or $6,000 annually at a university.

The budget plan increases support to $55 million for the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, provides $40 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to assist people seeking an associate degree or a trade certificate, invests $41.7 million to improve access to dentists for low-income families, and invests nearly $2 billion in local government transportation funding to help fix local roads.

The plan also prioritizes more revenue sharing for local governments, a $1 million increase for Secondary Road Patrol grants to help support emergency response and traffic enforcement on local county roads, and more resources to train and hire 170 new state troopers.

SBs 827-843 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.