As we look ahead to a new year of challenges and opportunity, I would like to share a last look at some important 2017 legislative accomplishments. Please visit www.misenategop.com for information on these and other legislative efforts.
Michigan is the Comeback State!
At 4.5 percent, Michigan’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and more than 500,000 private sector jobs have been added to our economy in nearly seven years — more than any other Great Lakes state!
For seven years in a row, Senate Republicans have passed a balanced budget ahead of schedule, and we have turned a $1.8 billion structural budget deficit into a nearly $900 million surplus in the state’s rainy day fund.
Education is a top priority
Over the last seven years, we have put $1.8 billion more into public education. Forty-six cents of every state tax dollar goes to public education. This year, we allocated nearly $28 million for a third-grade reading initiative as well as $244 million for preschool funding.
We also increased skilled trades funding to prepare future workers for in-demand jobs in career and technical education.
Honoring those who protect us
We owe so much to those who keep us safe. To make sure veterans receive the proper care they deserve, Senate Republicans increased funding for more staff and training at our veterans homes.
In addition, the budget invests $12.2 million to hire 150 new state police troopers to keep our communities secure, and $1.5 million to boost efforts to prevent, detect and investigate cybercrimes.
Fighting back against the opioid epidemic
We took action to help combat the abuse of prescription drugs in an effort to curb the rising opioid abuse epidemic. New laws will better educate patients about the dangers of addiction to doctor-prescribed painkillers and ensure better reporting by physicians.
Moving Michigan into the future
Michigan Thrive and Good Jobs for Michigan were Senate Republican priorities to revitalize downtown areas across the state, spur economic development in our urban cores, and attract new businesses that create well-paying jobs.
We also created the Michigan First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account — a tax-deductible savings plan — to encourage young adults to purchase their first home here in Michigan and remain in our great state.
Protecting our natural resources
From hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and more, Pure Michigan offers unmatched recreational opportunities. We invested an additional $13 million in the fiscal year 2018 budget in our state parks and trails for continued improvements, upgrades and developments.