Whitmer to call for more family planning funds in budget proposal
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer seeks $26.6 million for family planning, maternal health services in state budget
- Plan would divert $14.2 million to local health departments and agencies for family planning services, including preventative health screenings, unintended pregnancy prevention and birth planning
- Full budget proposal will be unveiled Wednesday
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will call for $26.6 million in funding for family planning and maternal health services in her executive budget proposal Wednesday, aiming for improved maternal and infant health and increased access to contraception and other reproductive health care.
“In Michigan, we are protecting and expanding reproductive freedom so the decision of if or when to have a family is not in the hands of politicians,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Whitmer’s office is scheduled to present her full budget recommendations to lawmakers Wednesday morning during a joint meeting of the House and Senate appropriations committees.
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In comments provided to Bridge Michigan ahead of the presentation, Whitmer said the proposed investments would help make Michigan “the best state to choose if and when to start your family and have the support you need to raise a happy, healthy child.”
The proposed $26.6 million investment — including $23.7 million in state general fund dollars — would build upon the state’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program for addressing maternal and infant health disparities.
Whitmer will be calling for $14.2 million in allocations to local health departments and agencies for family planning services, including preventative health screenings, unintended pregnancy prevention and birth planning.
Another $4.9 million would support doula services, including increasing Medicaid reimbursements for doula care and education and training for prospective doulas.
The state began Medicaid reimbursements for doulas — professionals who provide support for pregnant mothers — in 2023 as part of an effort to address a spike in maternal mortality rates, particularly among non-white women.
Other family planning initiatives in the budget recommendation include a $5 million investment in the Michigan Perinatal Quality Collaborative for a region-specific approach to improving maternal and infant health outcomes, as well as $2.5 million for expanding the number of CenteringPregnancy sites in Michigan for expecting moms to connect with peers and health care providers.
Amy Zaagman, executive director for the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health, said the proposed investments “will put resources into proven strategies driven by data and led by local leaders in touch with the challenges in their communities.”
The proposed investments will be part of Whitmer’s overall budget plan for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Currently, the state is operating under a $82 billion budget that spent down most of the state’s $9 billion state surplus from surges in federal funding and higher-than expected tax collections following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial experts predicted in January that the state was in solid economic shape heading into budget negotiations, projecting $32.3 billion in tax revenue would be coming in next fiscal year.
But Michigan is lagging in median income and educational outcomes while falling behind on infrastructure, community well-being and job opportunities, according to a recent report by the governor's population growth council.
During her sixth annual State of the State address, Whitmer previewed a number of other priorities that could show up in her budget recommendations, including investments in affordable housing, business incentives, universal pre-school and free community college.
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