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Whitmer to present spending plan this week

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The first step toward spending Michigan’s surplus from tax revenue and federal recovery funds begins this week. As Rick Pluta reports, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her budget team are putting the finishing touches to her proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

Whitmer and Budget Director Christopher Harkinswill present the proposal to fund state departments and agencies, public universities, community colleges, and K-12 schools to the House and Senate appropriations committees.

Early reports say Whitmer’s plans include big increases in funding for roads, bridges, and other transportation projects. Also, bonuses to help keep police officers, firefighters, and other emergency first responders on the job. And her plan reportedly includes a boost in money for classrooms and for student mental health services.

“The last few years have been hard on our kids, with constantly changing circumstances and stress,” Whitmer said in a statement to The Detroit News. “They’re resilient, but they need our support. We must make investments in their mental health so they can learn better in class and be well outside of class.”

The governor will deliver the proposal Wednesday to the House and Senate appropriations committees. It’s then up to the Republican-controlled Legislature to adopt its version of a spending plan and deliver it to Whitmer’s desk.

The Legislature’s Republican leaders say some of the state’s surplus should go toward tax breaks.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta
Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.