Michigan Governor Highlights Budget Investments

Posted on July 13, 2022Comments Off on Michigan Governor Highlights Budget Investments

Whitmer Highlights Bipartisan Budget Investments in Public Health and Public Safety

Budget builds new psychiatric hospital and lab, boosts mental health capacity, improves dental care, and funds better resources for Michigan State Police

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer highlighted investments in the bipartisan budget for Fiscal Year 2023 that will protect public health and public safety.  The budget funds construction of a new state psychiatric hospital, a new state public health and environmental laboratory, improves access to dental care, and expands access to behavioral health across Michigan.  The fiscally-responsible, balanced budget delivers on the kitchen-table issues, was passed on time, and does not raise taxes by a dime.

“Since day one, I have been focused on delivering on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to working families,” said Governor Whitmer.  “Our bipartisan budget makes critical investments in two things that are top of mind for every family and community—health and safety.  It will increase access to mental health services by building a new state psychiatric hospital complex, expanding behavioral health capacity, and offering tuition reimbursement for mental health professionals.  To protect public health, the budget improves access to dental care for Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid, raises reimbursement rates for other critical health services, and speeds up replacement of lead service lines and clean-up of other contaminated sites.  To protect public safety, the budget will increase law enforcement training and resources and create two new criminal units for retail and cyber crime while continuing to fund law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders in every community.  This budget is proof of what is possible when we work together to put working families and communities first and stay focused on getting things done.”

Public Health & Public Safety by the Numbers

  • Mental and Behavioral Health
  • $325 million for a new state psychiatric facility complex.
  • $277.8 million to expand public and private behavioral health capacity.
  • $57.8 million to support additional beds at the current Hawthorn Center facility, additional Medicaid health homes, and costs for new contracts for intensive inpatient services.
  • $220 million to support one-time capacity expansion grants for inpatient and community-based behavioral health services.
  • $10 million in student loan reimbursement for behavioral health providers.
    Public and Community Health
  • $250 million for a new state public health and environmental laboratory.
  • $125.6 million to improve Medicaid reimbursement for critical services.
  • $109 million to speed up lead line replacement, seal 182 abandoned oil and gas wells, and clean up contaminated sites.
  • $85.1 million to improve access to dental care for Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid.
  • Expanding Law Enforcement Training and Resources
  • $150 million to develop and implement a Statewide Judicial Case Management System.
  • $130 million for community policing, public safety academies, telecommunications improvements, Detroit PAL
  • Program expansion, and training grants for EMS.
  • $23.5 million for Michigan Department of Corrections employees and safety.

Public Health Investments

Budget investments in public health can be broken down into two aspects—behavioral health and community health.

1) Behavioral Health

The budget funds construction of a new state psychiatric hospital complex, replacing Hawthorn Center and Walter Reuther Hospital, to increase patient capacity and improve efficiency.  To ensure Michiganders have access to mental health resources, the budget expands behavioral health capacity at existing facilities and offers student loan reimbursement for providers in Michigan.

2) Community Health

The budget funds construction of a new state public health and environmental laboratory to ensure that Michigan has the latest capabilities to protect communities.  It betters health outcomes by improving access to dental care for Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid and boosting reimbursement rates for critical health services.  Finally, for community health, the budget speeds up lead service line replacement, cleans up contaminated sites, and seals 182 abandoned oil and gas wells.

Public Safety Budget Investments

The public safety budget can be broken down into two categories—law enforcement training and resources and criminal justice.  It will keep families safe by fighting crime and reducing violence.

1) Law Enforcement Training, Resources, and Community Programs

The budget makes several investments to improve relationships between communities and law enforcement, including funding for community policing programs and an expansion of the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to more communities.  It also graduates more state troopers to protect families and communities, establishes two new units for cybercrime and organized retail crime, supports training and equipment for narcotics teams, and provides funding to attract new recruits and police officers.  Finally, the budget funds a pilot program to support victims’ needs early in their interactions with the criminal justice system while building partnerships with victim advocacy organizations.

2) Criminal Justice

The budget supports the development and implementation of a statewide judicial case management system to improve data management and efficiency and reduce court costs.  It supports specialty programs addressing the root cause to stop the cycle of crime, funding a new Jobs Court program, an initiative to pair low-level, non-violent offenders with local businesses providing gainful and a long-term career path, and increase for problem solving courts targeting the mental health and drug use issues at the root of criminal activity.  The budget also supports corrections officers and employees with investments that keep them safe on the job.  Finally, the budget supports efforts to reduce the trial court case backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring continued access to justice for victims and the accused.

“Job’s Court is a novel and innovative solution proposed by the governor and attorney general to reduce crime and make our communities safer,” said Shari Ware, Detroit chapter co-coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.  “By offering a good paying job with benefits – instead of jail time for non-violent offenders – this program will reduce recidivism and give hundreds of Michiganders a second chance.  We fully support this program and applaud the bipartisan support to get this program funded.”

“The members of the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union are pleased that the Governor and the Legislature have provided this additional funding for EMS scholarships and grants which are needed to address the critical shortage of paramedics in our fire departments across the state.”  Said Matthew Sahr, President of the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union.  “We are looking forward to working closely with the DHHS and the Department of Treasury to make sure that these programs are implemented as soon as possible so this critical problem is resolved as soon as possible.”

“The FY 2023 MDHHS budget represents a real and sizeable investment in meeting the mental health needs of Michiganders,” said Robert Sheehan, CEO of the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan.  “While mental health needs are and have always been a part of the everyday lives of Michigan families and communities, this need has grown substantially as a result of the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, the threat posed by gun violence, and a range of other factors in our environment.  This budget recognizes these needs and responds concretely with a range of clinical and fiscal approaches.”

“Michigan has been long overdue for serious investments in the behavioral health workforce, and COVID has only heightened the critical need for enhanced mental health services across our state.  This year’s budget shows a serious bipartisan effort to address these vital services in settings from schools, to hospitals, to our community mental health system,” said Duane Breijak, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter.  “These investments will not only help create a new generation of workers through enhanced student loan repayment and the hiring of school social workers, but it will provide necessary community resources through the funding of crisis stabilization units, jail diversion support, and expanding the MiCAL support systems.  NASW-Michigan looks forward to continuing our work with Governor Whitmer and the legislature to ensure individuals, families, and communities have access to the behavioral health, economic, and social resources they deserve and need to thrive.”

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