State Rep. Donni Steele, who serves as minority vice chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, continued her efforts to fix crumbling local infrastructure in Michigan communities.
At last Wednesday’s meeting of the House Appropriations Committee crafting the annual state budget, Steele, R-Orion Township, spearheaded an amendment to substantially increase funding for local road repairs. House Democrats rejected Steele’s amendment, along with other Republican-led amendments to ensure transparency, oversight, and fiscal responsibility while repairing Michigan’s roads and bridges.
“Our state budget must repair our roads and bridges, especially our local infrastructure where the need is greatest,” Steele said. “That’s why I put forward a plan to increase funding for local roads, but the Democrats rejected my common-sense plan — prioritizing flashy new programs and projects, such as e-bike subsidies and pedestrian streetscapes, instead of fixing our city streets and local lanes. I can’t support a budget that pours the people’s dollars into unnecessary pet projects while leaving our local roads and bridges in disrepair.”
Steele’s amendment would have redirected one-time spending to local infrastructure. The amendment failed due to unanimous opposition from the Democratic majority on the Appropriations Committee.
Steele also supported amendments to restore transparent reporting requirements that Democrats had removed from the budget. Steele said she was disappointed Democrats blocked amendments to require the department to report critical information, such as bond debt, legacy costs for retirement benefits, incentive and disincentive programs to encourage job completion, and a Mackinac Bridge viability study. Democrats also rejected an amendment to ensure the state notifies municipalities about their cost-share obligations for road projects in a timely manner.
Steele criticized the lack of transparency measures in all aspects of the budget. Republican lawmakers, state and local road officials, and others did not receive the budget proposal until hours before it was first taken up in subcommittee.
“By waiting until the eleventh hour to reveal their budget, House Democrats created a process that lacks transparency,” Steele said. “This last-minute notice also makes it impossible for legislators and outside experts to review the legislation and offer constructive input.”
“The timeline laid out by the governor was clear political manipulation of the election process,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “Voters in these communities deserved a fair and honest process. Instead, the governor found a new way to operate in the shadows. Potential candidates may have missed the filing opportunity while celebrating Thanksgiving with their families. This political gamesmanship continues to erode our democracy.”
“I’m proud I voted no on the Democrat’s lackluster transparency package. Michigan is tired of secret money influencing its politics. People deserve to know if their lawmaker takes a luxury trip paid for by a nonprofit. Under the plan, elected officials remain exempt from reporting travel and gifts paid for by nonprofit groups.”
State Rep. Donni Steele, R-Orion Township, will soon host a local office hour in Auburn Hills. The meeting will take place at the following time and location: Tuesday, December 5 No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend but would still like to share their thoughts with the representative […]
“I drive to Lansing swerving potholes and hearing from local residents tired of blackouts and failing schools,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “Those are all issues I’ve been trying to fix since I was elected, but the majority has blocked our plans at every turn. Adjourning nearly two months early instead of working through complex issues and oversight is a complete waste of state resources. We need to stay here and do the people’s work.”