State Budget Update Review of the Executive Budget Recommendation House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military, Veterans Affairs and State Police
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs provides operation-ready military forces to protect our state and supports veterans and their families through outreach, benefit coordination, and the operation of three veteran homes. The budget recommendations from the Governor’s office include an overall $6,423,700 increase in funding from the General Fund and authorizes a $17,448,900 increase in funding from the federal government. Overall funding for this department would be boosted by nearly 10% over the current fiscal year. The overall budget recommendation for Military and Veterans Affairs is $224,342,500.
The Michigan State Police is a full-service statewide law enforcement agency consisting of nearly 3,000 civilian and enlisted members who provide a wide range of public safety services. These services are critical to keeping our communities safe while also encouraging policy and funding these services go a long way to encourage changes in how police and residents communicate and cooperate. An example of prudent and constructive budget priorities for State Police in the 2020-21 budget recommendation include a one-time General Fund appropriation of $7.2 million for health crisis response training and services for crime victims. Of the $7.2 million, $3 million would be allocated for behavioral health crisis response training for law enforcement, dispatch, and jail officers. The remaining $4.2 million would be allocated for supporting crime victims.
The Executive Budget Recommendation by the Governor reflects a $17,973,500 reduction in funding for the Michigan Department of State Police (MSP). The primary funding of MSP is from the General Fund ($475 million). Under this proposed budget recommendation, MSP would see an increase in total allocated dollars from the General Fund by 1.8% ($8,674,900). The reason for a smaller overall budget is a 21.3% ($21,282,00) reduction in federal dollars and a 3.5% ($5,156,500) reduction in restricted funds. Although not ideal, the reduction in dollars available for MSP would not impact the department in such a way where programs would be cut or reduced. Instead, there would be less “one-time appropriations” for new programs. Programs in past budgets which require annual funding will still receive funding under the Governor’s executive budget recommendation. I understand the importance of funding MSP and I will urge my colleagues during negotiations to follow Governor Whitmer’s example by increasing the total allocated dollars from the General Fund to MSP.
If you have further questions about the Governor’s Executive Budget Recommendation you may contact me at my office (517) 373-1771 or by email at Ronniepeterson@house.mi.gov.