Investments in top priorities accomplished without tax increases
State Rep. Jason Wentworth last week supported record funding for road repairs and schools without raising taxes for Michigan residents.
“We should be making state government better – not bigger,” said Wentworth, of Clare. “Michigan taxpayers demand a state government that respects their hard-earned money while also investing in what matters most to them. The House budget plan does just that. It forces government to live within its means, freeing up and protecting resources for Northern Michigan families’ priorities such as education, roads, public health and safety, and local community services.”
Wentworth, along with his House colleagues, approved several budget measures last week, advancing the plan to the Senate for further consideration.
Key elements of the budget plan:
- Roads. The plan ensures every single penny spent on taxes at the gas pump goes to improve our roads – including the 6 percent sales tax motorists already pay. This change could add more than $800 million more per year to road repairs – without raising taxes – once fully phased in over two years. This change would be accomplished without sacrificing money for schools, local government revenue sharing or other essential public services.
- Schools. The plan raises the state’s minimum per-pupil foundation allowance by $180 per student, which covers the majority of Michigan’s school districts. All districts would get at least $90 more per student under the House plan. This comes on top of the largest annual per-student increase of the past 15 years – which schools are receiving in the current budget year – while continuing to close the gap between the state’s lowest- and highest-funded districts. Early literacy and career training are special focuses as the overall school aid fund would surpass $15 billion.
- Strengthening communities and families. More resources will be dedicated to protect drinking water, clean up the environment, promote mental health and fight opioid addiction. Local communities will get an increase in revenue sharing to enhance essential public services. More Michigan State Police troopers and state prison corrections officers will be trained.
- Military Veterans. The House budget plan allocates $4.2 million to fully fund the county veteran service grants that were created under Public Act 210 of 2018 – legislation which Wentworth spearheaded. This helps ensure our veterans have access to available services and county accredited service officers as close to home as possible. Counties have the discretion to use these grants how they wish – to promote services, support full-time accredited service officers, establish county service departments and finance other essential services.
- Respecting taxpayers through government efficiencies. Many state departments are being asked to find a savings of 3 percent in their administrative budgets. The House also has identified several state programs that do not spend as much money as taxpayers have been providing, so their budgets will be adjusted accordingly. The plan also helps rein in information technology project spending within state departments, which has been a problem area.
The House budget plan costs taxpayers about $1.3 billion less than the plan recommended by the governor.