Mark Sanchez photo
Courtesy photo / LinkedIn.com

MiBiz is taking a closer look at the impacts of Michigan's opioid crisis. More employers  are demanding health plan cost shopping tools. Also, local tourism groups are asking the governor and legislature to maintain Pure Michigan funding.

education funding graphic

The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has given final approval to a K-12 schools budget.

The legislation was approved 91-18 by the House and 21-17 by the Senate on Thursday. Legislators directed an additional $30 million toward special education, above what was in legislation that cleared a panel last week.

The minimum per-student grant would increase from $7, 871 to $8,111, a $240, or 3%, increase. Districts at the higher end would get $8,529, or $120 more than the current $8,409 allotment - a 1.4% bump.

Michigan State Capitol picture

Michigan's 48,000 state government workers have been notified of potential temporary layoffs in case the next budget is not enacted before Oct. 1.

Budget director Chris Kolb and department directors emailed employees Monday.

About 30,000, or 62%, of state workers would be temporarily laid off. The rest would be deemed as essential to protecting the health and safety of residents and continue working.

They include prison guards, state troopers, child protective services caseworkers and others.

Pension savings graphic

A recent state-wide poll indicates Michigan voters prefer any road funding budget not come at the expense of education and teacher retirement pensions.

As Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature negotiate increasing road and bridge repair funding, a survey by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA indicates 77 percent of Michigan voters say it’s important teachers and their retirement pensions be protected from any budget deal.

Michigan State Capitol picture

Republican legislative leaders have agreed to a budget framework and intend to begin passing bills despite not reaching a road-funding deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says target spending levels were sent to the leaders of budget panels Thursday. Details need to hashed out by conference committees that are expected to vote next week.

The budget deadline is Oct. 1.

GR unanimously approves $553 million dollar budget

May 23, 2019
City of Grand Rapids

On Tuesday, City Commissioners approved the city’s 2020 budget. This upcoming year’s budget is 37 million dollars less than last year. 

The budget plans to fund a one-year pilot program to improve community and police relations, and add two additional police officers to the Grand Rapids Police Department. 

Also, included in the budget is restoration of the Calder Plaza, and improvement to 13 parks across the city. The city also plans to replace 5% of all private lead water service lines, and add more bus shelters. 

Budget Scrabble

Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration are meeting to get revised tax revenue projections that will be used as they work to enact the next state budget.

Legislative fiscal agencies say revenue estimates for this fiscal year and the next budget year are largely unchanged from January.

Officials will reach a consensus on revised revenue projections Friday after the Whitmer administration releases its own numbers.

Michigan State Police arm badge
Michigan State Police

Michigan State Police want to invest more than $2 million dollars into technology to livestream patrol car dashboard cameras following a Detroit teenager's death after a state trooper used a stun gun on him.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included the technology upgrade in this year's state budget proposal. It would allow supervisors to monitor pursuits and other incidents in real time.

42 percent of Michigan’s roads and bridges are either in mediocre or poor condition, and collectively, it’s costing Michigan drivers billions of dollars each year. That’s according to a new report from TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, DC. 

Carolyn Bonifas Kelly is the Associate Director of Research & Communication at TRIP and one of the study’s authors. She presented the findings Tuesday morning in downtown Grand Rapids. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer 2019 State of the State Address

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in West Michigan Wednesday kicking off her “Road to Opportunity Tour.” In her state budget proposal released this week it includes raising $2.5 billion dollars over 10-years to fix the state’s roads. One revenue stream is a 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax hike. WGVU’s caught up with Governor Whitmer at the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.