Governor Rick Snyder signed the new state budget on Friday. It’s a plan some analysts describe as both promising and concerning. Rachel Richards, with the Michigan League for Public Policy, tells us the $56.5 half billion state budget includes several measures to help the state’s most vulnerable residents. They include extending the “heat and eat” program and more funding for the “Double Up Food Bucks” program, both of which increase access to healthy foods. Richards adds the budget also improves child-care assistance, by increasing eligibility and raising payments to providers.
“It’s an economic engine to allow parents to work, as well as helping employers reduce absenteeism and turnover, as well as providing an early learning environment by increasing access to higher quality care.”
Richards sees continued funding for the Healthy Michigan plan as another win, although she notes some uncertainty. About 40 % of Michigan’s budget is federal funding, and programs and services that rely on those dollars could be at risk.