Whitmer allocates bipartisan budget to health care and public safety investments

Updated 2 years ago on October 17, 2022

Governor Whitmer emphasizes bipartisan budget investments in health care and public safety

The budget includes building a new psychiatric hospital and laboratory, strengthening mental health capacity, improving dental care, and funding more effective resources for the Michigan State Police

LANSING, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer today highlighted investments in a 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 lab, improves access to dental care and expands access to behavioral health across Michigan. A fiscally responsible, balanced budget addresses the issues at the table, was passed on time and does not raise taxes one cent.

"From day one, I have focused on the issues that working families care about most, "Governor Whitmer said . "Our bipartisan budget makes a critical investment in two things that are a priority for every family and community - health and safety. It will expand access to mental health services by building a new state psychiatric hospital complex, expanding behavioral health options, and providing tuition reimbursement for mental health professionals. To protect public health, the budget would improve access to dental care for Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid, increase reimbursement rates for other essential health services, and expedite lead pipeline replacement and cleanup of other contaminated sites. To protect public safety, the budget would increase law enforcement training and resources and create two new retail and cybercrime units, as well as continue funding for law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders in every community. This budget is proof of what is possible when we work together, put working families and communities first, and focus on achieving our goals."

Public Health and Public Safety in Figures

  • Mental and behavioral health
  • 325 million dollars for a new state mental health facility complex.
  • $277.8 million to expand the capacity of publicand private mentalhealth agencies.
  • 57.8 million to support additional beds at the existing Hawthorn Center, additional Medicaid medical homes and costs for new contracts for intensive inpatient services.
  • 220 million to support one-time grants to expand inpatient and community mental health services.
  • 10 million for student loan reimbursement for behavioral health providers.
  • Publicand municipalhealth care
  • 250 milliondollars for a new state public health and environmental laboratory.
  • $125.6 million to improve Medicaid reimbursement for essential services.
  • 109 million to accelerate 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 Michigan residents enrolled in Medicaid.
  • Expanding law enforcement training and resources
  • $150 million to develop and implement a Statewide Case Management System.
  • $130 million for community policing, public safety academies, telecommunications improvements, expansion of Detroit's PAL program and training grants for EMS.
  • $23.5 million for Michigan Department of Corrections employees and security.

Investment in health care

Budget investments in public health can be divided into two aspects - behavioral health and community health.

1) Behavioral health

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

2) Public health

The budget funds the construction of a new state public health and environmental laboratory to provide Michigan with the latest options to protect the public. It improves health outcomes by improving access to dental care for Michigan residents enrolled in Medicaid and increasing reimbursement rates for critical health services. Finally, in the interest of protecting public health, the budget accelerates lead pipe replacement, cleans contaminated sites, and seals 182 abandoned oil and gas wells.

Investment in the public safety budget

The public safety budget can be divided into two categories - law enforcement training and resources and criminal justice. This would keep families safe by fighting crime and reducing violence.

1) Law enforcement training, resources, and community programs

The budget calls for a number of investments to improve community-law enforcement relations, including funding for community policing programs and expanding the Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) to more communities. The budget also includes increasing the number of state police officers to protect families and communities, creating two new cybercrime and organized retail crime units, supporting training and equipping drug enforcement teams, and funding new recruits and police officers. Finally, the budget funds a pilot program to address victims' needs early in their interactions with the criminal justice system while partnering with victim advocacy organizations.

2) Criminal Justice

The budget supports the development and implementation of a statewide court case management system to improve data management, increase efficiency, and reduce court costs. It supports specialized programs that address root causes to stop the cycle of crime by funding a new Job Court program, an initiative to pair juvenile nonviolent offenders with local businesses that provide income and long-term careers, and increased spending on courts to address mental health and substance use issues that underlie criminal activity. The budget also supports correctional officers and employees with investments that keep them safe in the workplace. Finally, the budget supports efforts to reduce the backlog of cases in the trial courts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring continued access to justice for victims and defendants.

"Job's Court is a new and innovative solution proposed by the governor and attorney general to reduce crime and make our communities safer," said Shari Weir, coordinator of the Detroit chapter of Crime Victims for Safety and Justice. "By offering well-paying jobs with benefits instead of incarceration for nonviolent offenders, this program will reduce recidivism rates and give hundreds of Michigan residents a second chance. We fully support this program and welcome bipartisan support to secure funding for this program."

"Members of the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union are pleased that the governor and legislature have provided additional funding for the EMS scholarships and grants that are needed to address the severe shortage of paramedics in our fire departments across the state." Matthew Sar, president of the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union, said. "We look forward to working closely with DHHS and the Department of Finance to make sure these programs are implemented as soon as possible so that this critical problem can be solved as soon as possible."

"The MDHHS 2023 budget represents a real and significant investment in the mental health needs of Michigan residents," said Robert Sheehan, CEO of the Michigan Community Mental Health Association. "While mental health needs are and always have been a part of everyday life for Michigan families and communities, these needs have increased significantly as a result of the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, the threat of gun violence and several other factors in our environment. This budget recognizes these needs and specifically responds to them through a range of clinical and financial approaches."

"Michigan has long needed a serious investment in the behavioral health workforce, and COVID has only reinforced the critical need to expand mental health services across the state. This year's budget demonstrates a serious bipartisan effort to provide these vital services in a variety of settings, from schools to hospitals to our community mental health system," said Duane Brejack, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers - Michigan Chapter. "This investment will not only help build a new generation of workers by increasing student loan payments and hiring school social workers, but will also provide needed community resources by funding crisis stabilization units, supporting incarceration and expanding the MiCAL support system. NASW-Michigan looks forward to continuing our work with Governor Whitmer and the legislature to ensure that individuals, families and communities have access to the behavioral health, economic and social resources they deserve and need to thrive."

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