LANSING — This week, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) voted against the Michigan House of Representatives’ general omnibus and school omnibus budgets for fiscal year 2018-19. In response, Rep. Dianda issued the following statement on his no vote on both bills:

            “I could not vote for either of these budgets because they just don’t address the needs of the people I represent in the Western U.P. or any Michigan resident. This budget shortchanges our cities, villages and townships on revenue sharing dollars, and it fails to make local roads and infrastructure — like our sewer and water systems — a priority. The budget fails our students because it continues to fund cyber schools, which don’t have the same costs as traditional publics schools, as well as private non-public schools which is unconstitutional.

            “It is the Legislature’s duty to provide for our schools, our roads and our prisons. Yet we clearly are underfunding road repairs and maintenance, we are still underfunding our schools by nearly $2,000 per student, and there is talk of closing yet another prison, which causes folks across the U.P. concern because prison jobs are good jobs. I’ll vote in favor of budget bills when the people of Michigan are the priority again, and we start making policy for them instead of for wealthy CEOs and their mega-corporations.”