Majority pushes extremist agenda at expense of Michiganders’ needs

LANSING, Mich., May 4, 2022 — In the face of the passage today of additional fiscal 2023 budgets that advance radical, extreme politics, members of the House Democratic Caucus continued to stand up for the needs and priorities of Michigan’s children, workers and communities. Republicans refused to accept amendments to House Bill 5783, the “general government” budget that funds various smaller state departments, to protect reproductive freedoms. This comes one day after the passage of the Department of Health and Human Services budget containing a provision that prohibits any Medicaid spending at the expense of a radical anti-choice provision.

“These budgets reek of political posturing and point-scoring from top to bottom,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “We can pass budgets that work for the hardworking families in Michigan — we’ve done it before as a bipartisan body and with the same divided government. It’s the job we were all sent here to do. But the Republican majority is more interested in cramming these bills with divisive, incendiary language intended to drum up the extremists in their base and those hellbent on stoking a culture war in this country than they are in working to support Michigan’s communities.”

HB 5795, the budget for Michigan’s K-12 schools, contains language that would revoke an entire school district’s annual funding if it allows students to play on the sports team that matches their gender identity. It also falls short of the governor’s recommended per-pupil funding amount and fails to contain promised payments for Detroit schools as part of a literacy lawsuit.

“It would be bad enough if we voted on a budget that simply doesn’t fund our schools at a rate that will help our students reach their full potential,” said state Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park), Democratic vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Department of Education and a former teacher. “But to insert culture war language that will ostracize students and punish schools for no other reason than to appease a radical fringe is simply unconscionable.”