LANSING – Facing a deficit, the governor has proposed cuts to programs and services and recommended a budget that fails to address the source of the state’s shortfall, while punishing regular, working families for the problems created by rampant handouts to big corporations, the Michigan House Democrats said today. In addition, the governor wants to siphon $250.3 million from the School Aid Fund surplus. The Michigan House Democrats believe School Aid Fund money should only go to Michigan’s kids.
“The governor talks about belt tightening, but he’s going after the wrong belt,” House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said. “Michigan families and schoolchildren have already sacrificed enough in recent years through tax increases and school funding cuts. This deficit was caused by excessive sweetheart deals without job creation guarantees to big corporations, and that’s where the cuts should be made. We need to invest in our people and our communities, not in big corporations that are already profitable.”
Cuts recommended by the governor include:
- A total of $51 million to the Department of Community Health through the governor’s executive order and additional cuts in a legislative supplemental bill.
- A $23.5 million cut to the Department of Human Services through the executive order and supplemental bill.
- A $23.3 million cut to the Michigan State Police.
“Everyday people are paying more due to tax increases on them,” Rep. Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), a House Appropriations Committee member. “It’s unfair to go to moms and dads and demand that they pay even more. It’s time for big business to come to the table and pay their fair share.”
The governor also introduced a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year at a joint session of the House and Senate appropriation committees Wednesday. While House Democrats welcome some of the governor’s ideas, other parts of the budget continue the Republicans’ misplaced priorities that put corporate friends ahead of Michigan families. Unfortunately, the budget proposal also calls for adding $95 million to the state’s rainy day fund in fiscal year 2016 at the same time the governor proposes raiding the School Aid Fund and cutting programs and services in FY 2015.
“It’s good that the governor wants to invest more in education and our communities, and we call on our colleagues to support those parts of his budget proposal,” said House Democratic Floor Leader Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “Michigan’s hardworking families and seniors have seen their state taxes increase 32 percent in recent years because Republican legislators rewrote the tax code to favor big corporations. It’s time those funds returned to them in the forms of programs and services that benefit their children and their communities.”