House Republicans have wrong priorities for increased state revenues
LANSING - House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and state Representative Rashida H Tlaib (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said today the House Republicans and Gov. Rick Snyder should be using the increased revenues the state will take in this year to increase funding for schools, help Michigan’s middle-class families and help cash-strapped cities provide services such as police and fire protection. The additional revenue figures were announced today at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference held in Lansing.
“I think that it’s clear where these additional revenues should go: to tax relief for struggling middle-class families and to our schools that have been trying to educate our kids after having nearly $2 billion of their funding cut over the past two years,” said Greimel. “In order to turn our economy around, we need to reinvest in families and schools that have borne the brunt of Republican tax hikes and education cuts.”
Both the Senate and House Fiscal Agencies announced better-than-expected revenues for the state, with the House Fiscal Agency’s (HFA) estimates slightly lower than those of the Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA). The revenue estimating conference said today that the state can expect $482.6 million more combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue in FY 2013 and $219.3 million combined General Fund and School Aid Fund revenue in FY 2014 compared the January estimates.
“Schools are closing early this year and the Education Achievement Authority operating in Detroit is diverting state funds away from school districts because it can’t pay its bills, so I think it’s painfully clear that a portion of this money is desperately needed to save our students,” said Tlaib.
House Democrats’ priorities remain those that were outlined earlier this year: protecting seniors and veterans, giving real tax relief to struggling families and seniors hit hard with the senior retirement tax and increasing funding to severely underfunded schools. Republicans have so far this year turned down Democratic efforts to fund Meals on Wheels for seniors, increase funding to local communities to keep police officers on the streets and firefighters on the job, increase the per-pupil funding for students, increase funding for Great Start early childhood enrollment, protect veterans by funding substance abuse and mental health treatment and failed to strengthen protections against abuse and neglect at the state’s veterans homes. The state’s most vulnerable children also would suffer under the proposed budget which cuts hundreds of necessary workers who would protect children from abuse and neglect.
“Turning Michigan’s economy around depends on keeping our communities and families strong and properly educating our kids so they can be successful,” said Greimel. “This money came from Michigan taxpayers and we should return it to them in the form of sorely needed tax relief and funding for their kids’ schools.”
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I’m State Representative Tim Greimel, and I serve Michigan’s 29th House District.
As your State Representative, I am committed to working on behalf of Pontiac and Auburn Hills residents to clean up state government so that it works for us. If you need assistance regarding unemployment benefits, foreclosure assistance and or any other state issue, feel free to contact me. I am here to work for you and your family.
State Representative Tim Greimel
29th House District