State Rep. David Martin on Wednesday voted against a wasteful spending plan that 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, Martin criticized the Democrats in majority for unsustainably expanding the state’s budget.
“This budget is not just full of pork, it’s a prime example of bloated government,” said Martin, R-Davison. “It grows the size of state government with new programs and more than 1,000 new bureaucrats.”
Despite spending through the state’s surplus, which started the year at $9 billion, the 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, which Democrats rejected. Instead, they spent well over a billion dollars on pork-barrel projects.
Martin 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.
- Only contributing the bare minimum toward unfunded pension obligations that the state owes to retired teachers while spending $3 million in state funding on a new auditorium for one school.
- 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.
- Increasing burdensome fees on small businesses.
- Undermining of key transparency requirements, weakening reporting requirements on state employee remote work.
Despite Martin’s opposition, House Bill 4437 and Senate Bill 173 were approved by both the House and Senate on Wednesday. The budget now advances to the governor for her expected signature.
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