Snyder signs 2015 state budget

Snyder signs 2015 state budget

Governor Rick Snyder has signed the state’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year. This is the fourth straight year that Michigan’s budget has been completed in June.

The total budget, including all state and federal revenue sources, is $53.2 billion. The general fund budget is $10.1 billion, and the school aid budget totals $12.3 billion.

It includes $285 million in new funding for Michigan roads. Lawmakers were recently considering an increase to the state gas tax to generate more road funding.

The budget has $177 million for an increase in the state’s foundation allowance for K-through-12 students. School districts will receive a new minimum grant of $7,251 per student.

Funding for the Public 15 universities has increased by $78 million, or 5.9%. The universities are once again being required to limit increases in their tuition to 3.2% or less in order to receive their share of the funding increase. Community colleges will have $8.9 million more in funding, an increase of 3%.

Early childhood education programs will see $65 million in new funding. State officials say the funding increase should eliminate waiting lists to join such programs.

The budget also includes $2.3 million more to the Michigan Department of Community Health to pay for an expansion of prenatal health visitations to the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula.

Revenue sharing payments and local government grants for counties, cities, townships and villages have been increased by $92.5 million.

Trail networks will benefit from the new budget as well. It sets aside $2.5 million to develop a more than 900-mile-long trail system from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood.