LANSING – House Democrats held press conferences today demanding that a lavish $134 million expense on new offices for Michigan senators be stripped from the budget.  

“Democrats oppose the $134 million in posh new offices for Senators while our schools struggle, deficits continue, and our middle class continues to be squeezed,” said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills). “We demand that Republican leadership in the House and Senate remove this expenditure immediately. They should be fighting for the people of Michigan, not for lavish offices for legislators.”

House and Senate Republicans continue to justify the move for Michigan’s 38 senators as necessary on the grounds that the current facility is dated, 50 yards further away and that each Senator could get a nice view of the state Capitol at the new location. But Democrats contend that there can be no justification for the expense, which amounts to $3.5 million per senator.

“This deal borders on the absurd. For the same price, we could buy each Senator a lavish mansion,” said State Rep. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield). “Not even a single dime should go toward pricey new offices for Senators. Instead that money should go into our classrooms or to help build a stronger middle class.”

The original cost for the Senate office move was estimated to be $50 million, but that was revised upward to $70 million and is now pegged at $134 million.

The state budget heads to floor on Tuesday and could be voted on this week.