State Rep. Donni Steele, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday voted against a wasteful spending plan that drains the state’s multibillion-dollar surplus, creates new, unnecessary programs, and neglects the most essential needs in Michigan communities.
“This budget falls well short of the expectations that were set by those who elected us,” said Steele, of Orion Township. “Much like a car, our state needs the right fuel. In government, that means spending responsibly and sustainably year in and year out. Right now, our check engine light is on, and it won’t turn off until we have provided our state a path to long-term sustainable spending.”
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,” Steele said. “We should be utilizing this money to do the basic work of state government – fix the roads, and bridges.”
Steele pinpointed some 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 welfare that have yet to be 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 who are already struggling.
- Undermining of key transparency requirements, weakening reporting requirements on state employee remote work while our state buildings have remained virtually empty since 2020.
“We should focus our state funding on the priorities of our residents – such as fixing more local roads and bridges, or investing in public safety,” Steele said.
Despite Steele’s no vote, the budget passed both chambers today and now heads to the governor for further consideration.
State Rep. Donni Steele on Monday reiterated her opposition to the wasteful, unsustainable budget funded by an impending tax hike and crafted by the majority — a budget that fails to invest in the priorities of Michigan families.
“Cramming unnecessary pork projects into the state budget at the last minute is an insult to Michigan taxpayers and a waste of their dollars. We can and must do better for the people of Michigan,” said Steele, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee.