House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Wednesday voted to provide additional, dedicated funding to help struggling local law enforcement agencies keep their communities safe.
Amid widespread police officer shortages, Hall, R-Richland Township, touted Republicans’ success fixing the legislation to ensure the new funding actually goes to law enforcement. The improved legislation now adheres to Republican efforts this year to support police and address officer shortages. This spring, he proposed an amendment to the budget to provide $100 million for new officer recruitment, retention, and equipment, but House Democrats blocked the amendment.
“As Michigan cities wrestle with a violent crime crisis and understaffed police departments struggle to keep their communities safe, our law enforcement should have the staff and tools they need to prevent crime,” Hall said. “Instead, House Democrats tried to pass a plan to let local politicians take away critical funding from law enforcement officers, hand it over to unarmed social workers, and spend it on other liberal social experiments. No one calls a social worker when an armed intruder enters their home. House Republicans stopped that misguided plan and fixed it. We also secured support for victims, which will be essential if Democrats continue pushing radical proposals that will let criminals back on the streets to create new victims. Now, we’ve passed a real plan to make sure new resources shore up our police departments, keep Michiganders safe, and support crime victims.”
House Bills 4605 and 4606 would deposit a portion of state sales tax revenues into a new Public Safety and Violence Prevention Fund to distribute to local law enforcement agencies, with an emphasis on high-crime areas. House Republicans secured changes to the bills to ensure the resources truly support law enforcement purposes, such as local officer recruitment and retention, equipment purchases, and operating expenses. The new version of the bills ensure that local governments don’t use the new public safety funding to replace existing police funding and create social programs instead of expanding law enforcement support. The amended bills also allocate 2% of the funding to the Crime Victim’s Rights Fund, a fund that will be needed more than ever as Democrats push extreme legislation to let violent criminals out of prison early.
Before Republicans amended the bills, the legislation failed to receive a majority during a floor vote last week.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”