This week, the Legislature sent the new state budget to the governor for her expected signature. The $81.7 billion budget is massive. It’s grown more than 30 percent since I first took office in 2021.
I have serious concerns about the sustainability of this $81.7 billion budget. By growing state government with new programs and more than 1,000 new employees, it sets us down a reckless path we cannot afford.
Despite spending through the state’s surplus, which started the year at $9 billion, the budget crafted by the Democrats in the majority distributes no additional local road funding to Michigan communities, instead picking favored areas for specific projects. Earlier this year, my colleagues and I proposed a $1 billion investment in local roads that was rejected by Democrats. Turns out, their final budget instead includes more than a billion dollars in pet projects.
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.
Those who crafted this budget also went to great lengths to decrease transparency by eliminating reports that require state departments to show how public tax dollars are being spent. For example, reports about the state’s pension debt and the number of state employees working remotely have been eliminated.
I’m pleased to report that the plan I co-sponsored to help sexual assault survivors and strengthen efforts to bring their abusers to justice has been signed into law by the governor. The new law is part of an ongoing effort to improve the system in response to shortcomings uncovered by the investigation into assaults committed by Larry Nassar.
The new laws require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to create training materials for mandatory reporters, update the grounds for permanently revoking a health professional’s license to include using medical treatment as a pretext for sexual contact, prohibit individuals from using their professional authority to prevent reports of certain crimes to law enforcement or a Title IX coordinator at a postsecondary education institution, and prohibit public school students from being expelled or suspended, with exceptions, for behavior resulting from sexual assault.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-3906 or emailing [email protected]. I am always happy to hear from people in our community.
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On July 31, the governor signed into law House Bill 4437, the general state budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The bill – together with the education budget, which I detailed last week – spends $81.7 billion of taxpayer money with an emphasis on pork and new, unsustainable programs. The new budget […]