Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Schmaltz helps secure downtown development and opioid recovery funding for Jackson
RELEASE|June 28, 2024

Schmaltz opposes overall budget, calling it a ‘disaster for our schools and kids’

State Rep. Kathy Schmaltz today said she was happy to secure funding to help boost downtown development in Jackson and additional dollars to help the community continue to fight the opioid epidemic.

Schmaltz, who successfully advocated to secure $4.5 million for the rehabilitation of Jackson’s Hayes Hotel and $3 million for the nonprofit Andy’s Place in the new state budget, said she ultimately had to oppose the overall budget, which cuts funding for school safety and puts kids at risk.

“I have always been a huge advocate for our community, and I was a strong voice in support of funding Andy’s Place and the Hayes Hotel,” said Schmaltz, R-Jackson. “The Hayes Hotel project has been in the works for 20 years, and it’s going to be a huge boost to downtown Jackson when it’s finally complete. I’m going to keep a close eye on the project to make sure this funding is used responsibly, and the development gets done.

“Unfortunately, I could not support the state’s final $82.5 billion budget. It hurts our kids, teachers, families, seniors and small businesses.”

Schmaltz, R-Jackson, said the new state budget drastically reduces school safety funding while relying on a tax increase that has everyone handing over more of their hard-earned money to the state. It also raids teachers’ retirement accounts to the tune of $670 million.

“Cutting funding for school safety and mental health is a heartbreaking mistake,” Schmaltz said. “Our kids deserve to feel safe and supported every day at school. What line item in this budget could possibly be more important than the well-being of our children?”

The new budget cuts school safety and mental health grant funding by more than $300 million, leaving just $26.5 million to help schools fund resource officers, mental health services, and other critical programs that protect kids.

Following the passage of the budget, the Michigan Education Association even issued a public statement calling for the Legislature to rethink the school safety cuts and pass supplemental funding to back student mental health and safety efforts.

“Besides cutting school safety funding by 92%, there is no funding allocated to fix our local roads. This is ridiculous,” Schmaltz said. “What they did include was money to hire more than 500 additional state employees, on top of the 1,000 new government positions they added last year.”

Other unnecessary items include a $7.5 million drone program, $3 million in incentives for people who purchase e-bikes, and a $25 million program to build state-owned EV charging stations.

The budget also 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, $18 million for various public and private sports facilities, $1.9 million for a pool in Saginaw, $300,000 to cover public Wi-Fi in downtown Detroit, and $425,000 for a private gun club where the legislator who helped secure the grant is a member.

“I care where your money is spent. Just like last year, the Democrats handed us 1,500 pages of budget items with only a few hours before the vote. This is unacceptable,” Schmaltz said. “I will always fight for state dollars for our district but more importantly I will always fight for what’s right for you, our kids, families, teachers, and small businesses.”

The new state budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 was pushed through the House early Thursday morning in two party-line votes.


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