State Rep. John Roth on Wednesday voted against the Democrats’ wasteful spending plan, which drains the state’s multibillion-dollar surplus, creates new, unnecessary programs, and neglects the most essential needs in Michigan communities.
“This bloated budget falls well short of the expectations that were set by those who elected us,” said Roth, of Interlochen. “Further, the budget was crafted behind closed doors. I care too much for Michigan residents and those in our community to spend $81.7 billion of their hard-earned tax dollars without being given ample time to properly review the details.”
Michigan families and residents from Northern Michigan to Detroit continue to struggle with the highest cost-of-living increases seen in decades, on top of rampant inflation.
“A decade of fiscal responsibility under Republican leadership led to a massive state surplus,” Roth said. “We should be returning this hard-earned money back into Michiganders pockets.”
Roth pinpointed 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 that have not been identified.
- Subsidies for wind, solar, and other unnecessary energy projects, with more than $100 million for various energy programs – while still not providing reliable, affordable energy.
- 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.
- Spending over $1 million for splash pads in Novi and Ann Arbor, along with a $1 million cricket field in Troy.
- Major lack of funding for local roads and bridges.
“We must prioritize our state funding on the needs of our residents,” Roth said. “I cannot in good faith vote for a budget that ignores the priorities of Michiganders while decreasing government transparency.”
Despite Roth’s no vote, the budget passed both chambers today and now heads to the governor for further consideration.
“House Democrats have officially killed the lights on Northern Michigan families,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “This plan makes us more reliant on energy sources that have already proven completely unreliable. My district came out hard against these bills, and Democrats fully ignored them. They chose to give in to far-left environmental activists with no regard for rural Michigan.”
“Democrats can scream ‘local control’ from the rooftops; it doesn’t mean they do anything to support it. You can call stripping zoning power away from communities whatever you want, but ‘local control’ would be my last choice.”
“There have been far too many lapses in judgment made by my Democrat colleagues recently,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “Transparency legislation is essential to ensure the public is aware of conflicts of interest well before the media reports them.”