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Rep. Bollin advocates for broad, bipartisan priorities in House budget
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Ann Bollin

Vice chair of general government budget says more work needs to be done

State Rep. Ann Bollin today said more work needs to be done on the state budget to make sure it reflects the needs of all Michigan families.

Bollin, who serves as the minority vice chair of the General Government budget subcommittee, challenged legislators on both sides of the aisle to work together to craft a smarter, bipartisan budget that’s focused on accountability, transparency, and properly and deliberately directing monies into essential government services.

On Wednesday, budget proposals for each of the state departments were approved by the House along partisan lines.

“Our aim should be to craft a budget that serves the best interests of all Michiganders, both now and in the future, and this budget just doesn’t meet that standard,” Bollin said during a speech before the vote. “We have unique opportunity to lead together – to put more dollars in taxpayers’ pockets by reversing the income tax hike, fix our byways and driveways and not just the highways, properly fund our elections, and hold ourselves and the state bureaucracy accountable.”

Bollin praised the decision to forgo some of the governor’s most extravagant spending in the House budget, including the EV rebate and the special childcare benefit for state employees.

“I applaud any action that demonstrates a commitment to the taxpayers, not the bureaucracy, by allocating tax dollars wisely and equitably, without preferential treatment,” Bollin said.

Despite these positive aspects, Bollin said the budget still has several concerns that warrant attention.

The budget makes state government less transparent by removing reporting requirements, including eliminating metric reporting obligations and disclosure requirements for when high-ranking employees receive loaded severance packages.

By increasing contingency spending limits, the budget proposal gives unelected bureaucrats the opportunity to spend more money without input from legislators or the people they represent.

“Transparency and accountability must remain paramount,” Bollin said. “The increase in contingency spending limits raises valid concerns about oversight, fortitude, and fiscal responsibility, as does the lack of detailed reporting on ongoing work projects.”

Bollin noted that the work projects in the general government budget alone amount to more than $928 million – enough to reverse the income tax increase. The contingency dollars total $1.3 billion and could go a long way in meeting Michigan’s infrastructure needs.

In the House’s school aid budget, hundreds of millions of dollars are shifted away from the teachers’ retirement system to fund other parts of the budget – a proposal Bollin opposes.

“Redirecting resources meant to safeguard the retirement security of our valued teachers toward other priorities is a mistake,” Bollin said. “Such a shift undermines the trust and support essential for maintaining the well-being of our educators and the integrity of our education system.”

As the budget process moves forward, Bollin continues to advocate for increased transparency and accountability throughout the state budget, especially when it comes to taxpayer dollars spent on economic development. She also continues advocating to pay down the state’s outstanding debt and put away money into the state’s “rainy day” fund.

“We can’t continue to neglect our duty to plan for Michigan’s future and ensure long-term financial stability,” Bollin said. 

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