State Rep. Pauline Wendzel and Rob Cleveland of the Cornerstone Alliance testify in support of Rep. Wendzel’s Michigan Competitiveness package.
The Legislature is working at a breakneck pace to craft a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. For the past four years, we have worked together in a bipartisan manner to create a balanced budget that reflects our state’s values and puts the people of Michigan first. As we rush towards completing the budget, my concern is that the majority party, with a trifecta and no need to work with Republicans, will spend our $7 billion surplus on programs that benefit the government rather than the hardworking people of Michigan.
To earn my vote, the new budget will have to include the following at a minimum:
Broadband Expansion: Michigan is currently evaluating ROBIN applications to help expand access to broadband in unserved and underserved areas of the state. During an earlier Energy Committee meeting, we heard from the state agency that is handling the applications. In committee, they said that they had received significantly more applications and projects than they had funds to support. After living through the pandemic where kids had to do schoolwork in fast food restaurant parking lots, it’s clear that internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. We should take ROBIN funding and Federal BEAD funding into account, then Lansing should finish the job and ensure everybody has access to affordable, quality, high-speed internet. If we’re going to do a job, let’s get it done right.
Local Roads: The governor has had no trouble going around the Legislature to fix truck routes, swiping the credit card and saddling our children and grandchildren with debt. Unfortunately, the roads Michiganders drive to go to work, go shopping, or take their kids to school continue to crumble. With Democrat’s push to abandon gas powered vehicles, local road funding will only get worse. In this budget, I’d like to see Michigan use our historic surplus to keep a promise made back in 2018 – to fix our local roads and bridges.
Inflation Relief: Democrats in the Legislature and the governor already failed once to deliver meaningful, long-term tax relief to every Michigander, but now they have a second chance. Every resident of our community is struggling with the rising cost of daily life, so to me, it’s commonsense everybody be provided some level of relief. I’d like to see the Republican plan to provide a $500/per child tax credit, a permanent income tax reduction, and an increase in the tax exemption for all senior citizens, regardless of how they earned their money, included in the budget.
The House and Senate will soon pass their budgets before creating a conference committee where the real budget will be determined. I’m hopeful to see a spark of bipartisanship as these discussions happen, but I’m not holding my breath. As always, if you have any thoughts, comments, concerns, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-1799 or at [email protected].
Throughout my time in the legislature, I’ve been proud to champion commonsense criminal justice reforms that help individuals who have made a mistake and paid their debt to society re-enter the workforce and reduce recidivism rates. I’ve spoken with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and victim rights groups which have tremendously helped in guiding my decisions […]
The most important job of a state representative is to be the voice of their communities in Lansing. Throughout my tenure, I’m beyond proud the best bills I’ve had signed into law have come directly from Southwest Michigan residents. In my first term, I worked with local brewers to cut red tape and help them grow their […]
Last week, I led Michigan’s newly formed bipartisan, bicameral nuclear caucus in addressing a letter to Governor Whitmer offering her our support as Michigan seeks to become the first state in American history to successfully re-power a non-operational nuclear power plant. At full capacity, Palisades provided over 800-megawatts of carbon free, baseload electricity that powered […]
LANSING, MI – State Rep. Pauline Wendzel announced she has been appointed to a new House Energy Reliability, Resilience, and Accountability Task Force (ERRA) by Speaker Joe Tate. Rep. Wendzel is one of just two Republicans on the nine-member committee. The purpose of this task force is to examine the issues related to power outages […]
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