Michigan House Republicans
Rep. LaFave, Legislature approve plan to protect funding for schools, local governments
RELEASE|July 29, 2020
Contact: Beau LaFave

State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, recently joined his colleagues in the Michigan Legislature in approving a bipartisan budget plan protecting schools and local governments in the current fiscal year – despite unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and the resulting economic slowdown.

The agreement uses a mix of savings and already available federal COVID-19 relief funds to address response activities, equaling or more than offsetting reductions in state aid to education and local governments.

“I’m glad for the first time in nearly five months the governor has demonstrated her willingness to work with the Legislature again,” LaFave said. “It was not easy fulfilling our constitutional obligation of balancing a state budget given the budget shortfall we find ourselves in, but both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature worked with the governor to make some tough choices. Despite tough choices, we were still able to increase investments in areas most important to the people of Michigan. I just hope that the governor doesn’t pull the same line-item veto nonsense like she did last time because it was actually nice working together for a change.”

The agreement erases a $2.2 billion shortfall to balance the current fiscal year budget. The state will use $350 million from its ‘rainy day’ stabilization fund – which LaFave noted has been built up over the past several years by the Legislature to be used in case of budget emergencies just like the one Michigan is facing today. The plan also relies on $460 million in savings and efficiencies, and the use of already available federal COVID relief funds to ensure budget certainty.

LaFave offered an amendment that would require Michigan State University to pay back its state funding to Michigan residents if it changes the name of the James Madison College over mounting pressure from far-left activists. While the amendment did not garner enough support in the full House to become law, LaFave said the budget agreement was still worthy of support.

“Taxpayer-funded universities are supposed to uphold freedoms of expression and thought, not constrict them,” LaFave said. “Taxpayer dollars should not be wasted by public institutions to delete history and rename colleges over the emotions of a few sensitive students who would be better off going to school rather than rename it. Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Despite my strong opposition of James Madison College considering a name change, I will live to fight this battle another day.”


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