House Democrats Offer Different Vision on Budget, Denied Constitutional Right

House leadership repeatedly denies Dems’ valid amendment requests
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LANSING — House Democrats offered a host of amendments to House GOP budgets this evening to repair Michigan’s roads, support public safety, restore cuts to important programs for Michigan’s seniors, provide a quality education for Michigan’s children and to protect our Great Lakes. Resorting to procedural moves that fly in the face of the Michigan Constitution, the House GOP pushed its budget through anyway.

 “I have just one question for Republican leaders of this chamber: What are you so afraid of?” House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) said. “We simply want to fix our roads, support our police and firefighters, and provide vital services for Michigan’s seniors. Instead, the GOP is pushing a plan that leaves federal dollars on the table to pay for a political gimmick down the road.”

Despite House Democrats providing the constitutionally required one-fifths support for a record roll call vote on their amendments, the House GOP railroaded its plan through.

“Not only is this budget unconscionable, the way it was passed is blatantly unconstitutional,” said state Rep. Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “We had an opportunity to set right the cuts made years ago and give schools across the state and at all levels the resources necessary to put our kids’ dreams in reach, and we weren’t allowed to do so. But this fight is far from over. We will continue fighting for the students and working families of Michigan throughout this budget process.”