State Rep. Beau LaFave issued the following statement in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to line-item veto key programs and priorities in the Legislature’s budget plan:
“I feel like I’m watching a bad slasher film. Here’s the plot: The governor gets a budget that doesn’t include her $2.5 billion gas tax hike and, on the eve of the first of October, she goes to town, slashing $375 million in additional funding for road repairs and axing $218 million in funds and programs for Michigan’s K-12 students.
“The governor can go on a rampage and veto as many items as she wants, but it won’t get her a 45-cent per gallon gas tax increase.
“Here are 34 of the most important items to citizens of the Upper Peninsula slashed from the budget by Gov. Whitmer:
- $2,500 for a feasibility study to bring a veterans’ cemetery to the Upper Peninsula
- $4 million to help county veteran service officers connect with veterans in need
- $250,00 for a veteran benefit eligibility study to help streamline veterans’ application for VA benefits
- $250,000 for a buddy-to-buddy program that connects veterans struggling with PTSD to a veteran “buddy”
- $50,000 for updated uniforms for our National Guard
- $1 million for the Soo Locks
- $2 million for sheriffs to hire personnel to patrol secondary roads
- $200,000 for conservation district improvements
- $20,000 to support the civil air patrol when they assist the state in fire surveillance, missing persons searches, etc.
- $10 million for the rural jobs and capital investment fund
- $200,000 designated to study PFAS in game and wildlife
- $100,000 set aside for deer habitat improvement
- $100,000 in behavioral health counseling services for children
- $500,000 for mental and physical health programs at senior centers
- $10.7 million in psychiatric services at critical access hospitals
- $1.5 million to help detect traumatic brain injuries in children
- $175,000 in legal services to help individuals getting social security disability
- $175,000 to support low-income refugee families’ transition to self-sufficiency
- $300,000 to provide emergency shelter to homeless and runaway youth
- $600,000 for high-school students struggling with opioid abuse
- $34.2 million to provide services for Medicaid patients at critical access hospitals
- $1 million in assistance for human trafficking survivors
- $3.89 million for private duty nurses who attend to child Medicaid patients
- $15 million for improvements to the state Capitol’s infrastructure
- $4.6 million for replacing electronic tethers for parolees
- $3.3 million in payments to private landowners in the Commercial Forest Program
- $18.6 million in payments in lieu of taxes to local governments for property owned by the DNR
- $16 million in grants for CTE equipment
- $7 million to assist rural school districts with higher transportation costs
- $700,000 adoption support services
- $2 million for foster care payments
- $1 million for child advocacy centers
- $3,750,000 in grants to support at-risk youth
- $2 million for the state’s first responder communications network
Her slash-and-tax agenda just won’t fly. The governor keeps saying that this budget nightmare is about fixing the roads and not justifying a massive tax increase, but no one is buying tickets to see that show.
“Michigan is getting tired of the Whiplash Whitmer budget horror show – it’s time quit the political theater and go back to governing.
As chairman of the Committee on Military, Veterans & Homeland Security, it is my honor to support the brave men and women who serve and protect us. One way we are doing that is by opening an investigation into complaints of poor-quality food being provided to Michigan troops while deployed to our nation’s capital. A resolution was recently introduced in the committee that would provide a retroactive food allowance to members who experienced these conditions, and I am proud to say we brought it to a vote immediately, where it passed.
The Michigan House today unanimously approved a plan by Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, to subject Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, future governors, and the Legislature to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Rep. LaFave says he’s concerned that he is still hearing from constituents about issues with Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance system, while the Governor is vetoing money for the UIA trust fund and providing a separation agreement for the former UIA director.