Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Thompson: Budget plan misses the mark, doubles down on big government
RELEASE|May 13, 2024

State Rep. Jamie Thompson, of Brownstown, today said advancing budget plans use taxpayer dollars to fund expensive new programs instead of focusing on areas that would give taxpayers the most return on their investment.

Budget bills passed by the House last week would put state spending for the upcoming fiscal year at over $81 billion. Thompson noted this is over $20 billion higher than the budget from just three years ago in the 2022 fiscal year. The plan also cements a state income tax hike into law after Thompson fought last year to preserve a lower rate for hardworking people and their families.

“When people I represent in the Legislature share their priorities with me, they are very clear,” Thompson said. “People want to be able to keep more of what they earn as they see their family budget being strained as government’s budget is growing. They want the roads they use every day in their communities to get fixed so their cars aren’t in the shop, and they want to know their neighborhoods are safe. There is a lot of waste in this budget that doesn’t go far enough to help people in those areas. We should be getting the most for hardworking taxpayers who afford dollars to state government.”

Thompson specifically pointed to a lack of emphasis on local infrastructure. The advancing transportation budget plan prioritizes frivolous pet projects over everyday needs. An amendment proposed by Thompson that would have shifted millions of dollars away from an electric vehicle infrastructure pilot program to local road funding for cities, village and counties was not incorporated into the approved measure, and the budget plan does not distribute any extra funding to local road agencies for repairs.

“If anyone has driven down Gibraltar Road or Vreeland Road in Flat Rock, or a number of other roads in communities throughout our area, they are as upset as I am that money that could be used for road repairs are going to things like electric vehicle infrastructure,” Thompson said. “Many of my constituents can’t afford an electric vehicle and there is no use for that in my district. We have lots in Taylor full of EV cars that are not selling because demand isn’t there, and neighborhood streets in south Taylor are so bad they are putting residents and families in danger when they’re out on the roads. This was an opportunity to meet the needs of residents.”

Thompson also said the budget plays games with retirement benefits educators have earned. The plans shift $670 million away from going into the state’s teacher pension system to other priorities the governor has. Thompson said legislators have a responsibility to pay down debt and use tax dollars efficiently so future Michiganders are not on the hook for even more costs, and that it’s wrong to put retirement benefit funding in jeopardy for teachers who work hard to help educate future generations.

On top of wasteful spending for electric vehicle infrastructure, other unsustainable spending and programs within the big government plan include roughly 400 new government positions, which Thompson said doesn’t reflect the needs of people in Monroe and Wayne counties. A total of $250,000 will go to a program that will study the impact of already-required bias training for health care professionals, and Supreme Court justices will get taxpayer-funded raises as people throughout southeast Michigan struggle to make ends meet. Amendments that would have prevented taxpayer-funded assistance from going to illegal immigrants were not adopted by Democrat majority.

“With an income tax hike and another bloated budget, the state continues to go to taxpayers as if they’re an endless well of revenue,” Thompson said. “That’s not a practical model for spending, and it’s not a roadmap for growing our state. As the budget process goes forward in the coming weeks, I will continue to review these plans and push for more return on investment for hardworking people I represent. They are tired of being nickel and dimed by big government agendas – and that is the push again this year with these plans.” 

The budget proposals now move to the Senate for consideration.

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