Zorn: Rising crime rates demand funding for officer recruitment and retention
Rep. Zorn (R-Onsted) has voted against the state budget proposed by Democrats in majority, citing unsustainability of frivolous new programs, insufficient funding for police recruitment and retention despite a rise in crime, and lack of transparency in the budget drafting process.
The $81 billion budget, up $9 billion over last year, uses a record $9 billion from reserves, leaving just $250 million in the state’s coffers. Zorn and his Republican colleagues say the funding increases are unsustainable.
“The state simply won’t have the revenue to continue to maintain the new programs, government jobs and frivolous long-term spending measures next year, or for years to come,” Zorn said. “This budget sets Michigan up for failure.”
The representative also said the budget lacks funding for public safety.
“Democrats want to defund the police by redirecting $30 million in law enforcement funds to other departments and spending $4 million on a new unarmed unit,” Zorn said. “Further, their plan increases police security for the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, while our community law enforcement funding was decreased. I can’t support that.”
Zorn also said the budget would decrease local and rural road funding while funneling more toward state highways.
“That’s not what the state needs right now,” Zorn said. “Our municipalities can’t keep up with the cost of road repairs as it is. Decreasing local road funding is a bad move.”
Republican lawmakers offered several amendments to the budget proposal, but none were adopted by the majority, even those providing additional public safety dollars and the equitable funding of road repairs outside of metropolitan areas.
Despite Republican opposition, the budget was approved by the House and now moves to be considered by the Senate.
House Bill 4944, would ensure Michigan children’s health insurance covers treatment for hearing loss through age 19, and up to $3,000 in coverage per hearing aid every 36 months. Insurance actuaries and underwriters estimate the increase to policyholders’ premium costs would be just 10 to 17 cents per month but would save the state approximately $650,000 per individual in lifetime support.
“Every Michigan worker needs and deserves to keep more of what they earn, especially now, as families struggle to cover household costs amid widespread inflation and rising utility costs. We needed to hear more from the governor about her plans to reduce basic expenses for Michiganders in 2024.”
Plan would make hearing aids more accessible for families . Rep. Zorn delivered testimony before the House Insurance and Financial Services Committee today in support of his bipartisan plan to make hearing aids more accessible for children who need them. Hearing loss is the third top public health issue in America, and one of the […]