Sen. Marty Knollenberg
Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday approved its Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, said the budget continues efforts to respect taxpayer dollars while increasing investments in the things Michiganders care about most.

“Michigan families expect state government to spend wisely, just as families must when putting together their own budgets. That is why the budget we approved today is more than $100 million less than what the governor recommended.

“Importantly, however, this budget has increased the amount we will give to schools per pupil — between $115 and $230 over last year. This represents the largest per-pupil increase in a decade. This is in addition to strategic investments we recently approved to improve and increase security measures at our schools to ensure student safety.

“All told, this year’s budget puts $14.7 billion toward educating our students, and I am proud to say that is the most in Michigan history.

“To build on the momentum of our growing economy, we have prioritized more than $40 million for the successful Going Pro initiative, which provides education and training for people interested in learning a skilled trade. These types of jobs pay very well and are in great demand throughout our state. Thanks in part to recent tax cuts, job providers are looking to invest more in talented workers to grow their businesses, and I am happy to see this program continue to help residents build their careers.

“Other areas that our budget prioritizes include distributing an additional $24 million in constitutional revenue sharing to local governments to help their operations, $10 million for local public health departments, more money to fix our roads and bridges, funds to hire 100 new state police troopers to protect our communities, and more than a million more to help build new long-term care facilities for our veterans.

“This is a good budget that keeps our state’s momentum in the right direction. I look forward to it being approved months ahead of schedule, once again, so our schools and cities can have the assurance they have come to expect when planning their own annual budgets.”