Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Ken Borton: Misguided budget plan rings hollow in Northern Michigan
RELEASE|June 29, 2023
Contact: Ken Borton

State Rep. Ken Borton, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday voted against the Democrats’ wasteful spending plan, which drains the state’s historic multibillion-dollar surplus, creates new, unnecessary programs, and neglects the most essential needs in Michigan communities.

“This budget falls short of the expectations that were set by those who elected us,” said Borton, of Gaylord. “It lacks transparency, neglects our infrastructure, and fails to value long-term sustainability.

“Further, it opens the door to new tax increases. Michiganders deserve to know how the state is spending their hard-earned tax dollars, but House Democrats are using the budget process to strip important transparency measures and hide from accountability. This ongoing attempt to work under a cloak is a clear attempt to leave Michiganders in the dark, and I will not support that. My colleagues and I have repeatedly raised concerns about taking transparency and accountability measures out of the budget. Lansing Democrats ignored our concerns, and rejected every single amendment offered in order to restore transparency.”

 Michigan families and residents from southern Michigan all the way to the U.P. continue to struggle with the highest cost-of-living increases seen in decades, on top of rampant inflation.

“Years of fiscal responsibility under Republican leadership led to a massive state surplus,” Borton said. “We should be utilizing this money to help Michiganders get back on their feet.”

Borton pinpointed a few specific concerns in the budget, including:

  • Funding for more than 1,000 new bureaucrats — positions that will be difficult to eliminate in future years if funds aren’t available.
  • Authorization of $500 million for future spending into the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve, which pays money for corporate projects.
  • Subsidies for wind, solar, and other unnecessary energy projects, with more than $100 million for various energy programs.
  • Spending $125 million on “clean” buses, which are unreliable for expansive rural school districts.
  • Expansion of the school meal program, a previously needs-based program that will instead provide free food even for kids from the wealthiest families when fully phased in.
  • Increase of burdensome groundwater fees on Michigan small businesses.
  • Undermining of key transparency requirements, weakening reporting requirements on state employee remote work.

 “We should focus our state funding on the priorities of our residents – such as fixing more local roads, or investing in school safety,” Borton said.

Despite Borton’s no vote, the budget passed both chambers today and now heads to the governor for further consideration.

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