State Rep. Timmy Beson today said advancing budget measures abuse taxpayer dollars as many working families in Bay County and across the state are being forced into difficult financial decisions due to inflation.
Beson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, worked during the budget process to address concerns taxpayers and families have been raising – including fixing local roads and improving public safety.
But the budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year uses hard-earned dollars from taxpayers on special projects and other out-of-touch programs that grow state government in unsustainable ways. The budget plans were also voted on before the state receives revenue estimates – leading to additional questions on what final plans will even look like.
“These bills are not a good return on investment for taxpayers when many people are already struggling due to high costs,” Beson said. “I don’t believe in bloating the size of government, especially at the people’s expense. These plans ask too much of taxpayers and don’t tell them enough. It’s my responsibility as a representative to make sure spending is responsible, efficient and effective. I don’t feel this budget is any of those three things.”
Beson fought for the reinstallation of important transparency measures as the budget plans worked to roll back existing protections. Reports that shed light on how tax dollars are spent and help taxpayers hold their government officials accountable have been removed. Gone also is a requirement to prevent and expose ‘hush money’ deals like the governor made with former department heads who left as their agencies struggled to meet the needs of the people during COVID-19.
When speaking on the proposed budget for the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, Beson pointed to an amendment he supported that would have made certain information from the department public so people could see how their tax dollars were being spent and required communication between the department and legislators when an emergency impacts communities they represent. The amendment was not adopted by Democrat majority as the budget was advanced.
“Trust in government is at historic lows – and a big reason for that is a lack of transparency,” Beson said. “I will continue supporting plans that provide accountability to the people – especially when their dollars are helping fund state spending and programs.”
The House budget plans are contained within House Bills 4244-45, 4246-49, 4280-81, 4286-87, 4289-90, 4292, 4303-04 and 4309-10.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Timmy Beson, of Bay City, speaks on a state budget plan before the Michigan House on Wednesday, May 10.
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