LANSING, Mich., Oct. 19, 2021 — Today, the Michigan House of Representatives voted along party lines to pass a pair of bills that direct tax benefits to private schools in violation of the Michigan Constitution. House Bills 5404 and 5405 are a clear violation of Michigan’s Blaine Amendment, which has stood for more than 50 years despite multiple judicial and electoral challenges. In response, House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township) issued the following statement:

 

“After years of shortchanging our schools, I’m proud that we in the Legislature passed a bipartisan budget this year that funds public education at historic levels. So it is confounding that my Republican colleagues are now taking tax dollars out of the School Aid Fund and giving them to private organizations and their wealthy donors under the guise of helping schools and their students recover from the pandemic. Not only are these bills plainly unconstitutional, they serve a naked partisan agenda on behalf of the billionaire DeVoses to test Republican legislators’ allegiance to their radical privatization agenda.”