House Dems' Budget Priorities to Invest $1.5 Billion in Michigan families

Proposal cuts taxes, increases school funding, protects seniors, communities
Thursday, April 11, 2013

LANSING - Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), joined by House Appropriations Committee vice chairwoman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) and School Aid Subcommittee vice chairman Rep. Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids), unveiled the House Democrats’ budget priorities today, which would help Michigan’s families by providing $781.8 million in tax relief and increasing funding to our schools by more than half a billion dollars - or $320 per student.

“Our priorities are tax relief for middle-class families, restoring funding to education and increasing economic security for Michigan families. The governor’s agenda puts corporations before middle-class families,” Greimel said. “The governor’s experiment hasn’t worked, and unemployment in Michigan is still greater than the national rate. Our budget offers Michigan families the relief they need right now.”

The House Democratic budget proposal doesn’t just outline where taxpayer dollars could be better spent, but it also details how the tax cuts and funding proposals could be supported. The funding priorities include:

  • $781.8 million in middle-class tax relief, including the repeal of the senior tax, restoration of the $600 per-child deduction, fully restoring the Homestead Property Tax Credit and phasing back in the Earned Income Tax Credit;
  • Restoring $537 million to Michigan classrooms, including $65 million for early childhood education;
  • Making higher education more affordable with a $37.5 million investment;
  • Creating real jobs for our Michigan workers with an investment of $50 million for film incentives and brownfield redevelopment and historic preservation incentives at $20 million; and
  • Protecting our community values with a $62.4 million investment for public safety and local services, $4 million for women’s health and $16 million in veteran services.

“This budget would finally begin to restore funding to our schools and universities after years of crippling cuts,” Dillon said. “After seeing classrooms across Michigan suffer with cuts of nearly $2 billion over the past two years, investing an extra $320 per student will start to repair our strained school system and help our kids compete for 21st century jobs. By making college more affordable by investing $37.5 million, we will get our state on a better footing to start attracting good-paying jobs back to Michigan. We must invest in our future.”

To fund these expenditures, House Democrats propose to prioritize the budget and get rid of corporate welfare programs that don’t work.”?We can’t afford to spend taxpayer funds on tax breaks for big corporations that don’t create more jobs. Michigan families, not CEOs, are the key to reviving Michigan’s economy,” Greimel said.

Funding sources for the House Democratic budget include:

  • $115 million from reducing MEDC’s corporate welfare programs that have no track record of creating new jobs;
  • $206 million by accepting federal Medicaid expansion dollars;
  • $200 million in eliminating government waste through audit savings;
  • $300 million from cost-effective vendor contracts; and
  • $158 million from the budget stabilization fund

“Our budget priorities proposal invests in Michigan families first,” Tlaib said. “We got it right by fixing the potholes in education first and creating a safety net for our seniors and families. Our families deserve fair opportunities for a better life in Michigan. Our priorities also made sure that we have adequate fire and police services and made sure that our men and women who served us well get the best veteran services we can fund. The direction that Republicans have taken our state creates future liabilities that we won’t be able to afford, so it is critical that we all work together to get the state budget right and working for all of Michigan not just a few.”