House and Senate Approve State Budget
It took just 15 minutes to pass a $56.7 billion state budget this morning. The new budget includes:

  • The Good: $46.6 million to promote skilled trades, and help match employees with employers. This will help fill a shortage in the skilled trades sector.
  • The Bad: $153 million for schools, but takes $255 million out of the classroom to alter the Michigan teacher retirement system, even though it was already fully-funded.
  • The Ugly: $207 million to maintain the current state of our roads – which is just 1/10th of the amount we need each year to begin a full restoration.

But wait, there’s more…
Without fail, there’s always one lawmaker that sneaks something into the budget that makes us scratch our heads. This year, Sen. Hildenbrand managed to get $1 million for a showboat in his district.

Yeah, we had the same reaction.

It turns out that this particular showboat is named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which is a mystery to us because Michigan has absolutely no connection to him. So, while southern states are beginning to replace Confederate monuments, Sen. Hildenbrand wants to spend taxpayer money to revive one.

Follow the Michigan Senate Democrats on Facebook and Twitter to see what your lawmakers are up to.