Michigan House Republicans
Rep. BeGole: Budget plan ignores bipartisan priorities, wastes taxpayer dollars
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Brian BeGole

State Rep. Brian BeGole, of Antrim Township, today said advancing budget plans use taxpayer dollars to fund expensive new programs and cater to a radical agenda instead of focusing on areas that would give taxpayers the most return on their investment.

 “Instead of focusing in on improving local roads, supporting our teachers and spending tax dollars efficiently so people can keep more of what they earn, this House plan raids the state’s teacher pension system and creates approximately 400 new positions within state government,” BeGole said. “We are growing government in an unsustainable way with plans like these that once again go beyond $80 billion for a state budget,” BeGole said. “When I talk with people throughout our area, they want their local roads fixed and want more checks and balances for state government spending. They aren’t listing electric vehicles for state employees as an issue that’s important to them. This budget shows an incredible disconnect between what people across Michigan are really facing and what Democrats think is targeted spending.”

Other components of the budget plan that BeGole does not support include:

  • Funding discrepancies for schools: Discrepancies in the School Aid budget disadvantage cyber school students, who receive lower per-pupil funding rates than those in traditional public schools. Cyber schools are crucial for students with unique needs, including those with mental health hurdles, physical limitations, and who have been victims of bullying. Additionally, students in nonpublic schools will be denied access to extracurricular and elective programs like FIRST robotics. BeGole said every student deserves an equal chance at a successful future and the budget plan does not reflect that.
  • Nonsensical regulation for disaster relief: The budget plans create a Climate Change Emergency Disaster Relief Fund that expects local communities to try and prove a severe storm was caused by climate change, putting burdensome restrictions in the way of needed resources. BeGole noted a tornado that damaged homes and buildings in the city of Perry last summer within the district he represents, and that he couldn’t support a plan that would force a community to spend time explaining the cause of a disaster in order to secure vital assistance that helps get people back on their feet.
  • Green energy spending and added fees: The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s budget plan devotes millions of dollars to green energy vehicles for the state and gambles on stalled demands for electric vehicles by using tax dollars to greatly expand charging station availability. Regardless of whether or not taxpayers own an electric vehicle, they’ll be footing the bill for this expansion. BeGole also noted the governor’s overall budget plan seeks to raise people’s taxes by $80 million with a 1,289% increase in waste disposal fees at a time when budgets across the state are tight.
  • A lack of emphasis on local infrastructure: The advancing transportation budget plan prioritizes radical, frivolous pet projects over everyday needs. Funding for electric bikes and electric vehicle infrastructure instead of fixing roads from driveway to highway that people use every day is a misuse of taxpayer dollars, BeGole said. An amendment BeGole supported that would have shifted millions of dollars away from an electric vehicle infrastructure pilot program to local road funding for cities, villages and counties was not incorporated into the approved measure. The budget plan does not distribute any extra funding to local road agencies for road repairs.
  • Wasteful spending for higher education: The budget plan does not include language that would eliminate funding for DEI positions and programs. BeGole said taxpayer dollars should be going to supporting students as they prepare for their futures and learn skills to enter the workforce.

“Even with all of the funding Democrats have managed to find through raising people’s income taxes and hitting them with extra fees, they’re bloating government with new bureaucrats, increased regulation and more handouts,” BeGole said. “We need commonsense solutions that make our state a better place to live and work. This budget is a missed opportunity.”

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