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News From the Capitol, January 13, 2023
January 13, 2023 by MASB Government Relations
  • 102nd Michigan Legislature Gets Underway 
  • Welcome to Our New Members
  • Let MI Kids Learn Pulls Ballot Initiative Signatures
  • Consensus Revenue Estimates Released This Morning
  • NSBA Advocacy Institute is Two Weeks Away!
  • State of the State Scheduled—Join Us for a Recap

 

102nd Michigan Legislature Gets Underway 

The 2023-2024 legislative session officially began on Wednesday at noon with the swearing in of the newly elected House members and formal election of leadership. Both the House and Senate released their session schedules for the upcoming year. 

The House and Senate also announced the committee structure this week. In the Senate, Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) will chair the Education Committee with Sen. John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs) as minority vice chair. Other committees of note are Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection chaired by Sen. Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford), Labor chaired by Sen. John Cherry (D-Flint) and Local Government chaired by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe). A full list of committees can be found on the Senate website.

In the House, Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) will chair the Education Committee with Rep. Jaime Greene (R-Richmond) as minority vice chair. Other committees of note include Labor chaired by Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek), Local Government and Municipal Finance chaired by Rep. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming) and Tax Policy chaired by Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint). A full list of committees can be found on the House website.

Organizational meetings for the committees will start over the next couple of weeks as the new session gets fully underway.

Welcome to Our New Members

Welcome to all the new school board members across the state and congratulations on your election! This is the first News From the Capitol issue of 2023. Please check with your fellow board members to make sure they are receiving this newsletter as well. If any of them are not, they can sign up on our advocacy website under “Sign Up for Alerts” or contact us to make sure your email is correct in the advocacy system, which is separate from the membership database.

This newsletter will be sent out weekly when the Legislature is in session. We also use the advocacy system to send legislative alerts urging you to contact your legislators or with important breaking news. The website will be continually updated throughout the legislative session with issues we are working on and bills that we are tracking. As always, if you have any questions about our advocacy website or advocacy in general, please do not hesitate to contact your Government Relations Team.

Thank you for what you do for our students in Michigan. You may not hear it often enough, but your work is appreciated!

Let MI Kids Learn Pulls Ballot Initiative Signatures

This week, MASB was pleased to learn that the Let MI Kids Learn coalition withdrew its ballot initiatives and signatures from review by the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections. This means they will not proceed to the Legislature nor to voters on the November 2024 ballot.

Let MI Kids Learn was a two-part proposal to allow tax write-offs for contributions to scholarship-granting organizations and to create student opportunity scholarships that parents could apply for to use for educational purposes. MASB, as part of the For MI Kids, For Our Schools Coalition, urged people to decline to sign these petitions and have been watching the Secretary of State closely to see when it would review the signatures that were turned in. 

Thank you to all who adopted the board resolution in opposition to these measures. While this particular fight is over for now, MASB will continue to make sure Michigan’s public tax dollars and the School Aid Fund are used to equitably fund our state’s public schools and students.

Consensus Revenue Estimates Released This Morning

The Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference met this morning to unveil their revenue estimates for this fiscal year and beyond. The conference is made up of the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies and the Department of Treasury to determine the numbers that next year’s budget will be built upon. 

Sales tax revenues continue to come in higher than expected due to consumer spending habits coming out of the pandemic. However, those revenues are expected to start to level off to more normal amounts. The pupil count continues to decline, however not as quickly as previously projected. As Michiganders continue to age and the birth rate declines, this trend is not expected to turnaround. Also, all experts agreed that Michigan could face a minor recession later this year and revenue growth will slow over the next two or three years. 

The School Aid Fund is expected to start the next fiscal year with a balance of approximately $4 billion. This of course would change if any supplemental budgets are passed this year. While 2022-2023 revenues did come in higher than expected in May, the upcoming 2023-2024 fiscal year looks to be almost flat. The General Fund is about the same, higher than expected for this year but almost flat for the next.

This year the state has a surplus of more than $8 billion for schools and the general fund. The legislature and Governor will have some interesting decisions to make. And while some of those funds are one-time dollars, there is still the ability to make some true investments in education and move toward a more equitable funding system. 

The Governor’s office will now begin finalizing her budget and it is expected to be presented to the Legislature in early February. 

NSBA Advocacy Institute is Two Weeks Away! 

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute will take place in person Jan. 29 – 31, 2023, in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Marquis. NSBA will also be holding its Equity Symposium at the same location the day before on Jan. 28. Registration for this one-day event is separate from the Advocacy Institute. 

If you are participating in the conference, we urge you to register for the Michigan Lunch and the Senate Breakfast held by MASB. It is very important that you register soon so that we can have accurate counts of attendees.

We hope to see you Washington D.C.

State of the State Scheduled—Join Us for a Recap

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her annual State of the State Address on the evening of Jan. 25, 2023. Join MASB on Jan 26 at noon for a Views From the Capitol webinar to recap the speech and what else to expect in education legislation this year. 

This two-way webcast allows viewers to ask questions and get answers instantly. Grab your lunch and join us for an informative session! Register today to receive the link.

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