LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mark Huizenga on Wednesday supported a state budget plan for fiscal year 2023-24 after securing improvements to the overall budget and investments in West Michigan.
“I am focused on solving problems facing West Michigan, and I supported this improved plan because it will help meet that goal — but I believe our state and its people need a better budget that more effectively uses their tax dollars to meet their needs and enhance their communities,” said Huizenga, R-Walker. “While this finalized budget is an improvement over the plan passed in May, it still misses the mark in many ways.
“It is important that we’re further investing in our economy and our communities, but — with a multibillion-dollar surplus — I am disappointed that this plan doesn’t include real tax relief for families struggling with inflation, better help for those most in need, or adequate resources to fix our roads and bridges.”
House Bill 4437 is a general omnibus budget bill that funds all non-education segments of Michigan state government.
In the final version of the bill, Huizenga was able to secure:
- $12 million in additional funding to double support for Michigan’s food banks.
- $25.8 million to support crime victims.
- $5 million for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.
- $13.9 million for ambulance services reimbursements.
- $1 million for the West Michigan Center for Art and Technology.
- $1 million to improve health care through biomedical research.
- $14 million for the John Ball Zoo.
- $1.8 million for the Grand Rapids Ballet.
- $2 million for Junior Achievement in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
- $1.5 million for the Blandford Nature Center.
- $1 million for the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
- $5 million for West Michigan Hispanic Chamber capital improvements.
- $5 million for Special Olympics Grand Rapids
- $3.5 million for Cascade Charter Township Urban/Suburban Recreational Pathway.
- $35 million for Grand Rapids fire stations.
- $1 million for Exalta Health.
- $1 million for a Calvin University workforce development partnership.
- $1.5 million in tobacco prevention and cessation funding.
“This funding will help support our children, crime victims and workers, feed the hungry, provide critical emergency care, and enhance the quality of life in West Michigan,” Huizenga said.
Huizenga also said he will continue to work on additional funding that he offered as amendments in May but that were not included in the final budget plan, such as:
- Tripling the 8% reimbursement rate for foster and adoptive families and juvenile guardians.
- Increasing funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers by $12 million.
- Invest $3 million to help prevent wrong-way accidents on highway ramps.