LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Thursday night during session, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill after it was approved by the Senate which was a more than $940 million supplemental spending plan.
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Without passing through a house committee for review, the bill went to a conference committee which was then approved and sent back to the floor for a vote. The supplemental budget as some called it, passed in the Senate 24-14 and 60-48 in the House with a few Republicans voting in favor and one Democrat voting against. In addition to the $946 million supplemental spending plan, $146.3 million would be allocated to close out the 2021-22 fiscal year for a total of roughly $1.1 billion according to the Detroit News.
The budget was praised by the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) as one that would help meet the needs of those struggling to find affordable housing. Some Republicans criticized the bill which grew from the initial $148 million proposal to more than $1 billion without committee hearings to analyze the spending package.
“Democrats are starting their new majority by shoving an enormous, secret spending bill down the throats of the people of Michigan. They gave the public and their elected representatives virtually no time to read the ridiculously over-stuffed plan before the vote,” House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Township) said in a statement. “Just two days before, Democrats discarded the regular committee process, saying this bill simply paid a few necessary expenses to complete last year’s budget. Since then, this legislation has ballooned to $1.1 billion. Instead of using one-time federal funding, the Democrats placed more of the burden directly on Michigan taxpayers. I cannot support a billion-dollar proposal to burn the people’s money on a Democrat wish list that doesn’t help Michiganders.”
Others were opposed to the Democrat legislation regarding tax breaks for some retirees which would change the tax code to favor seniors with public pensions rather than applying to those with public and private pensions as the Republicans had advocated for.
“We have so many retired autoworkers in our community who worked hard their entire lives to earn their retirement,” Rep. David Martin (R-Davison) said in a statement. “The plan Gov. Whitmer and the Democrats in the Legislature are pushing would require them to continue paying taxes on their retirement income while people with public pensions pay none. That’s not fair. I cannot support it.”
The bill will go to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for consideration.
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