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Legislature approves state’s new budget, balanced and on time

Last week the state Legislature approved a bipartisan, balanced fiscal year 2022 budget, which was sent to the governor for signing ahead of the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

This is a budget that is on time, balanced without raising taxes, that prioritizes improving our state and the lives of Michigan families — while also making government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers. We focused on smart investments to help our state continue its recovery from the coronavirus, get people job training and employment assistance, fix critical infrastructure like dams and bridges, strengthen our communities with record school funding, and support direct care workers and police and fire departments.

I am also pleased that we were able to balance this fiscal year 2022 budget with minimal federal funding — it’s a testament to keeping spending within our means, which will free up available federal dollars to use in the future for other needs.

I had the opportunity to talk about the budget with WPHM radio the day the Senate approved the bill. If you would like to listen to the discussion, you may listen by clicking this link.

Senate Bill 82 is a general omnibus budget, and includes:

• $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers,
• $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
• $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers,
• $95 million for the Going Pro and Michigan Reconnect training programs,
• $40 million for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and
• $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers.

The budget plan will also deposit $500 million in the state’s rainy-day fund and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to increase its solvency due to fraudulent benefit payments.

I would also like to note that this budget includes important state government oversight requirements, including requiring transparency and accountability from the office of the governor during an emergency, requiring the secretary of state to keep branch offices open to walk-in customers, and prohibiting state and local governments and community colleges and universities from forcing people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine against their will.

Also approved was House Bill 4400, a higher education focused budget bill that includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations —building on the $140 million in the previously signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.

SB 82 and HB 4400 complete the 2022 state budget that began with the signing of the K-12 budget in July, which provided a record level of state school funding for the current school year and boosted every school district’s foundation allowance up to at least $8,700 per student.

This was a very productive, bipartisan process of finalizing our state’s new budget. Everyone was motivated to produce a spending plan that truly focuses on Michiganders’ needs and continuing our state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. I look forward to the governor signing the budget soon and carrying the positive momentum from this experience forward into next year.

Pure Michigan fall color map

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Fall in Michigan is magical. The temperatures drop, local farms and orchards display their bounty and the trees begin to change color. Across the state the leaves transform from green to red, orange and yellow - first slowly and quietly then suddenly in a final explosion of color.

To help you plan your color tour through the state, check out the Pure Michigan fall color map. This interactive tool gives fall color seekers information to find the best locations for fall foliage throughout the state!

Submit your nominations for ’22-’23 Michigan Teacher of the Year

The Michigan Teacher of the Year program has recognized outstanding teachers in our state since 1952. Michigan’s Teacher of the Year serves as a representative and advocate for Michigan's more than 90,000 teachers and works with nine fellow regional teachers of the year to make up the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council. Each Regional Teacher of the Year brings recognition to the district he or she represents and has additional opportunities for professional development and opportunities to share their experience and expertise. The Michigan Teacher of the Year also attends the State Board of Education meetings as a non-voting member and serves as Michigan’s applicant for National Teacher of the Year.

For more information about the Michigan Teacher of the Year program, click here. Nominations are now open and can be made using the online form.

Speak up for election security

Recent changes to our election laws and the impact of COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in our election system.

Election administrators, officials and workers provided hours of testimony about ways to fix these vulnerabilities. Instead of listening to their concerns, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is trying to quietly pass rules to make Michigan elections less secure.

Under the proposed rules, Benson would take away authority from local clerks so she can control more of the elections process herself. And instead of your local clerk verifying the identity of voters by matching their signatures on absentee ballots, Benson wants to require clerks to presume signatures are valid.

You have the opportunity to let Secretary Benson know what you think about her proposed rules that would weaken the state’s election system.

We recently launched a website where you can provide your input on the proposed rules and speak up for election security. The information you provide on the website will be sent directly to the Department of State on your behalf as a public comment. Visit our website at to submit your public comment. Comments must be submitted by Oct. 1.

There is a short window of time for the public to comment on Jocelyn Benson’s proposed rules. If you agree that now is not the time to weaken Michigan’s election system, please share your thoughts.

Michigan's 25th Senate District

The 25th state Senate District includes the following areas:

Huron, St. Clair, and Sanilac counties, and Armada Township, Memphis, New Baltimore, Richmond, Richmond Township in Macomb County

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 25th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Dan Lauwers
S-2 Capitol Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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