The Transformational Investments Michigan Needs to Drive Us to a Prosperous Future

This summer, Michigan legislators agreed on a $76 billion budget, which included fulfilling pension promises. The West Michigan Policy Forum is proud of our lawmakers for allocating one-time funding that will reap long-term sustainable results.

Underfunded pensions will feel relief through $2.6 billion in funding. This is the largest budget our state has allocated toward unfunded liabilities. Of that, $750 million will go toward local government promises to retirees.

We’ve also increased our spending on infrastructure, with $54.8 billion in general funding for the state government, which includes repairing our roads and investing in local governments.

Our state’s budget sets record funding for students, with $22.1 billion going toward the education budget, which includes a $450 increase in per-pupil spending, totaling $9,150 in funding per student, $210 million toward school safety initiatives and $300 million to fund school mental health programs.

We’re thankful to see the money flowing to the right places, but we also need legislators to ensure previously passed laws that will help bring accountability to get our educational system to the level of quality our students deserve are finally implemented.

These are the types of investments Michiganders need to grow and thrive, especially as we struggle to climb out of the daunting effects of the pandemic. And while we have much to celebrate, our work is hardly over. We need to stay on the path of transformational investments to drive us into a prosperous future and avoid dumping our money into new government programs that weigh our economy down by demanding continued funding for decades to come.

By West Michigan Policy Forum