Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Rigas slams Democrats’ radical budgets
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Angela Rigas

Proposals include trashing transparency rules and trackers for all drivers’ cars

State Rep. Angela Rigas on Wednesday stood firm against Democrats’ partisan budgets that would overhaul state government with far-left policies and requirements.

The Michigan State Police budget, HB 5510, requires that local communities to prove a severe storm was caused by climate change in order to qualify for relief, putting burdensome restrictions in the way of essential resources. Rigas noted that there aren’t even clear definitions for climate change in the budget.

“If Democrats aren’t smart enough to figure out what climate change is themselves, how are local municipalities supposed to do it?” asked Rigas, R-Caledonia. “The City of Portage just faced devastating damage from severe storms. If this program were in place, this reeling community would have to waste time proving climate change caused the tornado that literally destroyed homes before they could receive the resources they need to rebuild. It makes no sense. Firefighters would never withhold aid from a family whose house is burning down until the family proves how the fire started. Yet, that’s exactly what the Democrats are proposing we do with these resources.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation budget includes $5 million for the state to develop and implement a road usage tax. Democrats have been publicly discussing the potential tax that would require every Michigan driver to install a tracker in their car so the government can monitor the miles they’ve driven and tax them accordingly. Democrats claim this could replace the current 28.6 cent gas tax. Republicans are skeptical that Democrats could ever actually get rid of a tax while they impose a new one.

“We used to joke about the government trying to secretly track us. Well, now they’re saying the quiet part out loud and it’s definitely not funny,” Rigas said. “I don’t care how fair they’re trying to make taxes that are already way too high; some government bureaucrat sitting in a dark closet somewhere doesn’t need the ability to watch me while I pick up my kids from school and stop at the grocery store on the way home.”

Several budgets remove disclosure requirements for when high-ranking employees receive loaded severance packages and ditch metric reporting obligations. Michigan ranks near the bottom in government transparency. Rigas noted that these changes would make things worse.

“Democrats control everything at least until next January. If these rules become law and things don’t go their way in November, how will the public know when all these liberal department heads are conveniently fired with huge severance packages the week before Christmas?” Rigas asked. “Democrats know their policies are so radical and unpopular that they have to create contingencies for their failing bureaucrats before it’s too late.”


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