“These funds will not only stabilize the child care industry, but will help get Michigan parents back into the workforce, which will ease pressures on our economy as a whole,” said Annemarie Valdez, president of First Steps Kent, a Rapids-based Large Early Childhood Education Organization, said in a statement.
On Tuesday, legislative conference committees were expected to advance the fiscal year 2022 compromise budget plan in the House and Senate. Lawmakers could vote on the budget deal on Wednesday.
Massaron said the administration and lawmakers agreed to make some of the child care provider fees permanent after concluding that a tax revenue boost was not a “one-time hit.”
“Although we should be careful of the pace at which the government develops to ensure that it is sustainable in the long term,” he lamented.
As part of the deal, lawmakers and the governor agreed to deposit $500 million of excess tax funds into the Fiscal Stabilization Fund, the highest single deposit in state history. .
That will leave the state’s rainy day fund with about $1.4 billion in the bank, or about 5% of state tax revenue for general and school relief funds, Massaron said.
“We also need to make sure the state is prepared for the future…if there is an economic contraction,” he said.
The budget plan spends about $2.7 billion in federal stimulus funds, but leaves an additional $7 billion for lawmakers and Whitmer to shell out later this year, Massaron said.
Massaron leaves the Whitmer administration by Oct. 1 to become Chief Business Officer and Chief Financial Officer/Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Operations at Wayne State University.
Other highlights of the budget plan include:
- An additional wage of $2.35 per hour for direct care workers. This extends the current $2.25 per hour wage increase for home healthcare workers and includes a penny per hour increase.
- $55 million to fund Whitmer’s free Michigan Reconnect community college program for adults over 25.
- $25 million for Whitmer’s Futures for Frontliners Scholarship Program which provides tuition-free community college for pandemic frontline workers to learn new skills.
- $40 million for the state’s Going Pro program which provides grants to employers to pay for worker training for new jobs.
- $8 million for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training programs for skilled trades in the construction industry.
“This budget makes bold investments in Michigan families, in our communities and in our small businesses,” Whitmer told the Mackinac Policy Conference on Tuesday.