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Rep. Rigas sharply criticizes radical Democratic budgets

Rep. Rigas sharply criticizes radical Democratic budgets

Proposals include transparency rules on mowing and trackers for all drivers’ cars

State Rep. Angela Rigas on Wednesday vehemently opposed Democrats’ partisan budget bill that would reshape state government along far-left policies and demands.

The Michigan State Police budget, HB 5510, requires local communities to prove that a severe storm was caused by climate change to qualify for aid, which imposes onerous limits on the resources needed. Rigas noted that the budget doesn’t even provide clear definitions of climate change.

“If Democrats aren’t smart enough to figure out what climate change is for themselves, how are local municipalities supposed to do it?” asked Rigas, R-Caledonia. “The City of Portage just faced devastating damage from severe storms. If this program were in place, this struggling community would have to waste time proving that climate change caused a tornado that literally destroyed homes before they could receive the resources they needed to rebuild. It does not make sense. Firefighters would never refuse to help a family whose house is on fire unless the family can prove how the fire started. But that is exactly what Democrats propose we do with these resources.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation budget includes $5 million to develop and implement a highway use tax. Democrats have publicly discussed a potential tax that would require every Michigan driver to install a tracker in their car so the government could monitor miles driven and tax them accordingly. Democrats say it could replace the current 28.6-cent gas tax. Republicans are skeptical that Democrats will ever be able to get rid of the tax by imposing a new one.

“We joked that the government was trying to secretly track us. Well now they’re saying the quiet part out loud and it’s definitely not funny,” Rigas said. “I don’t care how fair it is to try to impose taxes that are already way too high; some government official sitting in a dark closet somewhere doesn’t need to be able to watch me as I pick my kids up from school and stop at the grocery store on my way home.”

Some budgets waive disclosure requirements for high-level employees receiving heavy severance pay and metrics reporting obligations. Michigan ranks last in government transparency. Rigas noted that these changes will make the situation worse.

“Democrats control everything until at least January next year. If these rules come into effect and things don’t go their way in November, how will the public know when all those liberal department heads are conveniently fired with huge severance pay the week before Christmas? – Rygas asked. “Democrats know that their policies are so radical and unpopular that they must create contingency measures for their failing bureaucrats before it is too late.”

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