Huizenga says budget should focus more on solving problems, less on more government

Huizenga says budget should focus more on solving problems, less on more government

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mark Huizenga this week opposed a K-12 budget plan that takes $670 million from teacher pensions and an overall state budget plan that focuses too much on growing government.

“The hardworking people of West Michigan need a state budget that puts a greater priority on solving the problems facing their families and communities than adding more government,” said Huizenga, R-Walker. “I see value in several parts of the K-12 education budget, but it regrettably takes $670 million from teacher retirement payments. Paying off this debt not only helps ensure our teachers get the retirement they were promised, but it would also reduce costs for schools — enabling them to put more money directly into the classroom.

“I cannot in good faith support a K-12 education budget that robs teachers’ pensions.”

Huizenga said he sponsored nearly a dozen amendments to improve this budget plan and increase support for students, skilled workers, veterans, law enforcement and parents — but none of them were adopted.

Among Huizenga’s 11 budget amendments were proposals to:

  • Revise counterproductive boilerplate language for public safety and police reform grants and use $15 million to provide additional support for police officers in areas that need help the most.
  • Add $15 million for Pine Rest outpatient psychiatric urgent care in Grand Rapids.
  • Divert funding from corporate handouts to fentanyl enforcement.
  • Use corporate giveaway funding for a new child care tax credit and to increase the Homestead Property Tax Credit.
  • Restore cut funding to veterans homes.
  • Increase law enforcement recruitment and training grants from $2 million to $10 million.

“This is just another step in the budget process,” Huizenga said. “As we work on the finalized state budget for next year, I will continue to fight for using taxpayer dollars in a responsible way to meet the needs of all Michigan residents.”


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