State Rep. David Martin is standing up for families and small businesses in mid-Michigan by speaking out against wasteful spending and a tax hike built into the new state budget.
The governor today signed into law House Bill 4437, the general state budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The bill, which Martin voted against, is part of a larger budget that spends $81.7 billion of taxpayer money with an emphasis on pork and new, unsustainable programs.
This spring, Martin helped secure an income tax cut for people and small businesses throughout the state, but the budget signed by the governor today can only be balanced if the new 4.05% income tax rate is raised back to 4.25% next year.
“Raising taxes on families and businesses that are already struggling due to increasing prices just isn’t right. Neither is squandering away taxpayer dollars on projects for special interests,” Martin said. “We need a state budget that prioritizes the well-being of all citizens, not a select few. I will keep pushing for fair fiscal policies and responsible spending that invests in programs and services that are essential to all Michiganders.”
Martin criticized the budget for spending more money than ever before, draining the rest of Michigan’s $9 billion surplus, adding 1,000 new bureaucrats, and bankrolling billions of dollars in pork projects and waste, all while failing to invest Michigan’s resources to fix crumbling local roads and fill officer vacancies at struggling local police departments.
Neglecting broken infrastructure: The budget distributes no new funding for local road agencies to repair failing infrastructure. Rejecting calls from House Republicans for a $1 billion investment in local roads, the Democrat majority only hand-picked a select few favored projects. House Republicans also called repeatedly for investing the $1.5 billion needed to fix all of Michigan’s bridges that are closed or in serious or critical condition, but the budget provided a mere $80 million for a bridge repair program — only 5% of the total needed. At the same time, Democrats handed out more than $2 billion to their political friends and allies for solar farms, zoos, opera houses, and other pork projects.
Ignoring police shortages: The budget also fails to invest in understaffed local police departments experiencing a widespread officer shortage. Democrats in majority rejected Republican amendments to provide $100 million in grants to help local police departments and county sheriff’s offices recruit and retain officers and obtain equipment. Instead, Democrats spent more than $100 million on “community enhancement grants” to help their friends fund pork projects like pools, splash pads, theaters, and a cricket field. The budget also creates a $1.5 million program to hire unarmed social workers instead of the officers who are needed to protect communities.
Bankrolling pork projects: Democrats spend more than $2 billion on earmarks. Examples of unnecessary pork projects include $40 million to build a new city hall complex for one politically connected community; $3 million for minor league baseball stadiums; $9.8 million for seven pools and splash pads; almost $1 million for a cricket field; and $1 million to teach rich children in Detroit to ride horses.
Failing Michigan students: The $24.3 billion portion of the budget related to schools, universities, and community colleges, which became law earlier this month, puts pork projects over the needs of Michigan students. The school budget spends $2 billion on pork and wasteful programs — funds that could have provided nearly $1,400 more per student to support classroom learning across the state. It also eliminates dedicated funding for school resource officers, effectively defunding the police officers who keep kids safe at school.
State Rep. David Martin today invited residents to meet with him during his office hours in September. Local office hours are an opportunity for residents to meet face-to-face with Rep. Martin to share their thoughts, questions, and concerns. The meetings are open to the public, and no appointment is necessary to attend. Rep. Martin will […]
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