LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 21, 2021) — Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) today issued the following statement after the Michigan Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget that includes significant investments in sickle cell disease research and community health workers, and that provides the necessary funding to implement the “Raise the Age” legislation, spearheaded by the senator, among other major priorities:

“This budget sets up support systems for so many Michiganders and provides substantial assistance to folks living with life-altering illnesses whose treatments may be expensive, especially for those without health care. There is no greater investment than that which is made into our people, and this budget is a reflection of such a priority — from our youngest to our oldest, to people on the frontlines, and those looking to retool their careers.

“I am also grateful to see a significant investment made into implementing ‘Raise the Age,’ which I hope will yield some of the most immediate, impactful benefits. I look forward to continuing this work with my colleagues across the aisle and getting much more accomplished for the residents of my district and across the state.”

As part of the state budget funding, Sen. Santana secured a $6.7 million investment toward the Sickle Cell Disease Initiative to expand treatment coverage to around 400 adults and increase outreach and clinical capacity for the estimated 4,000 Michigan residents living with sickle cell disease, so they can get the care they deserve. Additionally, community health workers at Authority Health will receive $450,000 toward their efforts of improving the health of residents of the City of Detroit and Wayne County, and another $29.1 million was secured for the implementation of ‘Raise the Age’ policy.