Legislature restores budget cuts to help state, local U.P. efforts

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday passed legislation to restore hundreds of millions in funding that was cut by the governor last year, said Sen. Ed McBroom.

The bill also provides additional support for new challenges facing the state, including combating the coronavirus and coastal erosion.

“This bill will help keep programs running that are helping people find jobs, maintain our infrastructure and environment, and ensure the public’s health,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “I am hopeful that the governor will sign this important legislation to restore budgets to many programs that have been operating without sufficient funding.”

Among the programs McBroom said would see funding restored includes $971,000 to help cover a shortfall in retirement funding for the Michigan Works! UPward Talent Agency. The agency, which provides services and support to the U.P.’s workforce development system, previously lost its pension funding.

Northern Michigan University would also receive authorization to begin construction on a project to renovate the school’s Jacobetti Complex. It houses the university’s College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, which includes the Department of Technology and Occupational Sciences, and the Department of Engineering Technology, and Continuing Education and Workforce Development.

McBroom also noted the legislation would provide $1.4 million to help Houghton County recover from the Father’s Day 2018 flooding that damaged hundreds of miles of roads and bridges. The state funding is necessary to receive vital federal matching funds.

Other programs that would see restored or new funding include:

  • $15 million for the Going PRO talent fund that rewards employers for helping train, develop, and retain current and newly hired workers.
  • $16 million for the popular and successful Pure Michigan travel and tourism campaign.
  • $25 million for state efforts to combat the coronavirus that will also leverage additional federal funds.
  • $5 million for a High Water Infrastructure Repair program to provide competitive grants for communities to deal with high water and shoreline erosion.

Senate Bill 151 now goes to the governor for her signature.

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