Lauwers supports sending 2020 balanced budget to governor

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dan Lauwers on Tuesday voted to send the governor a balanced fiscal year 2020 budget that increases investments in key priorities while living within the state’s means.

“In this budget, we were able to significantly increase funding for our schools, our roads and our water quality without adding the governor’s huge tax burden on Michigan families,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “The people of Michigan do not support the governor’s $2.5 billion tax increase, and we were able to pass a balanced budget without raising taxes and still focus on the priorities of Michiganders.”

Senate Bill 149 would invest $5.4 billion in transportation in FY 2020, an increase of more than $2 billion since FY 2010. State resources for roads have increased more than 102%.

“Everyone agrees that our roads need work, and we need to invest more in improving them, especially local roads,” Lauwers said. “This budget prioritizes existing tax dollars to increase funding by $400 million to help improve local roads and bridges.

“In addition to putting $400 million more in local roads, the budget increases school funding by nearly $400 million. Most of our area schools will receive a $240 per-pupil foundation allowance increase in addition to tripling the number of literacy coaches to achieve our third-grade reading standards and significant increases for special education, skilled trades and technical education.”

The budget bills given final legislative approval on Tuesday would invest $120 million in drinking water protections, increase funding to local governments, train more corrections officers, assist efforts to respond to public health hazards, and fund programs that support rural hospitals and help improve access to OB-GYN services in rural areas.

“I am pleased with the plan we have put together,” Lauwers said. “I appreciate the tireless work of the Senate and House Appropriations committees, especially the work by House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Shane Hernandez. I hope the governor will sign this responsible budget and keep state government open for business.”

The budget bills now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final consideration.