Bills do little for state’s middle-class families, environment, education and roads

LANSING, Mich., May 3, 2018 — Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Michigan Senate Democrats, who offered several amendments to fix the budget, today condemned the Republicans’ proposed state spending as a budget of missed opportunities.

“This budget doesn’t do enough to fix our roads, secure our schools, support our students, bolster our workforce or ensure safe drinking water,” Sen. Ananich said. “Republicans are hiding behind phrases like ‘prioritized spending’ as an excuse for why they won’t fund the things that matter to Michigan families. My colleagues and I have introduced solutions that serve the citizens, but have been denied. We know we can do better and we are ready and willing to do the work.”

Under the Snyder Administration and Republican-controlled legislature, Michiganders are paying more at the pump and on registrations — all while roads and bridges from Calumet to Detroit, and Alpena to Grand Rapids, crumble.

“When I talk with people in my district, the number one thing they complain about is roads,” Sen. Curtis Hertel (D–Lansing) said. “This is a problem we must not ignore. The people of Michigan are at risk of serious injury and even losing their lives, yet my colleagues across the aisle remain complacent. Concrete will continue to rain down as our roads descend into further disarray with the Republicans’ proposed budget. The money is there. I’ve asked for us to use it to fully fund our roads before, and I will keep asking for the sake of all Michiganders.”

The state has recently become a hotspot in the nation’s toxic PFAS crisis. In the past year, PFAS has been found in lakes, rivers and sources of drinking water across the state. Michigan is home to one-third of the nation’s known PFAS sites. This comes on the heels of the catastrophic Flint Water Crisis.

Michigan’s public education system also continues to be decimated by Republican policies. Cash-strapped districts are unable to fix failing infrastructure and filthy, rodent-infested classrooms. Even more schools have been left without the resources to provide the most basic learning supplies. Teachers are leaving the profession in droves as the Snyder Administration and Senate Republicans wage relentless attacks on their credibility and value.

“Water contamination and the Snyder administration’s approval of increased groundwater withdrawals by Nestlé have shown us that we still have a long way to go to truly safeguard our environment, and the Republican-driven budget passed today does nothing to move us toward the environmental protections our state needs,” Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) said. “Not only does our environment lose under this budget, so do our students. Republicans have continually raided the School Aid Fund in order to balance the budget on the backs of our kids. This is money that is intended to be spent on K-12 education, and that’s where it should stay.”

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