It was not the process anyone wanted or expected, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday everyone did the best they could to finalize a budget during a pandemic that created massive economic uncertainty.
“In an ordinary year, there would be a lot more committee meetings, there would be a lot more opportunity to weigh in, and yet because of COVID-19 and the incredible public health crisis, we’ve had unique challenges to address here,” Whitmer said.
“I recognize that, in an ordinary year, there’s a lot more ability for the public to participate. I regret that that wasn’t able to happen in the midst of all the crises that we are confronting. … I feel good about where this budget landed.”
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Whitmer formally adopted next year’s state budget on Wednesday, one day before the start of the new financial year. At $62.7 billion dollars, the 2021 budget includes a $65-per-pupil funding increase for school districts while cutting only $250 million from an array of agencies and programs.
The governor specifically highlighted several initiatives, including millions to help pregnant mothers receive the resources they need and adults obtain affordable training or certificates for jobs in a skilled trade.
Earlier this year, Whitmer proposed allocating $37.5 million for the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program. The new