October 1, 2021
Last week, the Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, making historic investments in the areas Michiganders care about most and the issues we’ve been fighting for. In this week’s issue, I will highlight some of the details of this budget agreement.
Most importantly, the budget makes 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.
This budget invests in Michigan’s potential, delivering for our families and setting us up for a more successful future. I’m especially proud of the funding I helped to secure for the 29th District, including (but not limited to):
Every day, I am grateful and humbled I get to represent you as your State Senator, and I do my best to ensure that your voice is heard in Lansing. As always, please continue to look out for your friends and neighbors and be patient with one another. For the latest updates, I’d encourage you to follow me on Facebook.
In This Issue
Budget Investments in West Michigan
The Fiscal Year ‘22 budget 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 our 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. I am thrilled to have helped secure some of these funds for our communities!
Outside of the West Michigan-specific investments, there are plenty of other funds being allocated to uplift folks across the state, whether that’s through job training, helping pay for groceries, expanding access to childcare, decreasing health care disparities for communities of color, or other initiatives.
I’m particularly pleased to see substantial funding put toward child care and providers in this budget as well. As I mentioned earlier, the “caring economy” — child care, adult foster care, direct care, and more — received overdue recognition, though of course we will continue working on appropriating federal American Rescue Plan Act funds in the coming months as well.
Even so, one of the most impactful initiatives funded in the budget is $108.1 million 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.
Below, I’ve outlined some of the most impactful investments for the state budget that begins today, Oct. 1, 2021:
Education(these highlights are in addition to the substantial increases for child care and providers)
Environment and Water
Jobs, People and the Economy
Upcoming Coffee Hour
Each month, my team and I host informal events where you can share your thoughts and concerns about issues affecting our district, and you also can hear about the latest from the Michigan Legislature. We have begun to transition back to in-person events, and I would love to have you join me at my next in-person coffee hour:
Monday, October 18th from 6 to 7 p.m. Coffee and Conversation with Senator Brinks
Seidman Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth
139 Crofton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
You can also contact my office to: Comment on Legislation: If you want to express your opinion about legislation or learn more, my office can answer your questions and keep me informed of your comments. Your opinion matters!
General Assistance: If you have a problem dealing with any department of state government, such as accessing unemployment benefits, my office can help you resolve it. While we usually cannot assist with local or federal issues, we will always do our best to help direct you to the appropriate person.
There’s No “Wrong” Reason: Any comment, question or concern is welcome. If your issue would be more appropriately addressed by a different unit of government, I will help direct you. Remember, I am here to serve YOU and your family.
I have other questions. Are you and your office still available?
To keep you and my staff healthy and safe, we are working remotely until further notice. Please call our office at (517) 373-1801 or send me an email at SenWBrinks@senate.michigan.gov, as you normally would, and we will do our best to avoid any interruption of service.
· State Senator Winnie Brinks
· 29th Senate District Map
· Michigan Senate
· Michigan House of Representatives
· Michigan Legislature
· U.S. Senate
· U.S. House of Representatives
· Kent County
· City of Grand Rapids
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