Rep. Shane Hernandez – chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee – issued a statement tonight after Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address:
“Tax increases are not the answer. Creating more government debt is not the answer. How do we fix the roads, improve our schools, and protect our Great Lakes without raising taxes – that’s the only answer the taxpayers of Michigan are interested in.
“I reject the premise that higher taxes or more debt are the only way to address our state’s most pressing needs. Even during last year’s budget impasse, we worked together to dedicate $180 million more to protect our drinking water and environment using current tax dollars. We addressed inequities in school funding – not just in the foundation allowance, but also through literacy coaches, skilled trades and other initiatives to help our children and grandchildren succeed.
“We must take the same approach with road repairs. Taxes already paid at the pump should go to improve roads – that’s what people want. They don’t want their government to leave a mountain of debt to burden future generations. We’re still paying off bonds from two decades ago, and adding to that debt would be irresponsible.
“Michigan taxpayers demand real solutions, not empty rhetoric, I hope once the cameras are off, the governor will present the Legislature with a real budget that fixes our roads without raising taxes.”