Senator Brinks on Senate Passage of State Budget, Securing Funds for Grand Rapidians

LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 21, 2021) — Today, Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget by the Michigan Senate:

“This budget reflects investments in equity, access to health care and valuing those who care for others. It has become increasingly clear our whole economy depends on the ‘caring economy’ that has been historically undervalued. These are issues I have worked tirelessly on to bring attention to throughout my career, and I am pleased to see meaningful investments in this space.”

Sen. Brinks also secured $500,000 for the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute to advance health equity, as well as $500,000 for Catherine’s Health Center to ensure the expansion of their role as a Federally Qualified Health Center for the medically underserved to have quality, affordable health care.

In one of the most impactful initiatives funded in the budget, $108.1 million was included to increase eligibility for low- or no-cost childcare to 185% of the federal poverty level through fiscal year 2023, allowing 105,000 more children to become eligible for such care. Some $138 million in ongoing funding will provide a 30% rate increase to providers, and an additional $222 million for a temporary rate increase. Finally, $117.4 million will be provided for stabilization measures, so that childcare institutions can keep their doors open and provide the necessary services that keep our economy going.

“The permanent $2.35 per hour increase in direct-care wages, as well as the increased availability and stability this budget brings to low-or no-cost childcare serve as real promises to our residents that those who care for our loved ones are valued,” Sen. Brinks added.

The budget also brings a mindful approach to encouraging the growth of businesses investing in a sustainable future, as well as investments in the cultural institutions and outdoor spaces of communities in the 29th Senate District. Additional key investments for the district are:

“The application of state dollars toward projects such as the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the River restoration have the potential to transform our relationship with our environment for generations, enabling people to interact in a meaningful way with the river that defines our city,” Sen. Brinks concluded. “I will continue working hard to use the significant remaining funds we have yet to allocate to strengthen our ability to rebound after the challenges of the last 18 months.”

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