Craig, Rinke, Soldano, and Dixon support plan that threatened law enforcement funding and slashed public school budgets by the hundreds of millions
Several of the Republican candidates vying for governor have thrown their support behind a “unsustainable” and “short-sighted” tax plan spearheaded by Republican legislators. A major display of the wrong-for-Michigan agenda they continue to push, the plan would have forced billions in cuts statewide to several key initiatives that address the issues that matter to working families, such as public education and law enforcement.
Aside from the fact that it “disproportionately helps the state’s wealthiest residents,” the disastrous bill would have forced more than $1.8 billion in annual cuts to Michigan’s budget. Over just three years, the GOP tax 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 GOP tax plan 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.
The Michigan Education Association reduced this failed plan to an “election-year stunt” and warned that it irresponsibly would result in “drastic budget shortfalls for students and educators.” The Michigan Association of Police Organizations (MAPO) also 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.” Late last year, he advocated for cutting funding for underperforming public schools in order to funnel taxpayer resources to private schools.
- Kevin Rinke similarly indicated his “plain and simple” support for the tax plan. He also criticized Governor Whitmer for vetoing “the latest effort by legislative Republicans to create a school voucher system in Michigan” that would have reduced state investment in education by upwards of $500 million annually.
- Tudor Dixon also supported the tax plan. She’s been a staunch supporter of stripping critical funding from public schools and has said that repealing Michigan’s constitutional ban on using public money for private education was a top priority for her campaign.
- Garrett Soldano called for across-the-board blunt cuts to the budget that take no consideration for the needs and priorities of working families.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“This Tax Day, Michiganders shouldn’t forget this pack of Republican gubernatorial candidates have shown they will disregard whatever it takes to push their dangerous agenda on everyday citizens – ignoring multiple warnings that this would decimate both law enforcement and public education. Michiganders deserve leadership that will prioritize maintaining safe communities and keeping our students, parents, and educators first, not back short-sighted efforts that hurt Michigan families and disproportionately benefit the wealthy.”