This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The Legislature had a short week of session, wrapping up by the middle of Wednesday afternoon as lawmakers headed to Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. Over the past several years, there has been a concerted effort by Governor Snyder and legislative leadership to wrap up budgets prior to heading to the island, but not so this year as the much better than anticipated revenue projections reported two weeks ago left lawmakers with an unexpected windfall to spend and not enough time before the conference to negotiate how to spend it all. Final budget are expected to be reported next week and while final details remain unknown, the high level target agreements reached by Governor Snyder and legislative leadership last week mean that we already know that the budget will include at least: $58 million in new funding for school safety initiatives like grants to schools for infrastructure improvements, the OK2SAY hotline program and school counselors; full funding of the $100 million Mr. Snyder requested for his Marshall Plan; and a foundation allowance increase of $120 to $240 per pupil based on the 2X formula. The Senate did report out its version of the Marshall Plan this week, and while the total dollar figure doesn't change, the details do: the Senate version of the plan puts more money into funding career navigators and equipment grants, less money into competency-based education, and spends the funds more quickly (front-loading at least 50% of the proposed spending into next school year). The Senate Education Committee was slated to take up legislation that MASSP reported on last week aimed at addressing substitute teacher and teacher shortages by reducing the minimum requirements for those positions, but was forced to cancel its hearing…expect these bills to be taken up next week instead.