Rep. Angela Rigas spoke out today in objection to the Michigan state budget, which was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this week.
“With the stroke of her pen Governor Whitmer has not only signed a new budget, she’s also signed every Michigan household up to pay for pork projects that benefit her friends,” Rigas said. “There will need to be a tax hike to fund all the unnecessary pet projects and government waste she just agreed to. The economic impact of that on families across our state will be sudden and severe, but the true consequences will reach decades into our future. As a state with a shrinking population, we should be doing all we can to make Michigan a safer, cheaper and more inclusive place to live. But governor Whitmer and her Democrats in majority don’t seem to share this goal.”
Lansing Democrats authorized nearly $82 billion in spending for the next fiscal year – the largest sum in state history.
“Reading through this gigantic budget it’s clear that just about every special interest group or lobbyist around who could possibly want a favor got one in this bill,” Rigas said. “Drunken power has clearly led to a very loose grip on the purse strings for Democrats. This budget fails to properly fund school safety officers, police forces, local road repairs or logical economic incentives. Instead, it wipes out our entire surplus and will force a tax hike just to fund some of the most wasteful and unnecessary projects I have ever seen.”
Some of the most egregious examples of this waste include:
- $5 million to fund anti-firearms initiatives and oppose the rights of legal gun owners.
- $161,000 for a state government-funded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion summit.
- $2 million to prosecute Michiganders over new LGBTQ violations that were written into law; essentially creating a pronoun police that will prosecute you if you misgender someone.
- $7 million to promote changing farming practices to fit an extreme and costly climate change agenda.
- $20 million for energy efficiency audits in schools – essentially wasting money to find out if schools are wasting money.
- $20 million to fund high-speed rail grants and other “moonshot” projects that will likely go nowhere at all.
- $40 million for an unnecessary new city government campus for Lansing.
- $1.5 million to fund a pilot program that disarms police officers in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland, sending them into communities with the most violent and dangerous crimes.
- $2 million for the governor’s partisan population commission, which is expected to recommend tax hikes and give political cover to Democrats to pass them.
- $100,000 to keep a poet laureate on the state payroll.
- $2.25 million to upgrade security for the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General and Supreme Court Justices. Taxpayers are now going to subsidize bodyguards for elected officials who choose to live in dangerous places, like Dubai, for months on end or anytime they travel on vacation abroad.
“This is not a one-off or an outlier,” Rigas said. “This is the Whitmer playbook. Seize power. Silence critics. And spend as much money as she sees fit to accomplish both. As long as she remains in control, Michiganders’ problems, and their rent payments, will only increase.”
Rep. Rigas and her office can be reached at (517) 373-1403 or AngelaRigas@house.mi.gov.
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