LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. John Damoose issued the following statement after voting in support of the upcoming fiscal year budget:
“The budget process is a long and arduous one — but after long hours of negotiating and advocating on behalf of residents across the state, my colleagues and I were able to agree on a bipartisan budget that focuses on state obligations and priorities, while also focusing on the needs of Michigan families.
“This budget pays down debts, increases per-pupil funding to help kids succeed academically, protects our Great Lakes, and focuses on other outstanding state priorities like fixing roads.
“Also included is funding to assist rural school districts with transportation costs — which is a critical need for many 37th District families. And what is most exciting — Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula will receive funding for transformational projects, including $15 million for the Traverse City Freshwater Research Center, $5 million for improvements to the Sault Ste. Marie Carbide Dock, and $39.7 million for the Mackinac Island Wastewater and Sewer project.
“Of course, there are things in the budget I find concerning, but that’s part of the negotiation process. I worked hard to secure funding for rural schools and these critical Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula projects and am happy to have casted a yes vote on the plan finalized today.
“What we passed isn’t perfect, nor will it make every sitting member of the Legislature happy. It does, however, showcase what can happen when we negotiate, work together, and focus on the future of our great state instead of individual or partisan priorities.”