LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer presented her sixth budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2025 Budget before the Michigan House and Senate Appropriation Committees Wednesday, seeking more than $80 billion, mainly aimed at education and infrastructure. 

“My balanced, fiscally responsible budget recommendation for fiscal year 2025 builds on the historic investments we’ve made since I took office and delivers on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “Together, let’s lower costs for working families, deliver the Michigan Guarantee to offer every Michigan child a free public education from pre-K through community college, save family caregivers thousands on their taxes, and power our economic and workforce development to build and lead the future. Let’s get it done so everyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan.” 

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Governor Whitmer was joined by State Budget Director Jen Flood who also added to the presentation. 

“Governor Whitmer understands that families across Michigan are feeling the pinch of rising costs, and her budget recommendation includes investments that will make a real difference for Michiganders across the state,” said Flood. “The Governor’s budget will help kids learn, lower costs, and spark investment and create new jobs in our state. I look forward to working with our legislative partners to make Michigan the best state to live, work, raise a family, and care for those we love.” 

Legislative and other concerns for the budget.

During the Question and Answer portion with Kyle Guerrant, Deputy Director of the State of Michigan was asked particulars by State Senator Mark Huizenga (R-Walker) about how much money would be left on the state’s balance sheet if it were passed. 

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“Right now, as presented there is approximately $7 million left on the general fund balance sheet, and a little over $12 million in the school aid fund,” Guerrant said. 

State Sen. Huizenga also asked for clarification regarding if the income taxes had not gone up by $700 million dollars this year the “budget recommendations would be out of balance?”

“If that were the case, I think we’ve had a conversation both around town and in the courts and the way we have proposed this budget reflects current law and invests appropriately in Michiganders and resources they need,” Guerrant said. 

Representative Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) raised concern about how much of the $200 million budget to increase state funding for providing state meals would also include students outside of public schools. 

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“Experts and even the governor has indicated that nutrition is a key to learning, and with this budget and extension in the free breakfast and lunch programs in the schools, we know hunger knows no bounds,” she said. “What about the kids in parochial schools and or that are homeschooled, are they included in this plan, and if not, why are they left hungry?” 

Guerrant acknowledges that they are not included in the current plan. 

“As we initiated this proposal last year and talking with our friends at the Department of Education, there has been significant uptick in the public schools, so much so that we have had to add additional resources this year to make sure that schools get the payments they deserve,” Guerrant said. 

“I think the parochial school question is a fair question and something that can be discussed throughout the development process,” he added. 

Michigan Rising Action, a government watchdog group, shared its concerns particularly for the Governor’s plans to spend $755 million on Electric Vehicle subsidies and other spending. 

“Michigan is the backbone of transit innovation, but innovation cannot be bought by the governor’s office no matter how hard she tries,” said Abby Mitch, executive director of Michigan Rising Action. “But when you treat taxpayer money like it’s a bottomless pit, it’s as the old saying goes: If at first you don’t succeed, spend millions of dollars again and again.” 

Gov. Whitmer Fiscal Year 2025 Budget recommendations:

For a fuller breakdown of the budget requests, provided by the Governor’s office, see below: 

Balancing Michigan’s Budget & Cutting Red Tape 

The governor’s budget recommendation sets money aside for a rainy day, brings the amount of retirement debt paid off under her administration to more than $21 billion, makes government work better, and more, including: 

  • Pays off a “mortgage” early (certain Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System liabilities), freeing up $670 million that can be invested into classrooms to help children learn.  
  • $100 million deposit into the Budget Stabilization Fund, which will bring the grand total in the rainy day fund to more than $2.2 billion by the end of FY25. 
  • $10 million deposit into the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund ​to support immediate response and recovery activities in the event of a disaster or emergency.​ 
  • $4.4 million to improve turnaround time and public outreach for environmental permitting. 
  • $500,000 to establish a hazard mitigation assistance program to help local governments implement projects that reduce natural disaster risks​. 
  • $4.8 million to increase child care facility inspections. 

 A Better, More Affordable Education 

The budget recommendation delivers on “The Michigan Guarantee” by continuing record investments in education, from preschool to postsecondary: 

 K-12 Education – Helping Kids Learn 

  • $370 million to support school operations through a 2.5% increase in base per-pupil funding that equates to an additional $241 per student, for a total of $9,849 per pupil. 
  • $300 million to continue historic investments for student mental health and school safety needs. 
  • $251.2 million to help students reach their full academic potential, including continuation of payments for literacy grants and literacy coaches. 
  • $200 million to continue providing universally-free breakfast and lunch to Michigan’s 1.4 million public school students, helping students focus on learning and saving families $850 per year. 
  • $200 million for tutoring through the MI Kids Back on Track program, and continuation of expanded learning opportunities through before and after school programs. 
  • $175 million in recognition of the crucial role high-quality teachers play in the success of their students. 
  • Continued support of the MI Future Educator Program, a tuition-free program for college students to become certified teachers and stipend payments to student teachers 
  • Funds to retain and develop existing teachers through mentorship programs. 
  • $159 million for continued expansion of free pre-K to every 4-year-old in Michigan—two years ahead of schedule—saving families $10,000 a year. 
  • $63.5 million to serve an estimated 6,800 additional children. 
  • $42.8 million to increase the full day per child allocations to $10,342. 
  • $35 million to open new classrooms in underserved areas. 
  • $18 million to continue higher payments for student transportation. 
  • $127 million to continue expanded support for special education students – a 12% increase in the state allocation from adjusted current law levels. 
  • $125 million to provide a 5% increase in funding to support academically at-risk students, English language learners, career and technical education students, and students in rural school districts. 
  • $125 million to continue reimbursements to districts for transportation costs, helping ease the disproportionate financial impact some districts face—freeing up dollars available for the classroom. 
  • $45 million for additional supports for vocational education and career and technical education, including equipment upgrades, and a new pilot program to connect high schoolers with key local industries to support pathways to certifications, credentials, and careers. 

 Higher Education & Workforce Development  

  • A 2.5% ongoing increase for university and community college operations to support higher education learning and to advance the Governor’s goal of 60% of working adults earning a degree or skills certificate by 2030. 
  • $30 million investment to increase funding for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, the state’s flagship scholarship program. 
  • Expand the Michigan Achievement Scholarship with the Michigan Guarantee to ensure every Michigan high school graduate can receive an associate degree or skilled certificate tuition-free at a community college, saving more than 18,000 students up to $4,820 on tuition each year. 
  • $62 million to continue Michigan Reconnect, providing a tuition-free pathway to adult learners 25 and older. 
  • $20 million increase in the Tuition Incentive Program, which provides tuition support to lower income students in Michigan’s community colleges, public universities, and private universities. 
  • $14 million for the North American Indian Tuition Waiver, to provide tuition-free education to eligible Native Americans at Michigan public universities and community colleges. 

 Lowering Costs 

The FY25 budget puts money back in people’s pockets, according to Whitmer, including: 

  • $37.5 million to create the Caring for MI Family Tax Credit, saving families who care for an aging or sick relative up to $5,000 a year on their taxes. 
  • $25 million for the MI Vehicle Rebate, which lowers the cost of buying a new vehicle by offering a $1,000 rebate, increased to $2,000 for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. An extra $500 is included, for a total of up to $2,500 off at the point of sale, for union-assembled vehicles. 
  • $500,000 to continue the federal EBT summer food benefit program, which distributes $108 million in federal funds to ensure children have access to nutritional food throughout the summer months, saving families $120 per child​. 

Making it in Michigan 

The budget recommendation proposes investments to power economic development, rebuild our roads and bridges, build strong communities, and more, including: 

Economic Development 

  • $500 million in continued investment in the Strategic Outreach Attraction Reserve fund to attract new manufacturers and industries to Michigan helping to diversify our economy and compete nationally for high-paying jobs. 
  • $100 million for a research and development tax credit to spur innovation while lowering costs for businesses.  
  • $60 million to establish an Innovation Fund to invest in scalable startups and help launch hundreds of new Michigan-based companies, creating thousands of jobs. 
  • $80 million to clean up contaminated sites and bring Michigan in line with other Midwest states when it comes to out-of-state trash haulers. 
  • $25 million for the Build Ready Sites program to identify and prepare sites in Michigan for future development or redevelopment, creating a statewide inventory of development-ready sites to attract and promote investment in Michigan. 
  • $20 million to build off the iconic Pure Michigan campaign, on top of the $15 million in existing general fund for the program, with a focus on talent attraction, labor retention and relocating to Michigan. 
  • $20 million for business attraction and community revitalization, on top of $100 million in existing ongoing funding, to stimulate job creation and private investment, revitalize and redevelop vital properties, and support small businesses that serve as the backbones of our communities—spurring economic growth. 
  • $20 million to increase funding for Going Pro, on top of $54.8 million in existing ongoing funding, to further expand employer-based training that results in industry recognized credentials and certificates. 
  • $20 million to provide specialized economic assistance to businesses locating to or expanding in Michigan.
  • $5 million one-time and $11.1 million ongoing for the Arts and Cultural Program to expand grants to arts and cultural institutions that support the economy and contribute to vibrant communities.  
  • $4 million for global talent and retention to improve the state’s efforts to welcome and integrate international talent. 
  • $2.5 million for the Office of Rural Prosperity to expand outreach and grant funding in rural communities throughout the state. 

Rebuilding Our Infrastructure 

  • $700 million to authorize the final tranche of the Rebuilding Michigan Plan to fix our roads, including I-94 along the Metro Airport, I-696 from Southfield through Warren, and a bridge in Erie Township. 
  • $247.6 million to improve state and local roads, highways, and bridges across the state. 
  • $150 million to support local bridge and culvert improvements and ensure the state fully matches available federal highway aid. 
  • $75 million to support federal transit capital grants, marine passenger services, rail operations and transit capital matching funds. 
  • $40 million to provide loans and grants to local communities to support projects associated with lead service line replacement, building on the $290 million current investment. 
  • $30 million in grant assistance for local transit agencies to spur innovation to connect Michiganders with new public transportation options and link communities together​. 
  • $17.1 million to reinvest in our state parks from revenue generated by making the Recreation Passport opt-out. More Michiganders will be able to experience the natural wonders of Michigan’s state park system, while granting free access to veterans. 

Reducing Crime & Keeping Michigan Healthy 

The budget recommendation builds on $1.5 billion invested in public safety under Governor Whitmer and contains funding to keep Michigan families safe and healthy, including: 

Public Safety 

  • $11 million in statutory revenue sharing (2% one-time) dedicated specifically for public safety, including employee recruitment, retention, training, and equipment for first responders. 
  • Hire and train 120 Michigan State Police troopers, and $5.5 million to support salary and equipment costs of the 145th state police trooper recruit school, anticipated to graduate 50 new troopers this summer. 
  • $5 million to establish Training, Recruitment and Retention Grants to support local law enforcement agencies. This investment will reduce violent crime by helping to ensure cities have the necessary resources to hire and retain police officers. 
  • $5.5 million for community violence intervention services to reduce gun violence and save lives. 
  • $10 million for lifecycle upgrades to the state’s safety communication system, ensuring this critical infrastructure works for state and local emergency personnel. 
  • $11.9 million to continue implementing improvements based on recommendations of the Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform. 
  • $6.3 million for various investments to increase offender success through education, training, and reentry programs. 
  • $1.4 million to protect the State Capitol by increasing MSP’s capacity to safeguard those who work in and visit the Capitol and Heritage Hall.