LANSING – Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee considered amendments to the proposed 2018-19 General Government state budget. State Rep. Pam Faris (D-Clio) offered two amendments in committee to address ongoing concerns with the attorney general’s office. The first would have restricted the attorney general from using OK2SAY resources for partisan political purposes. OK2SAY is designed to help Michiganders, especially teens, report tips on criminal activities and potential harm in schools. The amendment would have ensured proposed increases in funding for the OK2SAY program go toward school safety, not partisan politics.
The second amendment would have required the attorney general’s office to provide a detailed report of all open and pending cases, unfilled staff positions and in-state travel expenses. The amendment would have also required the Civil Service Commission to conduct an investigation into allegations that the attorney general used state resources to hire campaign staff as well as require the attorney general to reimburse Michigan taxpayers for any state resources the investigation determines were spent improperly on partisan political activities.
Republican committee members voted down both amendments. In response, Rep. Faris issued the following statement:
“Michiganders should be able to trust their elected officials, but when it comes to Attorney General Schuette, too many questions remain about where his priorities truly lie. It is our fiduciary responsibility as legislators to ensure that state tax dollars are spent wisely, yet many of us remain concerned about Schuette’s use of OK2SAY funds for political purposes and allegations of his improper hiring practices. I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues did not join with Democrats and Michiganders across the state to demand that government work for the people, not political interest groups.”