Today I am happy to announce that I have signed a balanced budget for the third year in a row, well ahead of schedule, in June again. It's an exciting budget in terms of being structurally balanced, and it's addressing some very important needs.
First of all on the education front, we're increasing funding for K-12 education for the third year in a row on a per-pupil basis. In addition, early childhood's happening. We've had a backlog of kids that couldn't attend preschool because of need. We're going to put 16,000 of those kids into preschool -- and we're going to follow up yet next year with even more. On the Healthy Kids front, it's very exciting. We're adding 70,000 kids to Healthy Kids Dental.
Again this is a great budget. Structurally balanced, we're paying down our long-term debt, and we're adding resources to our rainy day fund.
But all of our work isn't done. One important topic that we still need to work on -- that I encourage you to talk to your legislators about -- is Healthy Michigan. Here is an opportunity to add 470,000 people to have health care coverage. Now that's a good answer.
And why do I say that? Right now we have an unmanaged, uncontrolled system, where too often they're forced to go to the emergency room. Let's put them in a smart system where they have a primary care relationship, we can help manage their care, and all of us will win in Michigan.
So today is a big day. I want to say thank you to the legislators and everyone for getting a balanced budget done. But let's keep moving forward and let's get Healthy Michigan done.
Thank you and have a great day.