McBroom: State budget approved, includes funding for numerous U.P. projects

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ed McBroom said Wednesday numerous Upper Peninsula projects will benefit from funding he helped secure in the recently approved fiscal year 2022 budget.

“I am pleased lawmakers and the governor were able to come together on a bipartisan budget that is on time and balanced without raising taxes,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “The budget increases funding for programs and services U.P. residents rely on every day, like more money for our classrooms, job training programs, repairing and protecting dams and bridges, and securing our cities by hiring new state troopers and corrections officers. In addition, I worked to include millions to repair damaged trails and infrastructure in the district.”

Senate Bill 82, the general omnibus budget bill approved by lawmakers this week, includes millions in state funding for flood repairs throughout the 38th District.

The Houghton Trail Flood Repair project is set to receive $4 million to complete necessary funding for the restoration of the highly popular trail system between Dollar Bay and Lake Linden damaged by the Fathers’ Day Flood of 2018.

The trail’s restoration will be important to recreational users, especially for snow machines and ATVs, as well as for area businesses that rely on tourists and users coming to the area to use the trail,” McBroom said.

The Houghton County Road Commission and the cities of Houghton and Hancock will receive $2.31 million, $320,200, and $235,000, respectively, to repay debts incurred for similar flood repair projects.

Additionally, $1.5 million was secured in the budget from the Permanent Snowmobile Trail Easement fund to acquire 87.2 miles of trails in Marquette and Baraga counties from Lyme Timber.

Other highlights from the FY22 budget include:

  • $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers,
  • $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers,
  • $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
  • $40 million for the Going Pro program to support employee training,
  • $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers, and
  • $25 million for Futures for Frontliners.

The plan also deposits $500 million in the state’s rainy-day fund and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to increase its solvency due to fraudulent benefit payments.

The Senate also approved House Bill 4400, a higher education focused budget bill that includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations, which will help Northern Michigan University and Michigan Technological University and builds on the $140 million in the already signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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