On June 28, Senator Rick Outman voted to approve the Democrat-led fiscal budget for 2024. Senator Outman said it was challenging to know how to best preserve conservative values, but Outman, along with other Republican Senators, ultimately decided they could be more effective in preserving conservative values by negotiating rather than opting to vote no as a group. He said a group of Republican Senators went back and forth discussing what was best. Democrats did not need Republicans to pass their budget, but by the Republicans allowing the budget to go into immediate effect, which takes a 2/3 majority, they could bargain for a more conservative allocation of funds.
“There’s no such thing as a perfect budget. Everyone has different preferences and priorities — but what we passed here today is a budget with a wide range of support from both sides of the aisle and highlights issues important to each of our districts and the state as a whole,” Outman said.
While Outman shared his discouragement about losing the majority to the Democrats, he highlighted some positive portions of the bill, including being able to vote to keep Governor Whitmer from moving budgeted monies to different line items for spending. He also noted that the budget included several infrastructure improvements for roads and water, including treating wastewater. Outman also said some of the Omnibus budget funds from Senate Bill 173 would go toward protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species.