Rep. Andrew Beeler, R-Port Huron, speaks against the wasteful $81.7 billion budget on Wednesday, June 28.
State Rep. Andrew Beeler on Wednesday voted against the Democrats’ wasteful spending plan, which drains the state’s multibillion-dollar surplus, creates new, unnecessary programs, and neglects the most essential needs in Michigan communities.
In voting against the $81.7 billion budget, Beeler, R-Port Huron, criticized Democrats for unsustainably expanding the state’s budget even as Michigan’s population has decreased since 2020.
“This irresponsibly bloated budget betrays the trust of Michigan taxpayers,” Beeler said. “Democrats are obliterating the rest of our $9 billion surplus, but instead of bolstering local police departments or fixing local roads, they’re starting new programs that our state can’t sustain in future years. If we’re not going to invest the people’s dollars where they’re needed, then we should pass some tax relief and give money back to the Michiganders who earned it.”
Despite spending through the state’s surplus, which started the year at $9 billion, the Democrats’ budget distributes no additional local road funding to Michigan communities, instead picking favored areas for specific projects. Republicans earlier this year proposed a $1 billion investment in local roads. Democrats also rejected Republican calls to help local police departments recruit and retain officers, after blocking Republican amendments earlier this year for a $100 million public safety grant program.
Beeler criticized wasteful spending and harmful policies in the budget, including:
- Funding for more than 1,000 new bureaucrats, — positions that will be difficult to eliminate in future years if funds aren’t available.
- Authorization of $500 million for future spending into the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve, which pays money for corporate projects.
- Subsidies for wind, solar, and other unnecessary energy projects, with more than $100 million for various energy programs.
- Spending $125 million on “clean” buses, which are unreliable for expansive rural school districts.
- Expansion of the school meal program, a previously needs-based program that will instead provide free food even for kids from the wealthiest families when fully phased in.
- Increase of burdensome groundwater fees on Michigan small businesses.
- Undermining of key transparency requirements, weakening reporting requirements on state employee remote work.
Beeler delivered a floor speech against the budget bills.
House Bill 4437 and Senate Bill 173 now advance to the governor.
“The budget process is out of control. We are spending more and more money and are giving people less and less transparency. This is exactly why people do not trust government,” said Beeler, R-Port Huron.