FACT CHECK: In New TV Ad, Kevin Rinke Pushes “Road to Ruin” That Would Decimate Funding for Law Enforcement, Infrastructure, and Public Schools

Out-of-touch millionaire Kevin Rinke has released yet another ad to cover up the fact that he can’t answer basic questions surrounding his disastrous agenda to make crude cuts to the state budget and the critical services it funds.  

Rinke has spent more than $1.5 million running misleading ads and leveling false attacks on Whitmer’s leadership since the start of the 2022 cycle. Here are the facts:

For Every Year She Has Been in Office, Governor Whitmer Has Balanced the Budget Without Increasing Taxes

Governor Whitmer’s principled leadership has been on display since day one of taking office. For 2019, 2020, and 2021, she has signed balanced, bipartisan budgets without raising taxes.

Governor Whitmer Has Made Historic Investments in Public Education and Educators, Closed Funding Gaps Between School Districts Across Michigan – Without Tax Raises

Last year, Governor Whitmer secured a bipartisan $17.1 billion dollar public education budget that completely closed a decades-long state funding gap between school districts, and made the “largest investment in PreK-12 schools in state history” — all without raising taxes.

Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer proposed the largest state investment in education in decades including a significant increase in the per-pupil funding for school districts along with a $360 million investment in student mental health, a sixfold increase from previous years.

Working with the legislature, Whitmer also successfully secured a $73 million ‘Classroom Heroes Grant’ that provided hazard pay to teachers and educational support staff, rewarding them for staying on the frontlines of the pandemic. 

And for the upcoming budget, Governor Whitmer has proposed providing teachers with annual retention bonuses up to $4,000 and allocating $600 million for educator recruitment in the form of training and “expanded programs to attract and keep teachers in their own communities.”

Governor Whitmer Continues to Lead Michigan Through a Strong Economic Recovery With Historic Investment, Tax Cuts, and Support for Businesses

Governor Whitmer was singled out by Bloomberg for “presid[ing] over an economy that improved the most in its history since the pandemic began two years ago.” Building on the fact that Michigan’s economy continues to outperform the nation and remain first in “equally weighted measures of employment, personal income, home prices, mortgage delinquency” and others, Whitmer announced a new $409 million grant to provide businesses across the state with the support they need to “retain or create jobs and boost our state’s economy.”

And thanks to her work that has made Michigan one of the top states to do business, LG Energy Solution recently announced they would be making a nearly $2 billion dollar investment to expand electric vehicle battery production in Michigan – creating over a thousand good-paying jobs. Since Whitmer took office, more than 20,000 auto jobs have been created in-state. 

Governor Whitmer cut taxes for small businesses delivering an estimated $200 million in annual tax savings for hundreds of thousands of eligible businesses. In another move to keep building gains for Michigan’s robust economic recovery, she also signed an economic package that included a $75 million tax cut for businesses.

Kevin Rinke is Pushing a Dangerous Agenda to Spur “Dramatic” Funding Cuts for Roads, Law Enforcement, and Public Education – and Won’t Explain How Funds Would Be Recovered

Kevin Rinke has passed on several opportunities to explain how he would establish revenue streams to make up for the “dramatic” losses from his backwards tax plan – a clear sign that he’s more interested in forcing his wrong-for-Michigan agenda on working families than protecting their interests.

Rinke’s plan would:

  • Cut nearly $8 billion from the general fund, threatening funding for thousands of Michigan State Police and slashing nearly two-thirds from the main funding stream for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Corrections, and State Police, on top of half of all revenue for other critical departments .
  • Slash $3.5 billion from the School Aid Fund, the state’s main funding source for public schools in line with his similarly disastrous agenda to convert Michigan to a school voucher system that would have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually.
  • Eliminate $600 million in transportation funding and threaten additional federal funds secured with matching state dollars.   Rinke – who has failed to offer plans to continue strengthening Michigan’s infrastructure despite his months on the campaign trail – is seeking to undercut the state’s ability to keep making crucial repairs to roads and bridges. 

Rinke’s plan “does not explain” how any of these significant revenue losses would be recovered, nor did he answer inquiries attempting to uncover whether he actually “weighed the potential damaging effects of such a plan if enacted.”

Previously, Rinke had indicated his “plain and simple” support for an “unsustainable” and “short-sighted” GOP tax plan that would have “disproportionately help[ed] the state’s wealthiest residents” and forced more than $1.8 billion in annual cuts to Michigan’s budget. 

Over just three years, the GOP plan would have gutted public education resources to the tune of $624 million being stripped from the school aid fund.

The impacts are even more devastating for the efforts that go towards keeping our streets safe. The plan also threatened funding for over 5,000 state and local law enforcement officers and civilian employees. 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.

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