LANSING — State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) said today that he voted against the state general government budget and the education budget because they fail the communities, residents and students of Michigan, and particularly of House District 110.
“This budget fails because it still doesn’t make our communities whole by restoring revenue sharing to levels that would truly allow them to adequately fund police, fire and other local services that residents and businesses rely on,” said Dianda. “Even with a slight increase in per-pupil funding, our schools will still struggle to offer students the latest technology and resources that they need to learn and compete for good jobs, and to get in to the best colleges and universities. All the while, our roads and infrastructure will continue to deteriorate while we wait for the so-called roads plan to reach targeted funding in 2021. This budget doesn’t even come close to adequately funding our needs.”
Roads and transportation infrastructure continue to decay under this budget. Studies have shown that by the time the Republican road funding plan passed in 2015 reaches targeted funding in 2021, half of our state-owned roads will have fallen into disrepair. Last year, Gov. Rick Snyder received a report on school funding that showed that the state was underfunding education by more than $1,000 per student. The $60 per-pupil increase, and $120 per pupil for the lowest-spending districts in this new budget, will fund few improvements in the classroom. Local governments will still struggle to fund necessary services because revenue sharing dollars from the state remain low.
“This budget doesn’t solve any of the problems that my U.P. residents face every day,” said Dianda. “Residents pay more to heat their homes and put gas in their cars and trucks. Yet the roads haven’t improved and won’t for some time. Republicans like to talk about how they’re spending less money on state government, but my residents are paying more in taxes and getting little in return. We need a budget that takes care of our citizens, but, once again, we didn’t get that this year.”