FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2022
Governor Whitmer signs bipartisan bills increasing highway patrol funding by 50% to get more officers on the road and keep communities safe
Building on public safety investments in the budget, package of bills will increase funding for local departments, help them hire officers, investigate accidents, provide emergency aid
LANSING, Mich.. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed three bipartisan bills increasing funding for the Secondary Highway Patrol (SRP) program. These bills will keep drivers safe in their communities by putting more officers on the road, improving recruitment and retention efforts, and strengthening training. The bills build on the MI Safe Communities program the governor launched last summer to invest in local police, get illegal guns off the streets and expand opportunities for jobs, education and justice. .
“As a former prosecutor, public safety is a top priority for me,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s bipartisan bills will improve road safety by putting more officers on patrol. The 50% increase in funding for the SRP program will also improve law enforcement recruitment and retention by strengthening the flow of funding and allowing sheriff’s departments to provide more stability to their officers. I will work with anyone to protect public safety, and I am proud of the bipartisan budget I signed earlier this year which ensures that law enforcement at all levels, from MSP to local departments, have resources they need to keep people safe. No one should feel unsafe walking to work, dropping their kids off at school, or running errands in their neighborhood. Let’s work together to protect public safety and keep drivers safe on the road.
“I am grateful that Governor Whitmer and the Legislature have come together with a common sense solution to the concerns of secondary sheriff highway patrols,” said Matt Saxton, executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. “These bills provide funding stability that will put additional deputies in our path to provide a better public safety response across the state of Michigan.”
Bipartisan bills to increase road safety
Today, Governor Whitmer signed House Bills (HB) 5569, 5732 and 5772. Taken together, these bills will increase the SRP fund by $5 million each year, from $10 million to $15 million. This increased and dedicated funding now comes from the liquor fund, so the SRP fund does not have to depend on fees and general fund dollars each year, which can be unpredictable. The additional funding will be used to add officers to the route, and the consistent funding source will allow Sheriff’s departments to better plan and give officers greater job stability, improving their recruitment and retention efforts. Fees that previously funded the SRP will now be redirected to MCOLES for law enforcement training grants.
- HB 5569 adjusts MOE for counties to be eligible for SRP dollars. In years past, the legislature had to pass resolutions waiving county MEOs to receive their share of SRP dollars.
- HB 5732 Creates New Allocation of $15 Million in Liquor Revenue to Fund SRP Program
- HB 5772 redirects a portion of the $40 fee that originally funded the SRP to MCOLES for Law Enforcement Training Grants.
Secondary Highway Patrol Program
The SRP funds efforts to monitor traffic violations, enforce state criminal law, investigate motor vehicle accidents, and provide emergency assistance to Michiganders on or near a freeway. or a guarded road. Funds can be used to employ additional staff, purchase equipment, enforce laws at state and county parks, and provide selective motor vehicle inspection programs.
Governor Whitmer’s record investments in public safety
As a former prosecutor, public safety is a central issue for Governor Whitmer. She has worked closely with local leaders, law enforcement, and community organizations to make sure people feel safe in their neighborhoods. Since taking office, she has signed four balanced, bipartisan budgets, each making record investments to help communities fund local law enforcement and hire more first responders. These budgets expanded the training and resources available to law enforcement from the MSP to local departments in every region of the state.
Last summer, the governor proposed MI Safe Communities, a plan to invest $75 million in federal US bailout funding to reduce crime and keep families safe by getting illegal firearms into the street, tackling the criminal court backlog, expanding the resources available to law enforcement and tackling the root causes of crime by investing in employment, counseling and of education.
Governor Whitmer’s Investments in Criminal Justice
Governor Whitmer also worked across the aisle to enact historic criminal justice reform. She signed bipartisan “Clean Slate” legislation to help hundreds of thousands of Michiganders emerge from the criminal justice system with better job and housing opportunities, allowing them to pursue their full potential. She also launched task forces to fight remand and juvenile justice and pursued reforms to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the people they serve.
Governor Whitmer signed her fourth balanced, bipartisan budget that included funding for Jobs Court, a program that provides non-violent, low-level offenders gainful employment with local small business partners.