State Rep. Sarah Lightner, the ranking Republican of the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after the committee voted to advance the final set of House budget bills for the 2023-24 state budget:
“As the budget process progresses this week, I’m disappointed by the actions taken by House Democrats to remove several reporting requirements that provide legislators with crucial information we need to make sound financial decisions on behalf of the people of Michigan. Removing reports that promote transparency and give taxpayers a glimpse into how their money is being spent takes us in the wrong direction as a state.
“I value transparency and accountability, which is why my Republican colleagues and I repeatedly offered amendments to restore each of the reports eliminated by the Democrat majority. Unfortunately, not one of our amendments was accepted.
“The Democrats voted down program reports and transparency practices within numerous budgets. For example, the budget for the Unemployment Insurance Agency has no checks and balances to ensure federal dollars provided to the UIA are spent properly. Guard rails have been eliminated, enabling the UIA director to spend taxpayer dollars ‘willy nilly’ without any oversight from the Legislature. Democrats voted down our amendment to hold the UIA director accountable to Michigan taxpayers by requiring them to come before the Appropriations committees before spending taxpayer dollars.
“Our school kids are supposed to be a priority, but the Democrats turned down an amendment to continue funding the School Safety and Mental Health Commission.
“I’m hopeful we will see more bipartisan collaboration in the coming weeks as we move through the budget process and prepare for the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on May 19, when we get the latest revenue projections that will help us start to nail down the final budget plan.
“I’m optimistic that Chair Witwer will genuinely engage in negotiations on the overall budget because it’s the right thing to do for the sake of the constituents we serve. We have put people over politics before; now is the time to do it again.”
State Rep. Sarah Lightner, R-Springport, will hold office hours next month in Spring Arbor Township and Albion. Local office hours are an opportunity for residents to meet face-to-face with Lightner to share their thoughts, questions, and concerns. The meetings are open to the public, and no appointment is necessary to attend. Lightner will be available […]
State Rep. Sarah Lightner today introduced a plan to ensure Michigan youth who end up in the juvenile justice system have access to proper legal representation, even when they cannot afford it. Lightner, who served on the Michigan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform, said the measures she introduced today are part of a 20-bill, […]
“All of the evidence points to future state revenue falling, but the Democrat majority is spending money like they have it to burn. The budget proposals they have brought forward so far are simply unsustainable, and the projections we received today confirm that.
State Rep. Sarah Lightner, the ranking Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after budget votes in the House: “After years of smart financial planning, our state went into 2023 with a historic budget surplus. Heading into the budget process, I was optimistic about the opportunity to address many of […]
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