LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Jon Bumstead on Wednesday expressed disappointment and disapproval as more information about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive actions on Monday became available.
“I joined my colleagues in remaining optimistic about the governor’s plans moving forward, but it ultimately ended in disappointment,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “I understand we have our differences, but I am having a hard time seeing her reasoning behind many of her choices.”
The plan approved by the Legislature would have drastically increased funding for schools and roads, while also increasing funding for water quality testing, public safety and other crucial state programs.
“Water quality has been an agreeable issue throughout these discussions,” Bumstead said. “Since the beginning, the governor has touted her support for our state’s resources and the importance of clean drinking water, yet she vetoed millions of dollars designated for private well testing and other efforts to ensure residents do in fact have clean drinking water.”
Included in Whitmer’s vetoes Monday evening was $15 million for municipal airports for costs associated with PFAS and $7.5 million for private well testing.
Bumstead also voiced his displeasure with her $35 million slashes to schools in Muskegon County and across the state.
“The governor’s actions have drastically compromised education in my district,” Bumstead said. “Her political moves will immediately impact children who attend these schools. Students in Muskegon Heights and other public charter schools across Michigan are being used as leverage toward her 45-cent gas tax increase and that is 100% wrong.”
The governor also took aim at the $400 million to help improve local roads and bridges across the state.
“The idea of someone who campaigned on fixing the roads vetoing money that will allow us to actually fix the roads is baffling,” Bumstead said. “We’re committed to finding a solution to road funding, but we cannot hurt our state infrastructure in the short-term while we work on the issue. The funding she vetoed came entirely from existing revenue and would have increased resources for much-needed infrastructure improvements.”
Other items removed by the governor include over $75 million devoted to rural health care and hospitals, $37.5 million in funding for the successful Pure Michigan campaign, $13.1 million for the Michigan State Police Secondary Road Patrol Program and funding for environmental programs and veteran services.
“We sent the governor a responsible budget on time to avoid a government shutdown. This was a budget that utilized existing resources to fund important programs and invest in our state’s biggest needs,” Bumstead said. “The vetoes by Governor Whitmer will immediately impact families by cutting public safety, reducing educational opportunities, slashing funding for drinking water safety and striking funding for veterans services. My constituents in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties, as well as families throughout Michigan, deserve better.
“In the meantime, I will continue working in Lansing to fix the mess created by the governor’s vetoes.”