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Whitmer to present spending plan this week

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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The first step toward spending Michigan’s surplus from tax revenue and federal recovery funds begins this week. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her budget team said they are putting the finishing touches on her proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

Whitmer and Budget Director Christopher Harkins will 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 said Whitmer’s plans include big increases in funding for roads, bridges and other transportation projects, as well as 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 said some of the state’s surplus should go toward tax breaks.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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