State Rep. Donni Steele, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed her concerns over the 2023 House budget approved today.
“My Republican colleagues and I have offered many ideas to bolster our state budget,” said Steele, of Orion Township. “These were largely struck down by Lansing Democrats, who chose to pave their own path and keep Republicans at arm’s length, despite saying they wanted to work with our side of the aisle. We should work together to ensure transparency, oversight, and fiscal responsibility while spending taxpayer dollars. Lansing Democrats, however, aim to grow government with a bloated and unsustainable spending plan that ignores some of the biggest concerns of Michigan families. Further, they are eliminating vital transparency and accountability measures.”
Steele criticized the lack of transparency measures in all aspects of the budget. Republican lawmakers, state and local officials, and the public did not receive specifics on many of the budget proposals until just hours before they were first taken up in subcommittees.
“House Democrats continue to work under a cloak, keeping both Republicans and the public out of the loop,” Steele said. “This alarming behavior makes it nearly impossible for legislators and experts alike to review the legislation and offer potentially vital input. We must be given sufficient time to review legislation in order to make educated decisions – especially when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.”
Steele had a few sticking points of particular concern, including:
- 4.8 million currently slated to hire unarmed first responders in Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties instead of going toward police across the state. Addition funding for police was turned down by the Democrat majority. While these counties are receiving unarmed first responders, Lansing Democrats included $1.7 million for additional armed security for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state.
- The lack of additional funding for local roads. Rep. Steele had previously requested an additional $100 million for local roads, which was later struck down by the Democrat majority.
- The removal of penalties for exceeding the tuition cap. This would essentially force families to pay more for tuition at a time when families can ill afford to pay more. When Republicans attempted to add protections, the Democrat majority rejected them.
“This out-of-touch spending is a clear example of ‘rules for thee, but not for me,’” Steele said.
Despite Steele’s opposition, the budget passed the House, and now heads to the Senate 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.