Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Bierlein fighting for public safety dollars within advancing budget plans
RELEASE|May 9, 2024

State Rep. Matthew Bierlein this week stood up for first responders in Bay, Genesee, Saginaw and Tuscola counties as well as across the state by seeking to supply them with equipment they need to help save lives.

Bierlein proposed an amendment to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity budget proposal that would keep a $15 million commitment for fire equipment grants to provide for a second set of fire gear for firefighters statewide. The funding is in the budget for the current fiscal year, but would not be included in a plan that was advanced by the Michigan House.

“There’s over $80 billion in the overall budget. We shouldn’t be pinching pennies when it comes to public safety,” said Bierlein, of Vassar. “I have talked with first responders throughout our area about what resources they need to help protect our neighborhoods and families. A second set of gear may sound trivial, but gear gets worn out and these grants help our local communities so they aren’t redirecting precious dollars from other essential services to go toward purchasing additional sets. Keeping this funding would have been a big lift for communities throughout our state, and I’m disappointed this amendment was not adopted by the House.”

Bierlein said the overall budget plans advanced by the House don’t give hardworking taxpayers a good return on investment. The bills tie in tens of millions of dollars for the continued unchecked expansion of various social programs, devote millions to a fleet of green energy vehicles for the state, and gamble on inconsistent demand for electric vehicles by asking taxpayers to foot the bill for expanded charging station availability whether they own an electric vehicle or not.

“The governor continues to go to taxpayers to cover her expensive agenda instead of giving them a good return on their tax dollars,” Bierlein said. “People I talk with want good local roads, safe communities and to keep more of what they earn. I don’t think state department employees getting the keys to a new hybrid meets any of those three categories, but that’s unfortunately some of the wasteful spending that we’re seeing.”

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