State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) offered an amendment to the proposed House omnibus budget today that would impose a cap on compensation and benefits for all state department directors and appointees at no higher than the governor’s salary.
“In a time where we are asking for everyone, from local governments to people that perform vital public services, to do more with less, we cannot have state department directors and appointees being paid exorbitant salaries, ” said Yanez. “Without this language, any cuts to other areas of the budget just seem hypocritical.”
House Democrats offered a total of 13 amendments, including Rep. Yanez’s. The proposed changes included increasing the funding allotment for the Department of Civil Rights to the level of the governor’s recommendation, and reversing the cuts of film incentives to bolster a growing industry in Michigan. Other failed amendments would have expanded the Healthy Kids Dental Program and accepted federal funding for Medicaid expansion, two initiatives the governor supports, and increased funding for infant mortality prevention. Democrats also tried to protect public safety by restoring funding for the Michigan State Police trooper school and to provide for veterans in need by allocating funding for veterans’ mental health and substance abuse treatment and cracking down on abuse and neglect in veterans homes.
“This budget is seriously flawed, and my colleagues and I offered everything we could to better align the priorities set forth in this budget with that of actual Michiganders,” continued Yanez. “Our seniors, veterans and kids are being asked to sacrifice, and the ability to offer vital services to our citizens will continue to diminish with this proposed budget.”
Despite the Republican rhetoric to act in a bipartisan manner this term, all Democratic amendments failed without a vote.