Michigan lawmakers approve $114 million bailout for school districts, $30M for Highland Park
Unpaid water bills and school debts are assumed by the Michigan taxpayer
The Michigan Legislature on Thursday approved a bill offering $114 million in bailouts for several public school systems, and $30 million to pay Highland Park’s water bill. All told, lawmakers spent about $276 million in the supplemental spending bill.
House Bill 4292 was passed in identical forms by both houses of the Legislature and will head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.
Lawmakers took to social media to praise a $12.12 million bailout for Inkster Public Schools.
“Dear Inkster, The debt is paid, my friends,” tweeted Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, whose district covers Inkster.
“This debt relief will finally put an end to the educational injustice that residents of Inkster in my district have been forced to deal with for the last 10 years,” tweeted Rep. Dylan Wegela, D-Garden City, whose district covers Inkster.
The school bailouts will be handed out as follows, per the House Fiscal Agency:
• Up to $18.362 million for the Pontiac City School District to pay its outstanding emergency loan balance.
• Up to $10.02 million for Benton Harbor Area Schools to pay its outstanding emergency loan balance.
• Up to $5.5 million for Ypsilanti Community Schools to pay the outstanding long-term limited tax debt held by the Michigan Finance Authority.
• Up to $31.336 million for the Muskegon Heights School District to pay its outstanding emergency loan balance. The money will also pay outstanding school bond loan fund balances, school loan revolving fund balances, associated general obligation unlimited tax debt, or costs associated with paying off the debt.
• Up to $12.12 million for Inkster schools to pay outstanding school bond loan fund balances or school loan revolving fund balances.
• Up to $19.36 million to the former Willow Run Community Schools to pay outstanding school bond loan fund balances or the school loan revolving fund balance.
• A portion of the amount remaining to be used either to retire debt of either the former Ypsilanti School District or the former Willow Run Community School or for initiatives to improve student achievement in Ypsilanti Community Schools
Highland Park’s debt for unpaid water bills to the city of Detroit and later the Great Lakes Water Authority racked up for a decade before lawmakers extended a state bailout. The city of about 8,600 people will receive $30 million from Michigan taxpayers.
House Bill 4292 is a 66-page supplemental spending bill.
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.