Last week, my colleagues and I passed the Senate’s state budget proposal, including the General Government budget bill, Senate Bill 189, and budget bills for the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), Senate Bills 187 and 188, that I crafted as subcommittee chair. These budgets invest in a mix of proven and innovative programs to uplift Michigan’s residents, economy, and environment while also upholding Michiganders’ voting rights and funding departments that are essential to maintaining state services. This proposed funding addresses critical needs, puts significant new resources in place to increase the safety of state residents, and strengthens the ability of our local governments to deliver the vital services that people need every day. 

Budget Investments Include: 

Attorney General Budget 

  • Makes a significant investment to increase consumer protection as well as prosecutorial capacity for local county prosecutors who are dealing with large dockets.  

Dept. Of Civil Rights 

  • There is a nearly 30% increase—probably the largest increase in this lifetime—with key investment in increasing the department’s capacity to respond to complaints of violations to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.   

Dept. Of the State 

  • Includes funding to implement election proposals overwhelmingly approved by voters in November concerning financial disclosure and voter access, with the ability to cover additional costs. 

Dept. Of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) 

  • Invests in the state’s Information Technology Investment Fund for cities to recognize the increasingly critical role that information technology plays in the delivery of services to residents, businesses, and communities.  
  • Includes cybersecurity investments and funding to help transition Michigan’s fleet to EV. 

 Dept. Of Treasury 

  • Includes a 10% increase in revenue sharing to local governments to help provide vital services to our residents. 
  • Dept. Of Agriculture and Rural Development 
  • Double support to Conservation Districts;  
  • Create a Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture program to restore the health of Michigan’s soil and farmlands; and  
  • Provide support to increase market access to small agricultural producers.

 Dept. Of Agriculture and Rural Development 

  • Double support to Conservation Districts;  
  • Create a Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture program to restore the health of Michigan’s soil and farmlands; and  
  • Provide support to increase market access to small agricultural producers.  

Dept. Of Natural Resources 

  • Expand Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps program;  
  • Increase funding to fight invasive species;   
  • Expand wildfire response capacity;   
  • Fund pay equity for conservation officers. 

The full Senate’s passage of the these and other budget bills marks the culmination of months of work by me and my colleagues, and a turning point in the budget process. The proposed budgets will continue to be negotiated with the House and governor’s office to reach final funding decisions.    

I hope this and the below information helpful. Thanks again for your time! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-0142 or with questions or concerns.



John Cherry
State Senator
District 27 



Gov. Whitmer Proclaims May as Military Appreciation Month 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed May as Military Appreciation Month in Michigan, honoring military members and their families throughout the state by recognizing their sacrifices and celebrating their successes. 

Michigan is committed to making the state the premier choice for military service members, veterans and their families to live, work, serve and play. In support of this effort, the MVAA helps connect veterans with federal, state and local benefits and resources they earned for their service. To learn more about employment, healthcare, education and quality-of-life benefits, veterans can contact the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET or visit

For more information on upcoming ceremonies and activities to honor veterans and military families, please visit the MVAA events calendar at  


End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Insurance Coverage for Michiganders 

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is alerting consumers that there may be changes to their health insurance coverage for COVID-related testing and treatments now that the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended. 

Federal law required that many health services related to COVID-19, including testing and vaccinations, had to be covered at no cost for the duration of the PHE. Many Michiganders may now have to pay out-of- pocket for some COVID-related care. For more specific information about different types of medical care that have been affected by the ending of the PHE, see below: 

At-Home and Laboratory COVID Tests: 

  • Private Insurers: The federal mandate requiring health insurers to provide no-cost coverage for COVID-19 testing, including at-home tests, has ended. Most people with health insurance will continue to have coverage for laboratory COVID-19 tests, subject to the plan’s cost sharing. At-home testing for COVID-19 is an eligible medical expense for flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). Michiganders should check with their plan for more details.

  • Medicare: Medicare is no longer required to provide coverage for at-home COVID-19 testing. Medicare Part B participants can still obtain laboratory COVID-19 testing, with authorization by a medical provider, without out-of-pocket cost. Medicare Advantage participants may have additional flexibility regarding COVID-19 testing. Michiganders should check with their plan for more details.

  • Medicaid: Under federal law, Medicaid and MIChild participants can obtain at-home and laboratory COVID-19 tests through September 30, 2024. 


COVID-19 Treatments: 

  • Private insurers: Treatment for COVID-19 will continue to be covered but insurers are now able to apply cost sharing, such as deductibles and coinsurance, and require prior approval for these treatments. Michiganders should confirm coverage with their insurer or plan before seeking treatment. 
  • Medicare: Medicare beneficiaries may have to pay for a portion of their COVID-19 care as required by their plan. 
  • Medicaid: Medicaid and MIChild are required to cover all drugs for the treatment or prevention of COVID–19 with no cost sharing for enrollees through September 30, 2024.   
COVID-19 Vaccinations: 
  • COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be supplied with no out-of-pocket cost by the federal government. 
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or For more information about the state’s Medicaid and MIChild programs, visit the MIBridges website. 
Helping Medicaid members keep their coverage 

Take action to avoid a gap in coverage 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE), allowing Medicaid members to keep their health care coverage. Per recent federal legislation, eligibility renewals will start again in June. Monthly renewal notifications will be sent by mail beginning in May. 

Following these steps will help determine if you still qualify: 

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date. 
  • Check mail or text messages for a letter.
  • Complete your renewal form (if you get one).  

If you’re a Medicaid member, learn more about how these changes may affect your health care coverage at


Applications Now Being Accepted for the Fostering Futures Scholarship 

Young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. 

The priority deadline for the Fostering Futures Scholarship application for academic year 2023-24 is August 1, 2023. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies. 

Fostering Future Scholarship Applicants with questions should contact the state Treasury Department’s Student Scholarships, Grants and Outreach area at or call toll-free at 1-888-447-2687.