Representatives Tom Kuhn and Donni Steele are leading the charge on implementing enhanced transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the budgeting and appropriations process. Their goal is to shine a light on the way these bills are considered.
“The days of lawmakers getting billions of dollars of budget bills thrust onto our desks with mere minutes to review should be over,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “Our plan takes a good look into the way we do business and how we can make the appropriations process more transparent and accountable through advanced notice and documentation. We can do better with taxpayer dollars.”
HBs 5296 and 5297 would require that existing laws cannot be changed through an appropriations bill, keeping the focus on spending. Members also would be guaranteed access to any general appropriation bill at least 168 hours (one week) in advance during a regular session and 72 hours in advance during a special session.
The package would require that conference committee negotiations, where members of the House and Senate bring forward their chamber’s budget plan, are limited to the differences between bills. Budget items already agreed upon by both sides could not be altered during these meetings.
Those conference committees also could no longer add new items that weren’t in either chamber’s final version of the appropriations bill, preventing last minute horse trading for votes with taxpayer funds.
Finally, Senate and House appropriations committees would have to report general appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year within 90 days of the start of the legislative session, starting the budget process sooner.
“The way legislators currently do business is broken,” said Kuhn, R-Troy. “Each legislator should be given ample time to become deeply familiar with budget bills before voting. By setting specific rules, our bills will hold legislators accountable for their actions. We are creating clear rules and timelines to overhaul and improve the efficiency of the budgeting process.”
“The truth has been revealed about the grinch’s new green energy plan,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “The governor’s radical new policies push the implementation costs of unreliable green energy onto the consumer. The rate hike cripples families with even higher energy costs. Money that should’ve gone toward family dinners and children’s gifts is being redirected to compensate for past energy policies.”
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 […]
“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.”