Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Markkanen: Governor can’t hide her failures with budget cuts
RELEASE|March 19, 2024

Office of Auditor General faces 28% cut in governor’s proposal

State Rep. Greg Markkanen is criticizing a recent proposal by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to drastically reduce funding for the nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General (OAG), which has exposed widespread incompetence, systemic inefficiencies, and outright fraud in state agencies and programs.

“In a year where the state is seemingly able to throw money at everything that moves, the governor needs to explain why she’s proposing cutting the only executive agency that safeguards taxpayers’ dollars,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “She has shown zero ability to effectively govern over Michigan without allowing widespread fraud and mismanagement to run rampant right under her nose. Now is a time to make government more transparent and effective, not fire the auditors.”

Numerous audits by the OAG in recent years have exposed deep-rooted problems in the Whitmer Administration and other parts of state government. Most notably, a series of five audits, requested by House Republicans in 2020 and wrapped up in December of last year, exposed billions of dollars in fraud and improper payments by Whitmer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The OAG even exposed instances where state departments continued to misuse funds even after the federal government told them to stop.

“Yoopers already don’t trust the governor. She is not doing herself any favors by defunding the OAG,” Markkanen said. “We need the Auditor General to ensure that Democrat leadership cannot run roughshod with our tax dollars in smoke-filled backrooms under the cover of darkness. The Auditor General helps improve state government regardless of who holds power. Yet even the most basic guardrails are too overwhelming for Gov. Whitmer, who would prefer all government be under her complete control. She is not, in fact, emperor.”

The governor’s proposed $8.3 million budget cut to the people’s watchdog is coming under further scrutiny after Auditor General Doug Ringler’s Wednesday morning letter to House and Senate leaders. Ringler explained how the 28% funding reduction would kneecap the OAG’s ability to fulfill audit requirements and could even put federal funding at risk.


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