LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Thomas Albert on Wednesday said a new state budget approved by the Democratic majority of the Michigan Legislature spends too much money and potentially could leave essential services in a vulnerable position moving forward.
“Just a few months ago, our state budget surplus was estimated at more than $9 billion. With these votes by the Legislature, it appears 93% of that money will be as good as gone in a very short time,” said Albert, R-Lowell. “Our essential state services will be in a much weaker financial position because of it. This budget simply spends too much money and is not sustainable. That puts essential services provided by the state at potential risk — maybe not today, but it’s certainly possible in the very near future.”
Albert said state government should instead save more money for a rainy day and pay down more debt to put itself in a better financial position for the future. He pointed to state reports from recent months that show Michigan’s major tax collections declining on a year-to-year basis.
“Many in this Legislature consider themselves ‘progressive’ — but their budget is a step backward and wipes out many of the prudent financial decisions from recent years,” Albert said. “It’s another item on a growing list of decisions that threaten to send Michigan back to the ‘Lost Decade’ — that early 2000s period where our state was making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Back then, imprudent budget planning contributed to cuts for schools and other services when the economy tanked. We should be taking steps to make sure our state will never have to go through that again — but this budget misses the mark.”