Michigan House Republicans
Appropriations Vice Chair Lightner issues statement after committee approves subcommittee budget bills
RELEASE|May 3, 2023

State Rep. Sarah Lightner, the ranking Republican of the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after the committee voted to advance the final set of House budget bills for the 2023-24 state budget:

“As the budget process progresses this week, I’m disappointed by the actions taken by House Democrats to remove several reporting requirements that provide legislators with crucial information we need to make sound financial decisions on behalf of the people of Michigan. Removing reports that promote transparency and give taxpayers a glimpse into how their money is being spent takes us in the wrong direction as a state.

“I value transparency and accountability, which is why my Republican colleagues and I repeatedly offered amendments to restore each of the reports eliminated by the Democrat majority. Unfortunately, not one of our amendments was accepted.

“The Democrats voted down program reports and transparency practices within numerous budgets. For example, the budget for the Unemployment Insurance Agency has no checks and balances to ensure federal dollars provided to the UIA are spent properly. Guard rails have been eliminated, enabling the UIA director to spend taxpayer dollars ‘willy nilly’ without any oversight from the Legislature. Democrats voted down our amendment to hold the UIA director accountable to Michigan taxpayers by requiring them to come before the Appropriations committees before spending taxpayer dollars. 

“Our school kids are supposed to be a priority, but the Democrats turned down an amendment to continue funding the School Safety and Mental Health Commission.

“I’m hopeful we will see more bipartisan collaboration in the coming weeks as we move through the budget process and prepare for the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on May 19, when we get the latest revenue projections that will help us start to nail down the final budget plan.

“I’m optimistic that Chair Witwer will genuinely engage in negotiations on the overall budget because it’s the right thing to do for the sake of the constituents we serve. We have put people over politics before; now is the time to do it again.”


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