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List: Reactions to Governor’s budget proposal

LANSING, Mich. – Reactions are coming in to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first budget proposal of her administration.

Whitmer’s budget proposal was released Tuesday morning. In it, she proposes a 45-cent gas tax to pay for road fixes, increases in education funding and the elimination of the “retirement tax” to be replaced with a “pass-through” tax on businesses.

We’ll be adding to the list of statements issued by different organizations here throughout the day.

In favor

The School Finance Research Collaborative today applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for calling for a new school funding approach that will help meet the unique needs of all Michigan students.

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer for calling for a new, fairer school funding approach that will help meet the needs of all Michigan students,” said Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, School Finance Research Collaborative Project Director. “We look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer on a new funding method that provides all students the same opportunity to get a high-quality education and compete for jobs.”

Opposed

SBAM opposes proposed 41 percent increase in taxes for small businesses

LANSING, MI – The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) today expressed opposition to the significant tax increase on small businesses proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

The proposed “pass through” tax increase amounts to a 41 percent small business tax increase, impacting more than 100,000 small businesses in Michigan.

“Michigan has made substantial economic gains in employment since double taxation on small businesses was eliminated in 2011,” said SBAM CEO Rob Fowler. “Gov. Whitmer’s proposal would be a major step backward and a job-killer for small businesses, who make up most of the employment and employment growth in our state.”

In Favor

Michigan Municipal League statement regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Budget Proposal

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Municipal League Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin issued the following statement about the budget proposal announced today by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is a comprehensive, bold first step toward addressing a number of problems that have long confronted the state. It provides new and sustainable investment in our broken transportation system, particularly in areas where most Michiganders live, work and play. It begins to reverse years of underfunding of revenue sharing, helping our communities maintain public safety and competing with other states in attracting residents. It boosts the Earned Income Tax Credit, a proven poverty-fighting, economy-growing policy for urban and rural communities. It supports cradle to grave education opportunities, ensuring we have the skills needed to fill jobs today and in the future.

This budget is an important acknowledgment of the need to invest in community infrastructure, which is the backbone of economic growth and a key to attracting and retaining talent. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature as this budget moves through the process and highlights the priorities of Michigan’s communities.

We will be looking for more details in the days ahead, but wholeheartedly agree with Governor Whitmer’s statement that “Nobody is going to invest in a state that doesn’t invest in itself.”

In Favor

LANSING, Mich. – The following is a statement from Luann Dunsford, Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Works! Association responding to Governor Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal:

“Michigan Works! applauds Gov. Whitmer for her commitment to focusing on workforce development and closing the skills gap in her budget proposal. We look forward to partnering with the governor to provide training for in-demand skills that will lead to productive careers.

“The new Michigan Reconnect program and MI Opportunity Scholarship will be great assets in our workforce development toolkit. Efforts like these will help us better ensure that everyone has access to training to earn a high-paying job and we look forward to getting started.”

Opposed

Whitmer Budget Built on Broken Promises

LANSING, Mich., March 5, 2019 – The following is a statement from Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox regarding Governor Whitmer’s Proposed budget.

“Governor Whitmer pledged to ‘Build a Better Michigan’. Apparently, that construction is being done with broken promises. Last November, Michigan voters took the Governor at her word when she said that a 20-cent gas increase was ‘ridiculous’. Today she has proposed a 45-cent increase. This would make Michigan’s gas tax the highest in U.S. history and cripple our economy. This along with the Governor’s 41% tax increase on over 100,000 small businesses would massively affect the cost of living in the state. While our roads may improve, they would simply end up as well paved pathways for jobs and people to leave Michigan.

In Favor

LANSING — The Michigan Democratic Party issued the following statement today on behalf of MDP Chair Lavora Barnes in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Recommendation:

“Michigan’s working families have struggled to get ahead for the past decade while corporations and the wealthiest individuals made money hand over fist thanks to a massive Republican tax giveaway and an administration that put the bottom line over citizens’ lives. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget ensures Michigan’s workers and retirees will finally benefit from their hard-earned tax dollars rather than bear the burden of another Betsy DeVos tax cut.

In Favor

Gov. Whitmer demonstrates commitment to clean water and public health in budget

LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Michigan Environmental Council today applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal that puts the health of Michigan’s air, Great Lakes and communities first by supporting dedicated funds to clean up the thousands of contaminated sites across Michigan as well as funding programs that ensure Michiganders have clean air and drinking water.

“Gov. Whitmer today rightly used her first budget to reinforce that clean water is a fundamental Michigan value,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “We urge the Legislature to join her in removing lead pipes, cleaning up toxic PFAS chemicals, expanding public health programs, and making sure every child has access to safe drinking water at their school. None of these issues are partisan, but all of them impact Michigan’s economy and the health of our citizens.”

In Favor

Hood on Gov. Whitmer’s budget recommendation:

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented her budget recommendations today for the 2019-20 fiscal year to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Among her recommendations were significant allotments to clean up and protect our water and increasing school funding by $507 million—the largest increase in a generation. In response to her recommendations, state Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) issued the following statement:

“Michigan’s massive problems require bold solutions. Gov. Whitmer’s proposed budget disrupts the financial shell game of recent years so that Michiganders can finally count on our taxpayer dollars going where they need to go — providing financial security for our seniors, supporting our students and teachers, and protecting our drinking water. This is a new chapter in Michigan’s story and it’s time for us to follow the governor’s lead and go bold.”

Opposed

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, issued the following statement on Tuesday, in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal year 2020 budget presentation to the Legislature:

“It was interesting to hear the governor’s priorities in her State of the State speech, and today we heard a bit about how she plans to fund some of them.

“While I think her presentation included a lot of good starting points to the budget conversations, I am not convinced some of her suggestions are the best avenue forward.

“I am not sold on going to Michigan taxpayers with our palms up asking for another handout. The governor said we need to take advantage of the low prices at the pump, but those prices are not fixed, and relying on them staying where they are is not a sound strategy in my opinion. Not to mention, I think lower prices at the pump is something Michigan consumers have earned the right to enjoy after many hard-fought years in a tough economy.

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