UP taxpayers communities get strong representation in statewide budget

first_img02Jul U.P. taxpayers, communities get strong representation in statewide budget I came to Lansing to make sure all hard-working, Yooper taxpayers receive adequate representation on all policy decisions – especially in the statewide budget planning. Too often, Lansing bureaucrats waste hard-earned taxpayer dollars through various programs that don’t correspond with our interests.Upper Peninsula taxpayers deserve a state budget that is efficient, effective and accountable – one that respects and protects them, their families and communities – and I wholeheartedly believe this upcoming fiscal year’s budget does just that.The recently approved budget that begins Oct. 1 delivers:Savings for taxpayers. While investing more in top priorities that matter most to us, overall spending in this new budget is less than the current budget year. Budgets for several state departments will decline as state government eliminates wasteful spending. This means more money for our local communities.Over a quarter of the overall state budget goes to K-12 schools, with $14.8 billion – a new investment record – helping Delta, Dickinson and Menominee county school districts flourish. Each school will receive a $240 increase per student – which is the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years. This gives our educators and students the monetary and academic support they truly deserve.The Upper Peninsula Veterans Museum, along with exhibits detailing outdoor life, the Iron Belle Trail, and Native American heritage past and present. A total of $500,000 will go toward the building project honoring our military heroes, culture and history. The facility is planned for the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba and will honor the memory of John and Melissa Besse, who donated a $1 million gift for the construction of the building.Workforce development. Upper Peninsula students will receive more opportunities to train for high-demand careers and higher wages through a $100 million program called the Marshall Plan for Talent. Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped from 14.6 percent in June 2009 to 4.7 percent this spring. Companies are hiring and are in dire need of skilled workers to continue our economic comeback.Road Repairs. The budget includes a record-high investment of $4 billion overall on road projects – up $1 billion in state money alone from just a few years ago. I drive on the same roads as you and I get it. Help is on the way though. This record funding allows our local road commissions and municipal employees to accelerate the timeline on desperately needed road improvements.A list of the pros of this upcoming year’s budget can go on and on. Not only does it keep more money in Yooper taxpayers’ wallets by spending less overall than the current year’s budget, but it also continues to pay down state debt.The days of tax increases are over. What we do pay is an investment in ourselves and our communities, not something government can waste. Michigan’s economy continues to become healthier because of the passed income tax cut to every family. We are making crucial decisions to rein in spending wherever possible and focusing our money and energy on areas most important to our quality of life. Categories: LaFave Newslast_img

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