State Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Adams Township) voted in opposition to the state budget proposal that was brought forth by House Democrats.
The representative criticized the plan’s out-of-control measures that churn through taxpayer dollars while requiring little-to-no transparency and accountability.
“Legislators are sent to Lansing to be a good steward of the people’s tax dollars – money they worked hard to earn – but this plan is focused on the wrong priorities, and spends those dollars inefficiently and irresponsibly,” Fink said. “Carelessly funneling public funds to further bloat state departments and bankroll pet projects is the last thing Michigan needs right now as families continue to struggle at the hands of inflation and young Michiganians continue to leave the state in droves.”
Some of the tone-deaf spending measures in the plan include: a new state archaeologist office, $10 million toward new electric vehicles for state employees and $5 million for a program that will incentivize purchasing e-bikes.
In addition to irresponsible spending, Fink said the budget is seriously lacking in transparency and accountability requirements.
By increasing contingency spending limits, the plan gives unelected bureaucrats a nearly blank check to spend money without input from legislators and the people they represent. The plan also strips away important safeguards that allow legislators to act if state department heads spend irresponsibly – allowing unelected bureaucrats to spend large amounts of the people’s money without any oversight or accountability.
The plan also removes an essential reporting requirement that forces state departments to publicly post severance payouts that exceed six weeks of wages. Such payouts earned scrutiny during the state’s COVID-19 response as various department heads within Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration were dismissed with sizable severance packages.
Fink continues to be committed to government and legislative transparency. Last term, he introduced a plan to improve ethical standards for government officials, and is supporting another plan this term to raise Michigan’s government transparency laws up to the standards of other states.
Rep. Fink has penned a letter to House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) about specific public safety funding he believes should be included in the state’s spending plan this year. Rep. Fink has penned a letter to House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) about specific public safety funding he believes should be included in the state’s spending plan this year.
As a legislator in a border state, I understand the importance of patrolling our border and closely monitoring what is allowed to cross it. It is imperative that we work to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and the law and order of our country.