LANSING – House Democrats said today that the fiscal year 2015-16 multi-department omnibus budget voted out of the full House Appropriations Committee today is incomplete and does not prioritize the needs of Michigan families.
“The bill does not even meet our constitutional obligation to give Michigan taxpayers a balanced budget, much less invest properly in our communities and families,” said Appropriations Committee member Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids). “We know for a fact that the budget fails to properly account for enrollment in Healthy Michigan, and relies on short-sighted budget shifts that will increase structural budget challenges going forward.”
House Democrats argue that in trying to fill budget holes created by tax credits for big corporations and failing to make long-term fixes to Medicaid financing, the proposed budget disinvests in critical priorities such as public safety and economic security for families. Democrats have argued recently that corporations should come back to the table and renegotiate these tax credits instead of slashing the budget and forcing families and communities to absorb more cuts. House Democrats point to particular budget problems, like the more than $5 million revenue sharing cut to Detroit.
“Cutting revenue sharing to Detroit endangers the city’s recovery and undoes the good bipartisan work that was done to help Detroit through bankruptcy and get the city back on solid financial ground,” said Rep. Fred Durhal III (D-Detroit). “The city of Detroit is already moving forward in its plan of adjustment, and cuts to revenue sharing at this point will be absolutely detrimental to continuing the progress we have made. We need to keep our commitment to the residents of Detroit and ensure that police and fire protection get prioritized, not cut.”
The House budget also reduces funding to programs targeting our most vulnerable population including State Disability Assistance, Centers for Independent Living and homeless programs.
“We need a budget that funds our communities so that they are safe and livable, and that helps hardworking families get ahead,” said Democratic Floor Leader and Appropriations Committee member Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “We aren’t there yet, but hopefully as the process continues, we can enact a bipartisan budget that Michigan families can be proud of.”