Over the course of the last year, PPA’s team has been working with state, nonprofit, education, philanthropy, and business leaders to thoughtfully discuss and prioritize decisions that will strengthen and grow the state economy and help all Michiganders equitably recover from the pandemic.

This work is not new to us. For more than 30 years, Public Policy Associates (PPA) has been collaborating with our clients and partners to maximize the positive results of social policy. In all our work, our aim is to engage as thought partners with those responsible for improving programs and outcomes, which is why we were encouraged to see the impact of our work reflected in the 2022-23 fiscal year budget that was recently passed and signed into law.

For Michigan, the influence of federal money has been profound. Additional federal funding has allowed the State to increase funding in child care, out-of-school time programming, higher education support, and workforce development. Expanded funding to economic development and to financial institutions further strengthens the reach of the federal dollars. As such, we are encouraged for the future while remaining cautious that the funding doesn’t create fiscal cliffs.

Since the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed in March 2021, our team of researchers and consultants facilitated and hosted hundreds of meetings with diverse organizations, informing ideas, and collected feedback on how funding should be invested into programs and projects—targeting transformational investments and pandemic-created gaps. The funding priorities we helped establish for our clients have guided State investments and aligned priorities with the state government.

Along the way, we have sought out and listened to a wide cross-section of voices who will be impacted by these policy decisions. As our state’s leaders weigh the best use of the remaining $7 billion dollars on the balance sheet, we will continue to provide thoughtful guidance and the data needed to help ensure that Michigan’s citizens who need the most assistance get the help and support they need.