Sen. Barrett votes for balanced 2021 state budget

‘Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together to pass a balanced budget on time’

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Barrett on Wednesday voted to support a fiscal year 2021 budget plan that balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important areas such as public safety, veterans benefits and court funding.

“The coronavirus pandemic has devastated individuals and businesses alike, and the situation has been made worse by the governor’s authoritarian management and her state shutdown,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “We found ourselves in a monstrous budgetary hole, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together to pass a balanced budget on time.

“I am pleased the departments I fought hard for — state police, military and veterans affairs, corrections and judiciary — all received vital funding. And I’m proud that upon my insistence, every department budget prohibits disciplinary action against a state employee for communicating with members of the House, the Senate or their staff.”

House Bill 5396 is the general omnibus budget. The bill increases general fund revenues for state police and funding for new corrections officer training.

HB 5396 includes:
• $7 million to graduate at least 50 new state troopers and maintain trooper strength;
• $13.5 million to help train approximately 700 new corrections officers;
• $250,000 in funding for a veterans benefit eligibility study to help identify veterans seeking state assistance who are eligible for VA benefits;
• $4.4 million to fund technical and automated information system support for several courts throughout the state;
• $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents; and
• $500,000 in additional funding for Michigan treatment courts.

HB 5396 has been sent to the governor for consideration. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.