Rep. Donni Steele this week stood up for struggling Michigan families and hardworking taxpayers by voting against a plan to strip away protections ensuring taxpayer-funded food assistance is available only to people who truly need it.
“I firmly believe that such a decision would be detrimental to the very individuals and communities it aims to assist,” said Steele, of Orion Township. “First and foremost, the asset test serves as a critical safeguard against potential abuse and misuse of the food assistance program. Requiring applicants to meet specific criteria related to their assets ensures that those who are truly in need of assistance receive it, while preventing exploitation by those who may have substantial resources but are still seeking government aid.”
Eliminating the asset test would allow individuals with significant financial resources to potentially access benefits intended for the most vulnerable Michiganders. This not only undermines the principles of fairness and justice, but also diverts resources away from those who truly need them.
“By removing this test, we inadvertently discourage responsible behavior and financial prudence, creating a culture of dependency on government assistance rather than fostering individual empowerment and self-reliance,” Steele said. “We should be encouraging individuals to build a better future for themselves and their families through hard work and personal responsibility, not perpetuating a cycle of dependence.
“We must remember that every dollar allocated to a person who does not genuinely need assistance is a dollar that could have been invested in other crucial areas such as education, healthcare, or infrastructure. It is our duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent judiciously and efficiently, benefiting those who truly require assistance.”
Despite Steele’s no vote, Senate Bill 35 now advances 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.