LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Minority Vice Chair Jon Bumstead and Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt on Tuesday outlined seven budget priorities ahead of the governor’s scheduled budget recommendation presentation before a joint meeting of the Senate and House Appropriations committees.
“Budgets are statements of priorities, and our priorities in Lansing should match the priorities of the hardworking taxpayers from all across the state, who elected us to work on their behalf,” said Bumstead, R-North Muskegon. “Just as families in West Michigan and beyond dedicate their hard-earned money for necessities, the next state budget should focus on funding priorities we have in common around the state, like investing in education, improving our roads and infrastructure, providing for public safety, and paying down our debts.”
The senators also cautioned against growing the size of state government as residents across the state continue to pay higher costs for food, energy, and other basic needs because of record inflation.
“Our state continues to sit on a record budget surplus while our residents continue to struggle against the higher costs of living. We must continue to find ways to return these dollars to the taxpayers and provide all Michiganders with meaningful and immediate inflation relief. This is not the time to grow government in irresponsible and unsustainable ways,” said Nesbitt, R-Porter Township.
The Senate Republicans’ budget priorities include:
- Tax relief for every Michigander.
The state budget is overflowing with a $9 billion surplus, but family budgets are under tremendous stress. Michiganders need permanent relief from inflation in the form of lower taxes. Now. This is their money, not state government’s.
- Fixing the roads and bridges Michiganders drive to work, school and church.
Instead of growing the size of government, surplus funds should be invested in infrastructure improvements that will benefit generations of Michigan residents. Gov. Whitmer’s scheme to put road repairs on the state credit card doesn’t fix local roads. We must fix the roads Michiganders drive most without raising taxes or driving the state further into debt.
- Paying our bills.
Hardworking Michiganders pay their bills and so should their state government. Billions of dollars of long-term debt threaten the stability of retirement funds for state police troopers, teachers, and corrections officers. Now is the time to pay down debt instead of sticking future generations with the bill.
- Protecting our neighborhoods.
With crime rates skyrocketing, there could be no worse time to “defund the police.” We stand with the men and women of Michigan who put their lives on the line to protect our communities, and we should recruit and retain more police officers to keep our neighborhoods safe.
- Giving teachers and students the resources they need to improve student success.
Michigan has consistently ranked near the bottom in national education rankings and saw further declines as students were forced to spend time away from their classrooms during the pandemic. We must invest in special services like tutoring and interventions that get students back on track and help their children reach proficiency, so we don’t end up with a Lost Generation.
- Giving every school the resources they need to make buildings safe, and the support necessary to identify and address mental health problems as soon as they arise.
We will continue to advocate for infrastructure improvements and security measures that make every school a safe place for students to learn. And schools must have the resources they need to tackle mental health problems as soon as they arise.
- Improving aging state parks infrastructure.
Michigan’s state parks are treasures worthy of investment. Maintaining their infrastructure will ensure they are there for future generations to enjoy as much as we do.