Booher: Governor signs education budget with greater investment in schools

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher joined Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state lawmakers as Gov. Rick Snyder signed an education budget on Tuesday that boosts investment in all levels of education by more than $660 million.

“This education budget is part of a balanced plan that invests in key priorities while ensuring the state continues to live within its means,” said Booher, R-Evart. “With this budget, we have increased state support of K-12 education by $1.3 billion since I was elected in 2010, while the federal government has cut funding to our schools by $370 million.”

House Bill 5314, now Public Act 196 of 2014, is an education omnibus budget for K-12 education, state universities and community colleges.

“The education budget increases funding for K-12 education by roughly $550 million more than last year,” Booher said. “Closing the funding gap between school districts has been a high priority of mine. By reducing this gap through ensuring lower funded schools will see a $175 per pupil increase in the foundation allowance – more than three times larger than the highest funded districts – this is a great budget for northern Michigan schools.”

PA 196 includes an additional $65 million for early childhood education and enhances support to state universities and community colleges by $86 million and $29 million respectively.

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Editor’s Note – A print-quality photograph of Booher at the bill signing is available by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Governor signs Booher bill to help extended care patients in rural areas

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, was joined by local and statewide health care leaders as Gov. Rick Snyder signed his legislation on Thursday to ensure that extended care patients in hospital swing beds will not be required to move mid-stay.

Rural hospitals can provide extended care services through the use of “swing beds” if a nursing home bed is not available. Swing beds are hospital beds used for services that otherwise would be provided in a nursing home.

Booher’s bill, now Public Act 165 of 2014, clarifies state law by stipulating that the nursing home bed must be available at the time a patient requires admission for extended care services. 

“Swing beds at rural hospitals are helping us meet the extended care needs of all patients, yet efforts to curb abuse of this service are having unintended consequences,” Booher said.  “Hospitals were required to transfer a patient to a nursing home bed after he or she has already been admitted into a swing bed – creating confusion for patients and families who do not understand why they have to move. This new law will help clear up the confusion and ensure decisions on where to place patients are based on their needs.”

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Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.
 

Booher honors Coast Guard Auxiliary Force at Capitol

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher welcomed members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Force to the Capitol on Thursday as he presented them with a resolution honoring their service to Michigan.

Senate Resolution 158 declares June 23, 2014 as Coast Guard Auxiliary Day in recognition of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s 75 years of dedicated service. 

“To have these great men and women visit the Capitol, not to mention present them with an honor they deserve, gives me great pride,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The Coast Guard Auxiliary members are selfless men and women who make sacrifices that all too often go unrecognized.”

The Coast Guard Auxiliary has served as the unpaid volunteer civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard since its creation by Congress on June 23, 1939.

“Auxiliary members instruct thousands of Michigan recreational boaters, as well as public and private stakeholders who live, work and play around Michigan’s waterfront, on how to properly identify and report suspicious maritime activity for the benefit of the nation’s safety and security,” Booher said. “I am pleased to recognize their 75 years of service to our state.”

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Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Booher: Governor sent balanced budget prioritizing education, public safety

LANSING—The Fiscal Year 2015 budget was finalized by the Legislature on Thursday and is on its way to the governor to be signed, said Sen. Darwin Booher.

“A balanced budget is on its way to the governor’s desk that makes important investments in key priorities like public safety and education while ensuring the state continues to live within its means,” said Booher, R-Evart. “With this budget, we will have increased state support of K-12 education by $1.3 billion since I was elected in 2010, while the federal government has cut funding to our schools by $370 million.”

House Bill 5314 is an education omnibus budget for K-12 education, state universities and community colleges.

“This budget enhances our support of all levels of education by more than $660 million,” Booher said. “Funding for K-12 education is roughly $550 million more than last year. Importantly, to reduce the gap between school districts, lower funded schools will see a $175 per pupil increase in the foundation allowance – more than three times larger than the highest funded districts.

“Our universities and community colleges are preparing people for successful careers, and I am pleased that they will see increases of $86 million and $29 million respectively.”

House Bill 5313 is an omnibus budget for all the state’s principal departments and the Judicial and Legislative branches.

“This budget focuses on the critical roles that our infrastructure and local governments play in our economy and lives,” Booher said. “We are putting more resources into keeping our communities safe and investing an additional $285 million into improving our roads. Budgets are about priorities, and these budgets are about educating our children, protecting our families and continuing our economic recovery.”

HB 5313 funds 100 new state troopers, adds $94 million to the state’s rainy day fund, provides additional funding to eliminate the meals-on-wheels waiting list, increases funding for obstetric payments to rural hospitals and physicians, and increases assistance to local governments by $89 million through revenue sharing and incentives.

Booher said the increase to local governments in the 35th District also features $800,000 of new money as a result of the senator’s payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) reform bills.

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