Whitmer signs budget that puts Michiganders first, helps working families, and grows the economy

(Photos courtesy of Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

At the Lansing Community College West Campus on Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 82 and HB 4400 which ensure funding is now in place for Fiscal Year 2022 which begins on October 1. When combined with the K-12 school aid budget signed earlier this year, the total budget invests $70 billion into Michigan’s future. The budget provides strong investments for the state’s economy, lowers the cost of childcare for Michigan’s working families, invests in education and skills for Michigan’s workforce, protects access to affordable healthcare, prioritizes cleaning up our water and environment, and rebuilds crumbling bridges.

“This is a budget that puts Michiganders first. We are coming together to grow the middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities,” said Whitmer. “This is a comprehensive budget that builds on the school aid budget I signed this summer, which made the largest investment in K-12 education in Michigan history without raising taxes. The budget fully funds Michigan Reconnect and Futures For Frontliners, putting 167,000 people on a tuition-free path to higher education or skills training, fixes 100 crumbling bridges, expands low or no-cost childcare to 105,000 kids, replaces lead service lines in Benton Harbor and beyond, permanently raises hourly pay for direct care workers, puts $500 million into our rainy-day fund, and make additional investments to protect water and environment. The budget is a testament to what we can do when we work together. Now, we should continue in that spirit of collaboration to use the billions of federal dollars we have to help our families, communities, and small businesses thrive.” 

“There is no doubt that this is a budget that is going to make a real difference for families and businesses in Detroit all the way to the Upper Peninsula,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “From Grand Rapids to Traverse City to Saginaw to Flint, this is a budget that helps every corner of our state. Families win, businesses win, and our schools win. There is so much to like about this budget, and I am excited about what the future holds for us.”

“I can’t say enough about the working relationship I had with Sen. Stamas and Rep. Albert,” said State Budget Director David Massaron. “Together we were able to develop a budget that is going to help families and businesses across our state. The pandemic has been hard for everyone, but now we have put so many resources to work that will make a difference. The state is well positioned for the future.” 


The budget fully funds Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners, providing direct support to help people get higher education or skills training as the state moves towards its Sixty by 30 goal of having 60% of working-age adults earn a postsecondary education or skills training by 2030. The investments in Wednesday’s budget will help the 167,000 Michiganders who have signed up for Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners pursue their potential and provide employers with the talent they need to succeed. The funding for Reconnect will provide a tuition-free path to an in-demand industry certificate or associate degree for Michigan adults aged 25 and older, Futures for Frontliners will pay for frontline workers to attend local community college tuition-free, and there is also additional funding for the Going Pro program, which backs employer-based training grants to help workers earn industry-recognized credentials and certificates. 

“Community colleges are a proud partner in the statewide effort to build a better Michigan,” said Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D., Mott Community College president. “As a community college president, I am extraordinarily grateful to Governor Whitmer and a bi-partisan majority in the Michigan Legislature for approving a nearly 5% increase in funding this year for our institutions, especially in these very challenging times. This bipartisan, forward-thinking commitment to higher education and skills training will make our state stronger and ready for the challenges of the future.”

“This sustainable, bipartisan budget will make key investments to address the number one issue for the business community: talent,” said Rick Baker, president & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “From a historic investment to make childcare more accessible and affordable, to additional funding in important workforce development tools like Going PRO, this is a budget Michigan employers and employees can be excited about to help our state fully recover and thrive.”

“Solidifying Michigan’s role as the global mobility leader has to be a priority for our state, and that requires an investment in innovation and talent,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto and vice president of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “MICHauto applauds the important commitment that the Going PRO Talent Fund makes to the people of Michigan and the long-term competitiveness of our state’s signature automotive industry.”


The budget expands access to childcare, helping families get back to work by making 105,000 more children eligible for low or no-cost care and increasing rates and issuing stabilization and startup grants for childcare providers. It also delivers a one-time, $1,000 bonus to childcare workers, who work hard every day taking care of our kids. Investing in childcare is a shared priority that helps families and businesses thrive as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our communities.

“The unprecedented and strategic investment in child care is a game changer that will help parents get back to work, allow child care businesses to keep their doors open, address the low wages that have made it difficult to recruit and retain child care workers, and ultimately give children a high-quality early learning experience,” said Pat Sorenson, senior policy analyst at the Michigan League for Public Policy. “We are grateful for the leadership of the governor and the broad bipartisan support for child care in the legislature.”


The budget invests $196 million to repair or replace nearly 100 crumbling bridges in serious and critical condition and create 2,500 jobs. It also helps local governments prepare for climate change and extreme weather and fixes dams to mitigate flooding and other hazards. 

“Smith’s Bridge is vital to our community, for commuters, public safety forces and school bus drivers,” said Ferrysburg Mayor Rebecca Hopp. “I appreciate the governor following through on her pledge to commit funds to replace this lifeline and MDOT’s ongoing help and support for our community. The budget delivers on several key issues that matter most to families in Ferrysburg, including childcare, healthcare, skills training, and bridges. As an employee of the Ottawa County Careerline Tech Center, I know first-hand the importance of skilled trades. I am grateful to the legislature and the governor for coming together to get this done.”


The budget invests in healthcare to keep Michigan families safe too. It makes permanent the $2.35/hour raise for direct care workers who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, taking care of our most vulnerable. It also offers alternatives to traditional nursing homes for our seniors and funds treatment for sickle cell disease and expands the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program to ensure moms have the support they need.


The budget funds the replacement of lead service lines in Benton Harbor to provide access to safe drinking water and provides new funding for the Emergency Drinking Water Fund to help the state address drinking water emergencies. There is funding to clean up contaminated sites across the state, resources targeted for the Western Lake Erie Basin, and investments to eliminate lead poisoning in homes. 

“When we invest in the environment around us, we invest in peoples’ health. Our new budget does just that,” said Conan Smith, Michigan Environmental Council president & CEO. “It protects Michiganders by fortifying homes against climate change; by removing lead from our walls; and by keeping manure, PFAS and other contaminants out of our drinking water. Together, these investments provide a solid grounding for even bolder future actions.”

—Public Safety

The budget makes investments to keep families and communities safe and reduce crime, with funding to hire and train state troopers and corrections officers, including resources to ensure every trooper is equipped with a body camera. The budget also provides funds for 911 system upgrades and improved training. 

—Fiscal Responsibility

Finally, the budget puts $500 million into the state’s rainy-day fund, the largest one-time deposit ever that brings the total rainy day fund balance to nearly $1.4 billion, the largest in state history. This fiscally responsible investment ensures the state has resources in place to prepare for potential crises, public health or otherwise. We are also enacting another fiscally responsible clause by passing tax legislation to save small businesses in Michigan $200 million annually and keep those dollars in the state instead of sending them to Washington, DC.
The governor looks forward to further collaboration with the legislature to spend the billions in federal funds available to the state from the American Rescue Plan. By working together in the same spirit of collaboration utilized to pass this budget, the governor is confident that state government can deliver meaningful change to uplift our families, communities, and small businesses and usher in a new era of prosperity for Michigan.