After holding COVID relief funds hostage for months, Republican “budget” only goes three months at a time
LANSING – Today after months of silence and months of attempting to sabotage Michigan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by holding federal COVID relief funds hostage, Republicans released a so-called “budget” proposal making deep cuts to state departments and intentionally only funding three months of some state government operations.
Leaders of labor organizations representing frontline workers all over Michigan released the following statements in response:
“This proposed budget is a slap in the face to the working people that have braved this pandemic to keep our state running,” said Lawrence A. Roehrig, President of Michigan AFSCME Council 25. “AFSCME members have literally risked, and in some cases lost, their lives in service to our communities. Instead of gratitude, they are getting slapped with more cuts. Michigan’s working families need real investments in programs and services to curb the pandemic’s devastating impact. There should be no corner-cutting health protocols and short changing investments in workers’ safety and our economy. The whole process needs to find a way to work out REAL solutions to this crisis. This proposed throat-cutting budget certainly isn’t one of them.”
“Nurses and other healthcare workers need and deserve a full investment in moving our state forward through this pandemic, not a piecemeal approach that abandons them and essentially punishes our citizens,” said Jamie Brown, RN, president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Instead of doing the responsible thing, Republican leaders are signaling that they care more about scoring political points and protecting their own sense of control than taking care of the frontline workers who continue to put our lives on the line every day. We urge them to invest fully in the people of Michigan.”
“Republicans have decided to shred any hope for bipartisanship in Lansing with yet another misguided attempt to hurt the governor, but the only people this political stunt will hurt is the people they’re supposed to be working for,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “This so-called budget is nothing more than an expression of their unhinged anger that the governor has dared to act to protect people from a deadly virus over the last year. They should be ashamed, and they should get to work on a real budget.”