The state budget for 2019 has been adopted by the Legislature and signed by the governor. The budget includes both wins and losses for children and families with low incomes.
- Increases the annual clothing allowance for children living in deep poverty: The final budget includes an increase in the annual clothing allowance for children receiving benefits from the Family Independence Program (FIP).
- Continuation of the “heat and eat” policy: The final budget continues the “heat and eat” policy that provides needed nutrition to families with low incomes, seniors and the disabled.
- Healthy Michigan funding continued: Increased premiums and work requirements are awaiting submission and approval by the federal government; despite this, the Legislature and governor continue their financial support for the program that provides coverage to nearly 680,000 Michiganders.
- Water issues new and old addressed: With the emergence of perfluoroalk and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination across the state and the continued lead contamination in the city of Flint, the final budget provides support for both, including laboratory services, local health department grants, nutrition and health services.
- Increases funding for child care: Recognizing $63 million in new federal funding coming to Michigan, the final budget changes the way providers are paid and recognizes growing caseloads.
- Provides state funding for early intervention: The 2019 budget includes $5 million in state funding for Early On, the state’s early intervention program—the first time the state has dedicated funds to the program.
- Expands funding for adult education: The final budget includes an increase of $1 million for statewide adult education.
- Continues shifting dollars intended for K-12 education to universities and colleges: The League supports generous funding for postsecondary education, but not at the expense of K-12 education. The shifting of funds started in very tight budget years, and continues in the 2019 budget.
- Underfunding of student financial aid programs: The 2019 budget includes small increases in funding for the Tuition Incentive Program, but does not fund grants for older students.
- The prison population is dropping, but more needs to be done to help people make the transition back to the community: Mass incarceration in Michigan has disproportionately affected families of color and is often based in systemic discrimination that has limited economic opportunity. The final budget provides only minor increases in incarceration alternatives and education and job training for prisoners.