Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Beeler: Democrat budget fails taxpayers in St. Clair, Sanilac counties
RELEASE|May 14, 2024
Contact: Andrew Beeler

State Rep. Andrew Beeler last week voted against House Democrats’ $80.9 billion budget, which fails to adequately serve the people of St. Clair and Sanilac counties that Beeler represents.

Beeler pointed out that the budget is funded off Democrats’ income tax hike on every taxpayer and small business, which took effect this past January. He said Democrats’ wasteful budget fails to fund the essential services people deserve.

“Michigan’s budget should reflect the priorities of the people of our state, who rightfully expect efficient, essential services for the taxes they pay,” said Beeler, R-Port Huron. “But while Michiganders are paying bigger tax bills, they’re not getting better results. Even though it’s built on an unfair, illegal income tax hike, House Democrats’ massive budget spends more on e-bikes and an implicit bias study than on the additional investments needed to fix our local roads. Taxpayers pay what they owe. The state needs to live up to its end of the bargain.”

House Democrats’ budget does not distribute any extra funding to local road agencies for crumbling local roads, refusing to spend additional funds on local roads and blocking a Republican amendment to add $400 million to fix local roads. However, the transportation budget spends nearly $3 million to incentivize people to buy e-bikes, $5 million to run a pilot program for tracking and taxing vehicle mileage, $15 million on drone infrastructure, and millions on other wasteful projects.

House Democrats’ school budget treats students unfairly by widening the funding gap between cyber charter school students and other public school students. Last year, Democrats’ budget gave cyber charters less funding per pupil than other schools, and they increased the disparity this year, blocking a Republican amendment to restore fair funding. Democrats also rejected a Republican amendment to dedicate funding specifically for school safety efforts.

Beeler also noted that Democrats are likely to add even more wasteful spending before passing the final budget.

“Even more concerning is what’s still to come,” Beeler said. “Democrats have an irresponsible track record of shoving in billions of dollars on mystery pork projects before passing the final budget. I supported amendments to provide more oversight and accountability over these projects, but Democrats rejected our proposals and denied transparency to Michigan taxpayers.”

In last year’s budget, Democrats rammed through billions of dollars in pork projects at the last minute and eliminated any effective transparency requirements. This year’s budget proposal strips away even more transparency. Meanwhile, grant recipients have misused state earmarks, including one prominent Whitmer supporter who created a new business and then used a $20 million grant to pay for first-class plane tickets and a $4,500 coffee maker.

Despite this concerning use of taxpayer dollars, Democrats blocked Republican amendments to increase transparency surrounding budget projects. Republicans attempted to require disclosure of the true sponsor who proposes any earmark, prevent grants from going to businesses that haven’t operated in Michigan for at least two years, force grantees to submit a spending plan before receiving funds, reinstate the requirement for quarterly reports detailing the status and spending of each grant, conduct an annual audit on grant funds, and pause spending and refer for investigation any grant through the Michigan Strategic Fund that inappropriately uses funds.

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