Rep. Shane Hernandez – chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee – today issued the following statement related to budget negotiations for the state fiscal year that begins Oct. 1:
“The Legislature is moving forward with plans to adopt a fiscally responsible state budget ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline. This will include conducting conference committee meetings on some department-level budgets as scheduled Thursday afternoon.
“At this point, our plans are proceeding without consensus agreement from Gov. Whitmer because she continues to play games with road funding and Michigan taxpayers. She spent all summer demanding a $2.5 billion tax increase on Michigan drivers, but now she insists our new budget plan invest no additional money toward roads at all. Her position doesn’t make any sense.
“The Republican-led Legislature, over the past several years, has continually found savings and efficiencies to invest more into roads above and beyond what is required by current law. We should do so again in the upcoming budget year that begins Oct. 1 – and we have identified several hundred million dollars to do just that without sacrificing money for schools or essential services.
“Republicans in the Legislature want government to stay open and remain efficient, and that’s why we are moving forward with a budget plan right now.”