Outman reacts to Gov. Whitmer’s first budget presentation

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.

“The Legislature has also approved record road funding measures in recent years. I think we need to experience this initiative in full-effect before going backward and turning to residents for more money.

“Eight years in a row, the Legislature and governor have approved the state budget well before the beginning of the fiscal year. This has allowed us to make sound financial decisions, while also letting local governments and school districts know what their budgets are, allowing them to stay on track as well.

“As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I will continue working with my colleagues in hopes of continuing this trend in 2019. I support her efforts toward clean water, funding our schools, fixing our roads and improving access to career training that meets the needs of a diverse workforce. It is now time to sit down at the table, work together, and make sure we come up with the best product for Michigan residents.”

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