Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday enacting the states 2013 budget.
Gov. Snyder is several months ahead of the fall deadline. Last year, he also signed the budget well in advance of the deadline.
According to the news release, the budget is structurally balanced and is "thoughtful" of taxpayers.
“It continues the sound financial principles we adopted last year that now allow us to make strategic investments in our state’s future. We’ll be a stronger Michigan because of it. Let’s build on this achievement by moving forward with relentless positive action so that Michigan becomes a national model of job creation, innovation and prosperity," Snyder said.
Specific highlights of the 2013 budget include:
· A total budget of $49 billion in state and federal revenue sources, with more than 75 percent devoted to education and health and human services.
· A deposit of $140 million to the Budget Stabilization Fund (rainy day fund) that brings the fund balance to $504.9 million, the largest fund balance in more than 10 years. The balance was just $2.2 million in 2010.
· Personal income tax relief that reduces the income tax rate from 4.35 percent to 4.25 percent effective Oct. 1, ahead of the originally scheduled date of Jan. 1, 2013. The personal exemption will increase from $3,700 per person to $3,950 per person on Oct.1.
· Support for cities, villages, townships, and counties with nearly $1.1 billion through revenue sharing payments and local government incentive programs.
· An increase in the rate paid to foster parents and adoptive parents by $3 per day to pay for basic living expenses for foster and adopted children, encouraging and supporting permanent placements, and aiding the recruitment of foster and adoptive parents.
· Added funding for child welfare staffing to provide an additional 577 full-time employees for child welfare services within the Department of Human Services.
· A total of $59.9 million to support low-income home heating assistance to ensure heat for families and individuals in need during the winter months.
· A 3 percent increase in funding for community colleges and universities with performance metrics that keep college tuition down.
· An overall increase of $200.5 million in K-12 education funding when compared to current spending, with performance funding and best practices included.
· Equity payments totaling $80 million for school districts with the lowest foundation allowances, raising the foundation floor from $6,846 per pupil to $6,966 per pupil and further closing the gap between the lowest and highest foundation allowance districts.
· Expansion of the Healthy Kids Dental program to improve oral health outcomes for children, broadening the effort to ensure approximately 91,000 additional children receive good dental care.
· Funding coverage of autism spectrum disorders for children, with a total of $49.1 million in funding for the diagnosis and treatment of autism.
· A total of $11.8 million to reduce the number of individuals on the waiting list for the MIChoice home- and community-based waiver program.
· Support for health and wellness initiatives for Community Health totaling $7 million, including money to advance the physical health of school children in kindergarten through grade 6, obesity reduction and infant mortality.
· Implementation of a summer youth employment initiative targeting at-risk youth in the four cities reflecting high crime rates. This initiative will provide job opportunities to gainfully employ young people, teach job skills and provide career aspirations.
· Strong support for public safety that includes the funding of two trooper schools to increase trooper strength by 180, and funding for 20 new forensic science personnel at State Police laboratories.
· A total of $10 million in funding within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for the Community Ventures program to provide employment opportunities for the unemployed in the state’s most distressed neighborhoods by supporting skills training, wage subsidies, adult education, mentoring and other support services.
· Greater support for preventative food safety measures, including supporting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new Food Safety Modernization Act requirements.
· An additional $3.6 million for arts and culture to support quality of place initiatives.
· Addresses Michigan’s transportation infrastructure by ensuring the match of all federal highway and transit aid, as the Governor and Legislature work toward a long-term funding solution.
· A total of $47 million for technology upgrades and automation opportunities that will address the risks associated with outdated technology applications and improve efficiency in state government.
· A total of $50 million in one-time funding to support Michigan’s film industry.
· An investment of $25 million to address deterioration and maintenance issues in state-owned and managed buildings, addressing the need now rather than creating future liability through bonding.