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Barrett budget bills would strengthen law enforcement and veterans services

LANSING, Mich. — A Senate panel on Thursday approved fiscal year 2022 budget bills sponsored by Sen. Tom Barrett that would strengthen law enforcement in the state and increase money for veterans services.

“It is vital that we properly fund those who serve and protect us and reinforce their ability to do so,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military and Veterans Affairs/State Police. “These budgets increase our state trooper strength, support law enforcement and help ensure veterans services are adequately funded.”

Senate Bill 88 would ensure the state’s three veterans homes, veterans trust fund grants, and the County Veteran Service Fund are all adequately funded.

“I am happy to report that we increased funding for the veterans homes in both Chesterfield and Grand Rapids,” Barrett said. “The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs budget also includes funding to help make our bases as attractive as possible for military exercises.”

Under SB 89, 120 new state police troopers would be hired, $500,000 would be allocated to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards budget for de-escalation training, and $2 million would be provided for secondary road patrol grants that supplement the state’s Secondary Road Patrol program, which has had funding shortfalls in recent years.

“These budgets will help ensure sufficient funding so those who work and live in Michigan will be well protected,” Barrett said.

SBs 88 and 89 now head to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.