Booher: Governor’s plan focuses on investing in schools, roads and local governments

LANSING?Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Wednesday after listening to Gov. Rick Snyder’s fiscal year 2015 state budget presentation:

“I am proud that the governor’s budget plan continues to be fiscally responsible while also wisely using the expected surplus to further increase support for the key priorities of educating our students, addressing our infrastructure needs and keeping our communities safe.

“The best news is that the plan increases state support for all levels of education. The proposed $11.7 billion K-12 budget plan is $1 billion more than 2011 and features a $150 million increase in the foundation allowance and $270 million more to the school employee retirement system to reduce costs to the schools. 

“I am also pleased to see an increase of $65 million for the state’s Great Start Readiness Program to help ensure children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten and $80.3 million more for our public universities and $8.9 million more for community colleges that will help prepare the next generation for successful careers.

“The governor understands the vital roles that our infrastructure system and local governments play in our economy and lives. So, I was pleased to see the governor plans to use $254 million in existing funds to improve our roads and bridges, increase revenue sharing to locals by 3 percent to $765 million and also provide $211 million to 74 eligible counties.

“With an understanding that the final state budget will depend on revenue and economic numbers to be determined in May, I look forward to working with the governor on enacting a budget that makes important investments in key priorities while ensuring we remain fiscally sound and continue our economic recovery.”