On July 20, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a balanced, bipartisan state budget of $76 billion for the Fiscal Year 2023, which includes funding for several Detroit Regional Chamber-aligned initiatives and reflects business priorities the Chamber advocated for on behalf of its members.
According to the press release issued by the Governor’s office, this budget makes a $180 million deposit to the Budget Stabilization Fund, bringing the rainy-day fund balance to an all-time high of $1.6 billion.
Further, the Economy and Workforce budget investments focus on building substantial talent in the workforce, regional economic development, and ample support for small businesses.
These investments include record funding for Michigan Reconnect, a program that has offered tens of thousands of Michiganders a tuition-free pathway to higher education and skills training. The Chamber operates the Detroit Reconnect program through Detroit Drives Degrees to offer similar support on a more regional level.
The budget also funds Going PRO, which helps small businesses develop in-house talent and fill high-skilled, good-paying job openings in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, construction, and automotive. MICHauto and its members directly advocated for this funding, playing a key role in its prominent inclusion in the budget and forthcoming expanded capacity.
“Michigan’s leaders are investing in the priorities that matter to Michigan businesses,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber. “Employers are crying out for talent and investing in programs that have proven records of success like Reconnect and Going PRO will help employers fill urgent talent gaps.”
The budget also kicks off a “Buy Michigan” campaign to support Michigan-grown and raised products, funds the Pure Michigan campaign to promote and boost local tourism, and funds the Office of Rural Development, which provides support for food and agriculture businesses through economic development.
“I am pleased we were able to effectively use taxpayer dollars to provide critical everyday services while also improving our infrastructure, protecting our communities, and building a stronger economy,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas (R-Midland) in the press release from the Governor’s office. “We have achieved a transformational state budget focused on long-term results and economic growth. And it does it all while living within our means, setting aside resources to provide future tax relief to struggling Michigan families and saving for a rainy day.”
To further add to the pro-Michigan initiatives, there is $75 million dedicated to the Community Development Financial Institution, $500,000 to Mack Avenue Corridor Improvement’s Engineering Phase, $4 million to the Detroit Historical Society Museum, and $100 million to the University of Michigan Innovation Center.
“In Michigan, we have proven once again that Democrats and Republicans can come together to get things done,” said Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) in the state’s release. “This bipartisan budget will make a real difference in the lives of Michiganders. With investments in workforce programs, key regional projects, public safety, and so much more, we are investing in the people of Michigan.”