Sen. Colbeck questions legislative priorities of recently passed FY 2017 state budget

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LANSING, Mich. — Last Wednesday, the Michigan Senate passed House Bill 5294, the general omnibus budget that would allocate $54.9 billion to various projects across our state within Fiscal Year 2017. This represents an increase of $1.3 billion over the budget that was passed by the Legislature last year.

State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, issued the following statement about the FY 2017 state budget:

“I have serious concerns with the priorities that are reflected in this recently passed budget. The budget seems to prioritize special interests, rather than our state taxpayers.

“Consider for example the $800,000 that was allocated to the Michigan International Speedway for traffic control. Meanwhile, the Direct Primary Care Services Medicaid Pilot that would have cost $800,000 to implement, but could save taxpayers almost $3.5 billion once fully implemented, was eliminated from the budget.

“And arguably the most important priority for Michigan this year was roads. However, the proposed life cycle test for pavement design, which could provide evidence for higher quality road maintenance solutions, was also dropped from the budget. If the approach used in the test was fully implemented, maintenance costs could be reduced from $4.5 billion to as little as $2.3 billion.

“In future budgets, we need to make sure taxpayers are our priority, not special interests.”