LANSING — State Representatives from the Macomb County delegation today voted against the budget bill for fiscal year 2018-19 that slashes funding for mental health programs and fails to provide adequate infrastructure funding or revenue sharing. In response, the five Democratic members issued the following statements:

“I can’t vote for a state budget that leaves Macomb County families driving on roads that wreck their tires and suspension and take a toll on their pocketbooks,” said state Rep. John Chirkun (D-Roseville). “Instead of fixing our roads, Republicans expect us to settle for patches that may work now, but will break down again later. This budget leaves Macomb County families struggling to get by. It underfunds mental health services, and the people who need that help — veterans, seniors, children, the people we work with — will suffer. A budget is a values statement. I can’t vote for a budget that values Macomb County families so little.”

“Yet again we have a state budget that fails to return to our communities the resources they need to get ahead,” said state Rep. Patrick Green (D-Warren). “The small increases any of our communities may see doesn’t make up for the cuts they’ve endured in the past, nor for the families who have suffered from diminished police and fire protection services. Instead of a budget to help our families get ahead, this administration has focused on enacting polices to deprive people of health care and slash wages. This budget doesn’t meet our needs nor reflect our priorities and that’s why I can’t vote for it.”

“For two years now, Michigan families have suffered unnecessarily because a faulty software program falsely accused them of fraud. While Democrats have been fighting to restore dignity and fiscal stability to those falsely accused, this budget reflects the state’s continued line of passing the buck based on technicalities and fails to do anything to make these families whole,” said state Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores). “People who were falsely accused of fraud lost homes, vehicles, and savings — nearly everything they had. Some went bankrupt. Through continued bipartisan efforts, we created a false fraud relief program to help those victims only to once again see leadership ignore it. It is clear that leadership’s priorities are far from the thousands of workers who are still hurting. The UIA victims were already let down once, and this budget fails them again. I voted no because innocent people deserve their lives back.”

"Strong families and strong communities go hand-in-hand, yet this budget does not make it any easier for communities to provide the public services and programs their residents demand,” said state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township). “Small revenue sharing increases don’t cover up the fact that the governor and legislative leadership have failed our communities, which are constantly playing catch-up but never even get close to having all the resources they need to protect residents, provide services for families and businesses, and attract new companies and good-paying jobs. I can’t vote for a budget that doesn’t help our families.”

“Macomb County is once again being shortchanged on mental health funding which will not only be devastating to people who rely on services, but our whole community,” said state Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights). “I am tired of Macomb County being a donor to the rest of the state. I am unwilling to accept crumbs. We are amidst an opioid crisis in Macomb County. It doesn’t make sense to cut funding for services that help our family members, friends, and neighbors get back on their feet and get back to work. This budget also fails to fund necessary road repairs.  It’s been eight years of bad government, broken promises and broken axles. We demand our problems are fixed and Macomb families get the good government they deserve.”