Michigan House Republicans
Rep. DeBoyer rips House Democrats for discarding measure that protects state from countries of concern
RELEASE|May 8, 2024
Contact: Jay DeBoyer

An effort from state Rep. Jay DeBoyer to protect both state and national security interests, respect taxpayer dollars and provide clarity in how transformational economic opportunities are pursued by the state today was rejected by House Democrats.

DeBoyer offered an amendment to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) budget plan that would enhance fiscal responsibility through robust reporting requirements and clear benchmarks when money in the State Opportunities and Accountability Reserve (SOAR) fund is set to be channeled towards entities associated with “countries of concern” as designated by the U.S. Department of State.

DeBoyer underscored the Gotion project, which received hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding and grants, as a prime example on why the amendment is needed. The company’s planned electric vehicle battery plant near Big Rapids is less than 90 miles from Camp Grayling, the U.S.’s largest National Guard training facility, and only five miles from the Big Rapids National Guard Armory. Gotion was founded in China in 2006 and remains one-third Chinese-owned. Zhen Li, chairman and CEO of Gotion, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee – a high-ranking advisory body to the Chinese Communist Party.

“This situation lays out clearly the importance of safeguarding public funds and maintaining the public’s trust in the process,” said DeBoyer, of Clay Township. “Our state must put in place and utilize robust oversight mechanisms like this amendment provides. For the safety and security of Michigan residents, any project seeking this funding should require a thorough examination to evaluate any potential foreign affiliations. Job growth is obviously very important for the future of our state, but we need to do our homework on who we are doing business with.

“Today, Democrats chose to pass a budget that lacks crucial security enhancements, abuses taxpayer money, and puts us at risk. It’s not the right approach going forward.”

DeBoyer’s amendment would have required a report from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and various other metrics to be met before the Michigan Strategic Fund can approve a SOAR project for entities and individuals with ties to countries of concern.

The LEO budget is contained within House Bill 5502, which was advanced to the Senate for further consideration.

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