State Rep. Jaime Greene 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, Greene criticized Democrats for unsustainably expanding the state’s budget.
“This budget is like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode with the weight of its own excess,” Greene, R-Richmond, said in a speech opposing the plan. “We’ve seen this playbook before — a bloated bureaucracy, hidden agendas, and a total disregard for the voices of the people. It’s an affront to the principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government that people in our district hold dear.”
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.
Greene 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.
- Eliminating ethics training for state employees.
House Bill 4437 and Senate Bill 173 now advance to the governor.
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