In this issue of Lansing Update:
This week the Michigan Legislature and the Administration finalized nearly all details pertinent to the 2005–06 fiscal year that begins October 1. The governor has mentioned she will use her constitutional right to line-item veto certain items, but those points of difference are not expected to affect the health, safety or welfare of Michigan citizens. Last week Lansing Update provided details on ironed out budget differences, with those remaining as follows:
School Bus Inspections:
The governor proposed saving the state some $1.3 million by eliminating a requirement that the state police inspect school buses. Private schools in the state, including Catholic schools, are included in the requirement and benefit by providing safe buses for school children. Michigan Catholic Conference staff successfully lobbied against this proposed cut as the legislature ensured restoration of the funding.
Adult Dental Coverage:
In 2003 the legislature cut some $5 million from Medicaid funding that allowed adults to receive dental care. After hearing several complaints from patients and representatives from the health care and hospital associations that patients were arriving in emergency rooms with much more serious problems, the funding was restored.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has historically provided low-income parents with reimbursements for child care. The governor, however, proposed saving some $21 million by forcing parents to wait 30 days after starting work to receive the benefit. The dollars were restored by the legislature.
Social Worker Training:
The State of Michigan provides a program through the Department of Human Services that trains protective service and foster care parents. In this year’s budget discussions the Senate Appropriations DHS Committee recommended cutting the $1.3 billion Child Welfare Institute. The funding, however, has been inserted in the final budget.