Capitol and Community Update
On Tuesday, my colleagues and I in the Michigan House of Representatives voted to advance SB 151, a supplemental appropriations bill for the current fiscal year. A supplemental bill redistributes and provides for additional funding of state departments and projects based on need for, and availability of, revenue. The Senate voted to approve SB 151 today and it is anticipated that Gov. Whitmer will soon sign the bill into law.
I am very proud to have fought for and won state enhancement grant funds for Ypsilanti’s Riverside Arts Center and the HighScope Research Foundation. Each of these non-profit organizations are to receive grants of $300,000 for expansion of and improvements to their facilities. The Riverside Arts Center plans to add additional classroom and practice space to the currently unfinished third floor of their building located at 76 N. Huron St. HighScope plans to expand their campus at 600 N. River St. to provide additional capacity for their early education and daycare services.
In addition to these worthy projects, I am also proud that the supplemental includes $100,000 for the Washtenaw Youth Development Pilot program; $50,000 for Washtenaw County Pest Control; and $30,000 for a much-needed Depot Town Parking Ramp Study.
At the state level, the supplemental restores $16 million for the Pure Michigan tourism marketing campaign; $15 million for the popular Going-Pro Program which primarily provides employer-based training grants; and $500,000 to re-establish the Michigan Conservation Corps. – a statewide summer employment program for at-risk youth and returning veterans.
The bill also addresses our current public health emergency by providing for $10 million to be allocated to departments for preparedness and response activities for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Activities may include monitoring, laboratory testing, contact tracing, infection control, and continuation of critical state government functions. Another $15 million was put into reserve for a Coronavirus Response Fund to be available for subsequent appropriation as needs related to the Coronavirus are identified. Federal Revenues of up to $50 million for COVID-19 are also available to departments for state and local preparedness and response activities.
The $312 million appropriations bill creates or maintains many vital Michigan programs and projects and will create thousands of good-paying Michigan jobs – all while preserving our balanced state budget and not adding additional burden to taxpayers. For more information on this bill please check out the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency analysis at https://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2019-2020/billanalysis/House/pdf/2019-HLA-0151-381F4F7E.pdf
Ronnie D. Peterson
State Representative, District 54