FACT CHECK: GOP Tax Bill Supported By Several Gubernatorial Candidates Would Have Slashed Public Safety Funding, Directly Eliminating 5,000 Members of Law Enforcement

Craig, Rinke, Soldano, and Dixon support plan that threatened law enforcement funding

Several of the Republican candidates vying for governor in a messy and crowded field of 12 have thrown their support behind a “unsustainable” and “short-sighted” tax plan spearheaded by Republican legislators. Once again pushing their wrong-for-Michigan agenda, the plan would have forced billions in cuts to state funding, severely reducing state and local law enforcement’s abilities to protect their streets. 

Here’s the facts:

  • Aside from the fact that it “disproportionately helps the state’s wealthiest residents,” the disastrous bill would have threatened funding for over 5,000 state and local law enforcement officers and the civilian employees that work to keep our communities safe.
  • Forcing more than $1.8 billion in annual cuts, the GOP plan would have threatened state funding that local governments rely on to fund over 3,000 local law enforcement based on previous budgets.
  • The potential impacts on Michigan State Police are even worse, as the cuts would have threatened general fund dollars that provide over 60% of MSP’s budget

Backing this up, recently the Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) warned the tax plan would “come at the expense of critical services,” “reduce police protection,” create “long-term budget problems,” and “will only add to the challenges facing law enforcement in Michigan.”

Nevertheless, candidates touted the bill:

  • Despite the serious budgetary strains the GOP tax plan would put on local communities’ efforts to keep their streets safe, James Craig said it was a “great start” and wished it could “go even further.” 
  • Kevin Rinke similarly indicated his “plain and simple” support for the tax plan, pledging his administration would have pressed ahead with signage and dismissing budget consequences as “political games.”
  • Garrett Soldano called for across-the-board blunt cuts to the budget that take no consideration for the needs and priorities of working families.
  • Tudor Dixon also supported the bill. 

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Time and again, this slate of Republican gubernatorial candidates have shown they will disregard whatever it takes to push their dangerous agenda on everyday citizens – even as members of law enforcement have warned about the impacts. The facts are clear: the GOP tax plan would have forced cuts that threatened to slash local public safety budgets and eliminate funding for over 5,000 positions that are critical to law enforcement efforts. Michiganders deserve leadership that will prioritize maintaining safe communities, not back short-sighted efforts to score cheap political points.”

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