from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update
I appreciated hearing the governor’s vision for Michigan’s future during her State of the State address.
As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I remain committed to working with my colleagues and the governor’s office to keep Michigan on the right track. We were able to work together to approve landmark reforms to Michigan’s dated auto no-fault law, and I can only hope that 2020 brings more agreements like this, more solutions and a better year for Michiganders.
While we were able to approve reforms that are expected to save Michiganders a great deal of money, last year’s budget process was a spectacle that I hope we never again see here in our state. This year’s focus should be on getting our finances in order ahead of the deadline and putting available resources toward fixing things like roads and funding our schools.
These are two things the governor has campaigned on the most and two things I agree should see a great deal of our focus in the new year. Just as I did last year, I will support responsible measures to fund our schools and start making major repairs to our infrastructure. I believe we need to continue looking at existing funding before turning to taxpayers. Like many of my colleagues, I also have reservations about bonding as a solution to fix our roads. To me, that option just kicks the can further down the road, significantly increases our long-term debt and does nothing to address funding our local roads and infrastructure needs.
As the speech continued, I found myself sharing many of the governor’s concerns about things like clean water and our environment. Michigan leads the nation in efforts to ensure folks have safe drinking water, and as chairman of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy budget, I am committed to continuing these efforts as a priority. We must also continue to monitor the unfortunate situation currently facing the Great Lakes. Lawmakers must seek solutions to mitigate the ongoing high water and erosion issues that impact our public infrastructure.
I look forward to the governor’s upcoming budget presentation and working with her administration to fix our state’s crumbling roads and bridges — without simply passing the cost to hardworking families or passing the buck to our kids. The Legislature has approved major reforms and investments in recent years, and I would like to continue working together to build a better Michigan.