OP-ED: Michigan Senate Passes FY22 Budget

Sen. Adam Hollier represents the 2nd district

The Senate passage of FY22 Budget has set a memorable standard throughout the city of Detroit’s most respected and historic organizations that continually cater to the city. It is simple, representation matters, and as a reflection of that, my budget priorities highlight and support black institutions doing outstanding work in our community.

My first year in office, Goodwill Detroit’s Flip the Script program, was zeroed out of the budget but over the last three years I saved their $1 million appropriations and got them increases of $250,000 annually because I know that people in our district are grappling with having been incarcerated for a variety of reasons and need a second chance. Organizations like Flip the Script provide that second chance to those who have been incarcerated.

“We are thrilled that the leaders of our state government have agreed to an appropriation of $1.5 million to support Goodwill Detroit’s Flip the Script program, which is one of the country’s most successful alternative-sentencing and re-entry efforts,” said Daniel Varner, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “Programs like Flip direct people away from Michigan’s correctional system and toward positive contributions to family and society. All of us win when programs like Flip can serve greater numbers of people. We look forward to putting that appropriation to work for the benefit of Detroit-area residents and all Michigan taxpayers.”

Focus Hope provides people with job skills and opportunities to transition from some of these low paying jobs and to dive into the careers that are growing today. In return, we must do more than just get people “jobs” but to educate and instill efficient entrepreneurial skills to develop successful entrepreneurs and support those that already exists.

“We are so pleased that Focus: HOPE’s workforce training programs are included in the state budget,” a Portia Roberson CEO of Focus: HOPE said. “Workforce training is crucial to Michigan’s future, and we appreciate that the legislature and the Governor recognized the importance of workforce development for all Michiganders.” It has been a team effort from the Detroit Delegation supporting organizations like these across the city.

The Minority Supplier Development council is an incredible resource that with this funding will be able to ensure Black companies can serve as the prime contractors the major infrastructure projects planned.

Recognizing the amazing programs we have throughout our community, it is imperative to uphold the value within our history and ensure that the historic importance of museums within the state of Michigan like Motown Museum is continually being properly funded. It is especially important that the museums tell the stories of our communities.

“It was absolutely thrilling to receive the news from Sen. Hollier that the State of Michigan is allocating $750,000 to support Motown Museum,” said Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO of Motown Museum. “We are extremely grateful to the Senator for being an advocate for the museum and his district. We are thankful for Governor Whitmer’s leadership and ongoing support of the museum as a landmark of pride for the State of Michigan.”

It is programs like these that will progress the city of Detroit, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Hamtramck and Harper Woods into the next phase of continued positive change. Highlighting the importance of representation, it is programs like these that without any doubt, I will always advocate and push for.

Totaling just under $70 billion (about $220 per person in the US) through a combination of state and federal funds, the bipartisan budget agreement provides endless possibilities to renew and rebuild Michigan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while prioritizing programs and services meant to bring greater equity in access and opportunity.

Within our community I championed several appropriations totaling over $17 million with more than $4 million in the FY2022 budget, and $13 million in total. These investments include:

$1.5 million for Goodwill Industries’ Flip the Script Program in Detroit.

$1 million for Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to overcoming racism and poverty through education and training services for minority residents.

$1 million for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

$750,000 for the Motown Museum in Detroit.

$500,000 for the Invest Detroit loan financing program.

$250,000 for the JROTC Program in Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD).

$150,000 for Wayne State University’s National De-escalation Training Center.

The budget passed by the Michigan Senate is a win for all Michiganders, especially Detroiters. After years of divestment and dismissal, the City of Detroit is finally receiving the investments it needs to create better opportunities for our residents. As families — and especially people of color — continue to struggle due to the pandemic and disparities in health care, they need all the support they can get. It is my duty to continue the ongoing push for equity, representation and change for the better within our community. We must continue to work in a bipartisan manner for the good of all Michiganders who depend on us to get it right.

This historic investment in education and the things we can deliver to the district persists with setting a positive tone of true progression. I know that we as a district can do better so with the support and trust of you all we are able to continue to do and be better.

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