Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Schuette: Governor’s bloated budget wastes your money and costs taxpayers
RELEASE|February 7, 2024

State Rep. Bill G. Schuette today said the governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year is full of wasteful spending that fails to properly invest in infrastructure and falls short in the state’s responsibility to fund schools.

Today, Rep. Schuette and other members of the House Appropriations Committee heard the proposal at a joint House and Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. The spending plan features a price tag of over $80 billion for a second consecutive year, creates numerous costly new government entitlements which will cost taxpayers more than $1 billion over the next decade and would spend $22 million for state-owned electric vehicles that won’t see year-round use.

“People I talk with in Mid-Michigan want less government in their lives, not more. They want to keep more of what they earn, not foot the bill for the Governor’s favorite pet projects. And we all want the roads we use every day to be in good shape,” Schuette said. “Unfortunately, the Governor’s budget goes in the wrong direction, wastefully growing government and spending taxpayer dollars when Michiganders are having to work even harder to make ends meet.”

Schuette took issue with the following investment areas in particular:

Infrastructure – Instead of pipe dreams for unrealistic and expensive rail systems that only serve key areas, Schuette said the focus should be on fixing existing local roads and bridges that have been overlooked for years. The governor’s budget plan includes an $100 million transit plan and more money going to the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund to incentivize businesses than to roads. The budget for the current fiscal year saw no new dedicated funding from the state for local road repairs.

Education – Schuette said expanding programs in Michigan’s schools shouldn’t come before fixing issues that are failing kids now. A population council constructed by the governor recently reported that seven out of 10 Michigan students can’t read or do math proficiently, and Michigan ranks 43rd in high school graduation and 44th in SAT scores. The findings came on the heels of the state making the largest educational investment in its history for the current fiscal year, showing that shoring up education standards is an important component on top of spending.

Paying off debt – Schuette expressed concern that the budget plan would leave the state financially vulnerable and could lead the state to taking its foot off the gas when it comes to paying down unfunded liabilities. “Paying down obligations and using taxpayer dollars responsibly should continue to be a focus, so we aren’t leaving future generations of Michigan residents with debt they had nothing to do with or relying on taxpayers to bail out areas of the state that haven’t budgeted well,” Schuette said. The budget plan would leave the state with just $7 million out of $80 billion in revenue.

The budget plan included a continued rollback of the retirement tax and a working families tax credit. At the beginning of the current legislative term, Schuette was instrumental in pushing for tax relief for Michiganders by sponsoring plans that boosted the Earned Income Tax Credit and made it retroactive so families throughout the area and the state could start seeing savings immediately.

Final, approved budget bills must be presented to the governor by July 1.

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