June is approaching and that means the start of a new fiscal year for the state of Michigan. Michigan’s Democratic party controls both bodies of the state’s bicameral legislature for the first time in 40 years, enabling different priorities to be funded. This past week, the Michigan Senate budget cleared the first legislative step by being passed out of Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate budget has far reaching implications for quality of issues for Livonians.
Negotiations will still need to be made between the two legislative bodies before a final budget is approved and sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Let’s take a deeper look on how Livonia could be affected by the proposed Michigan Senate budget:
Mary Cavanaugh, one of two state senators from the city of Livonia and chair of the Economic Opportunity Committee, introduced an budget which included a new grant program called MI Partnerships Initiative. The program, with proposed funding of $500 million dollars, is targeted at funding transformational investments. In comments given during her April coffee hour, Senator Cavanaugh outlined the intention of the program – being able to fund things like public transportation between neighboring communities. Livonia recently heard input from the Mayor regarding proposed enhancements to the Livonia Community Transit system.
Most of the funding will be reserved for grants sought on behalf of multiple municipalities. A small percentage of the budget will be reserved for applications submitted on behalf of one municipality.
Per-pupil funding is scheduled to increase significantly. In a public statement, Livonia Senator Dayna Polehanki noted that Livonia’s Public Schools stands to gain $12 million. Separately, the state’s free lunch and breakfast program will be expanded to all students for the 2023-2024 school year. The program is currently administered to a portion of students on an income-qualified basis.
Daycares will be easier to open up under the proposed Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) budget. The LARA budget increases funding for Child Care Licensing Bureau to increase the number of licensed child care centers in the state. Livonia has one child care center scheduled to be approved next Monday (May 8th).
The current Labor and Economic Opportunity budget includes 4 million for the proposed Livonia Senior Center. Livonia’s leaders first began talks of rebuilding the Livonia Senior Center in 2021. In the years following, the city has accumulated over 10 million in funds and hired a lobbyist to secure the remaining funding from Wayne County’s American Rescue Plan fund.
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