New Michigan Law Saves School Districts $8 Million in Interest

School bus

The School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) interest rate dropped to 1.19% last week, saving some local school districts about $8 million in interest.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Senate Bill 618 that adjusted the SLRF interest rate.

“Every student, in every district, has a birthright to a phenomenal public education so they can pursue their potential,” Whitmer said in a statement. “With these cost savings, we will have even more resources to invest where they matter most – in our students, teachers, and classrooms. I am proud of the work the Michigan Legislature and I have done to close the funding gap between districts and increase per-pupil funding to its highest amount ever.”

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Analysis Details $8.9 Billion Spending Increase in Lee’s Budget Proposal

Bill Lee speaking

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s $52.6 billion budget proposal uses $8.9 billion more in general fund dollars than the state’s current budget, according to an analysis from The Sycamore Institute.

The additional spending comes from multiple sources. A large portion is from excess taxes and fees collected over the past three years and an influx of federal funds.

The Sycamore Institute pointed to $5.2 million more in funds available this fiscal year than what was budgeted in July, including a $2.3 billion surplus from fiscal year 2021 and $2.3 billion more in surplus from fiscal 2022.

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Commentary: Real Estate Scams Are on the Rise as the Housing Market Remains Hot

When Jeff, a retired marketing consultant from Chicago, was closing on his home sale, he received a new set of instructions at the last minute on where to send several thousand dollars in closing expenses. At first blush, the email looked legit with an official-looking logo and professional language specifying the amount owed and itemized expenses. But one thing caught his eye: The email address looked strange. Just to be safe, he called his mortgage broker.

“Don’t do that!” his broker told him in an alarmed voice. It was a scam. If he hit “send,” his closing fees would go to a thief who had been monitoring his emails. “I was a keystroke away from losing thousands of dollars,” Jeff recalled.

As the housing market sizzles across the country – with nearly 6 million homes bought last year – scammers have been finding new ways to tap into this once-secure market. Real estate transactions still demand reams of paperwork and regulations involving lawyers, brokers, title insurance companies and banks, but the fact that much of this work now takes place online gives thieves countless opportunities to exploit vulnerable buyers. Last year, more than 11,000 homeowners were scammed out of more than $220 million in closing funds alone, according to the American Land and Title Association, a trade group that represents professionals who perform property transactions.

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Michigan’s $348.7 Million Pandemic Relief Bill, with Funds for Child Care, Hospitals, Signed into Law

Jim Stamas

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed Senate Bill 27 to appropriate $384.7 million in supplemental pandemic relief funding.

Signed by the governor on Monday afternoon, the bill also provides $10 million of financial support for Southeast Michigan families and businesses that endured massive flooding in June.

SB 27 was introduced by Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, in January. The bill combines $367.7 million of federal COVID relief funding authorized through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and $17 million from the state’s general fund.

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Michigan Projects Multibillion-Dollar Budget Surplus

Michigan State Capitol

Michigan budget officials Friday reached a consensus on revised economic and revenue figures for fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The state general fund and school aid revenues will total $26.5 billion for the current budget year, exceeding January estimates by $2.2 billion. For the new budget cycle beginning Oct. 1, the agency projected revenues will total $26.6 billion, $1.3 billion more than January predictions.

A majority of that unexpected cash is a byproduct of billions of spending via stimulus checks and boosted unemployment benefits, which led to a spike in personal spending and increased state tax revenues by billions more than previously forecast.

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Gov. Whitmer Signs $37 Million Bill Funding 76 Projects Statewide

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed House Bill 4469 which appropriates $37.8 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants for 76 recreation projects and land purchases throughout Michigan.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund supports quality outdoor recreation, giving Michiganders the ability to safely enjoy the outdoors and boosting local economies,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding is crucial to helping communities utilize their natural resources and make Michigan’s public spaces more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors. I am proud to sign this piece of bipartisan legislation into law and support Michigan’s recreational resources and economy.” 

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource conservation and outdoor recreation.

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Kenneth Blackwell Commentary: Bernie and AOC Will Destroy Low-Income Americans with Their New ‘Banking Solutions’

by Kenneth Blackwell   If you like unnecessarily long lines, surly clerks, and terrible service, then you’re probably going to love the latest idea to come from the fevered minds of some of the most radical Democrats in Congress. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both of whom identify…

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