Michigan House passes its 2019-2020 state budget plan

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The Michigan House of Representatives today approved its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.  Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, of Levering, voted in favor of the plan.

“This is the right plan to increase funding for our top priorities without raising taxes on hard-working Michigan families. Everyone at the state capitol has been talking about new taxes and massive new spending, but I know the people of this community could use a break. That is why we went through the budget line by line to find and eliminate costly programs that were not delivering results. We reformed broken systems to put an end to expensive shell games and made common-sense changes to simplify the state budget. We spent the time to do it right and build a real, responsible plan that will help the people of northern Michigan and build a stronger foundation for us all for years to come.”

The budget plan this year focused on increasing funding for several key priorities, including roads, schools and local community services. 

Highlights of the budget plan include the following:

·         A new plan to ensure every dollar paid in taxes at the pump actually goes to fix the roads instead of to other spending projects. This change alone will increase road funding by more than $800 million annually once fully phased in.

·         Almost a billion dollars this year in new funding for state and local road and bridge repair projects.

·         Additional funding for K-12 school districts, giving them the most state support in history. Lower-funded districts in rural and northern Michigan will see additional increases.

·         New funding for local governments, including cities, townships, villages, and counties in northern Michigan, to fund public safety and recreation programs.

·         Hundreds of millions of dollars in savings found by eliminating old state programs that were not working and identifying money from previous budgets left unused by state departments.

·         The House-passed budget does not include the governor’s proposed $2.5 billion tax hike. Schools and road repairs will see increases without tax hikes under this plan.

“Michigan families deserve a real plan that protects their household budgets,” said Chatfield. “And they deserve representatives who take their time to do it right and build a long-term plan that prioritizes funding for critical programs without resorting to a massive tax hike. The budget we passed today is that plan, and I am proud of this team for taking the time to do it right.”

The House and the Senate have now both passed their proposed budget plans. The two chambers will begin meeting with each other and Gov. Whitmer soon to negotiate a final version.

State Rep. Beau LaFave this week supported record funding for road repairs and schools without raising taxes for Michigan residents.

“Upper Peninsula families are some of the hardest-working people I know,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “They don’t want handouts, they just want a state government that respects their grind and sacrifices. The governor asked Michigan taxpayers for more money to fund her many wasteful government programs – instead, the House-approved budget plan delivers better value for Delta, Dickinson and Menominee families without asking for more of their hard-earned money. This is about making government more efficient, effective and accountable.”

LaFave, along with his House colleagues, approved several budget measures this week, advancing the plan to the Senate for further consideration.

LaFave offered an amendment to prohibit unwarranted aircraft usage in the Upper Peninsula by the Department of Natural Resources. LaFave’s amendment was adopted in the House-approved budget plan, placing an appropriations penalty on the department for flying airplanes below 1,000 feet during the months of October and November – unless in instances where it was conducting a search for a missing person.

“Flying over private property and buzzing hunters in the woods is in direct violation of search and seizure protections under the Fourth Amendment, and it should not be tolerated nor paid for by the taxpayers of Michigan,” LaFave said.

The House budget plan costs taxpayers about $1.3 billion less than the plan recommended by the governor.

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