State Rep. Tom Kunse recently opposed advancing budget plans that bloat state government in record fashion while offering little to meet critical needs.
Kunse criticized the proposals, which commit nearly $82 billion for the upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, for a lack of support for rural communities compared to other parts of the state. He also expressed frustration in the lack of funding for local roads, bridges, water lines and other critical infrastructure. Overall, less than one-sixth of the state Department of Transportation budget will actually go toward fixing roads.
Kunse outlined examples of wasteful spending within the plans, including $50 million for an unlisted, undeclared project in the greater Detroit area and $500 million that can be authorized for corporate giveaways through the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve with little to no legislative oversight.
“There are very few practical solutions for hard-working taxpayers in this budget,” said Kunse, of Clare. “I speak with folks in my community every day who want their local roads fixed and their communities to be safe. This budget doesn’t do enough to address the needs of my constituents and my district, despite spending abundantly.”
In addition, the budget would create more than 1,000 new bureaucratic jobs – positions that will be difficult to eliminate in future years if funds aren’t available. Some of these positions will actively burden taxpayers – impacting small businesses via new inspectors and increased fees.
Annual adjusted gross appropriations have increased by over $30 billion from where they were a decade prior. Kunse said the spending is unsustainable.
“I cannot in good faith support a budget that grows government with an unsustainable spending plan while failing to address some of the biggest concerns of Michigan families,” Kunse said.
The budget, contained in House Bill 4437 and Senate Bill 173, now heads to the governor for consideration.
“Yesterday’s big winners are bipartisanship and the Lansing City Rescue Mission,” said Kunse. “In a time when it can seem like division dominates the headlines, it’s encouraging to see colleagues from different parties come together for a common goal: supporting our capital city. We’ve shown that we can find common ground, not only on the softball field, but also in our dedication to helping those less fortunate.”
State Rep. Tom Kunse, Republican vice chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee, today issued the following statement regarding potential conflicts of interest involving Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer: “The tangled web woven by Rep. Witwer is unethical and wrong. Legislators are elected to make decisions that help the people they serve – not to […]