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Engage with lawnmakers on budget

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked lawmakers for an $80.7 billion state budget for 2025, kicking off the appropriations process in Lansing that has to wrap up by the Oct. 1 start of the state’s fiscal year.

The governor’s proposal is about $2 billion less than the current budget, which was propped up by federal stimulus funds meant to help offset losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitmer’s budget would guarantee free preschool through community college for Michiganders, invest hundreds of millions in business subsidies, and send more to K-12 schools for every student they enroll.

Now, lawmakers will take Whitmer’s proposal and add and remove things to make it the 2025 spending plan in their own image and try to craft it into bills to send to the governor’s desk by this fall. Hopefully, they’ll get it done by June, so schools can start their fiscal years on July 1 knowing exactly how much per-pupil revenue they’ll get from the state.

You, dear Northeast Michiganders, need to be part of that process.

The budget is how Lansing turns policy ideas into action and how lawmakers lay out their priorities.

Everyday Michiganders — including you, dear reader — should have a say in what those priorities are.

So we urge each of you to reach out to your representatives in Lansing — state Rep. Cam Cavitt can be reached at 517-373-0833 and state Sen. Michelle Hoitenga can be reached at 517-373-7946 — and tell them how you think your tax money should be spent.

— Alpena News

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