LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Hauck, R-Mt. Pleasant, issued the following statement on Wednesday after the Senate voted to finalize the general fund and school aid budgets, marking the completion of the upcoming fiscal year 2024 state budget:
“As negotiations unfolded and the budget began coming together, I had concerns with the level of spending included in the general budget.
“While there are certainly efforts that I support, at the end of the day, I simply couldn’t vote in favor of this unsustainable spending. This is the largest budget in state history and blows through our record surplus with little regard for the decade of responsible budgeting it took to make that surplus a reality.
“I was also disappointed with the lack of transparency from Democratic leadership and the closed-door negotiations that left me and many of my colleagues in the dark until the final moments before voting.
“While I was unable to support the state’s general omnibus budget, I was happy to vote in favor of the school aid budget, which provides funding for K-12 education, the state’s 15 public universities and all local community colleges. The school aid budget includes meaningful per-pupil funding increases that will provide more educational resources and opportunities for Michigan students, puts money toward higher education retirement obligations and helps reel in out-of-control tuition increases that make it difficult for families to afford higher education. This was an example of paying our bills, budgeting for the future, and helping families with rising costs that I believe we should have seen more of in the general government budget.
“The budget process is long and often difficult, and no budget is perfect. However, I would have preferred a more organized, open budget process that focuses on fiscal responsibility and wise use of taxpayer dollars. I think we could have reeled in state spending significantly and focused more on helping Michigan families.”