Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Alexander opposes budget plan that favors pet projects over needs of the people
RELEASE|June 28, 2024

State Rep. Greg Alexander this week voted against advancing budget plans that neglect critical needs of residents throughout the region and the state.

The budget plan totals more than $80 billion and funds hundreds of millions of dollars in pork projects that were added at the last minute, including $17 million for zoos in Lansing and metro Detroit, $2.5 million for professional baseball stadiums, $5 million for a theater in Detroit, and $300,000 to cover public Wi-Fi in downtown Detroit.

“This bloated budget does not provide people in our communities with a good return on their investment,” said Alexander, of Carsonville. “These out-of-control spending measures were given to the public in the middle of the night while everyone was asleep and sent to the governor by both the House and Senate before people were awake.

“When I talk with hardworking people and their families across our area, I’m not hearing about the need for better stadiums or zoos. We missed a chance to make a difference in key areas with this budget and that’s extremely disappointing.”

Alexander underscored the following issues with the plans:

  • No dedicated funding for local roads: There is no extra funding specifically set aside in the budget for local road agencies to repair crumbling roads. Alexander has consistently fought for ways to get money into the budget plan for local roads, including supporting an amendment when a budget plan passed the House last month that would have shifted millions of dollars away from an electric vehicle pilot program to local road funding for cities, villages and counties. The amendment was not incorporated into Democrat plans.
  • Continued gambles on electric vehicles: While no dedicated money was included for communities to repair roads from driveway to highway, the budget spends $25 million for electric vehicle charging stations that will be owned by the government and another $3 million for e-bike subsidies. Alexander said the money could have been used for other more pressing needs given the inconsistent demand for electric vehicles.
  • School aid and safety: Last year’s budget included $328 million for school safety and mental health grants. The plan for the upcoming fiscal year reduces that total by over 90 percent and leaves just $26.5 million for schools to try and fund school resource officers, mental health services and other critical programs that protect kids. For the first time in more than a decade there is no increase in per-pupil funding for Michigan’s public schools, a move Alexander called unacceptable and a clear step in the wrong direction for families and students.
  • Limiting transparency in government: Reports emerged earlier this year that a Detroit businesswoman who was awarded a $20 million grant in last year’s state budget spent $4,500 in taxpayer funds on a coffeemaker and thousands more on first class flight tickets. Despite this embarrassing revelation, key accountability provisions for grant reviews, severance payments and other areas were ultimately not included in the budget plan. The plan also increases contingency spending limits, giving unelected bureaucrats free rein to spend money without input from legislators or the people they represent.

“An overwhelming majority of Michigan taxpayers who afford their hard-earned money to the state for spending expect it to go toward things like good roads and public safety so their families and neighborhoods are safe,” Alexander said. “But we’re moving farther away from that principle while somehow continuing to spend up taxpayer money. This is yet another budget that uses tax dollars more to further an agenda and help choice areas than meet the needs of people.”

The budget plans moved to the governor for consideration after being approved on party lines.

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