Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Lightner: More accountability needed before further SOAR funding is awarded
RELEASE|June 20, 2024

State Rep. Sarah Lightner today issued the following statement after voting against transferring funds from the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund for several economic development projects:

“The lack of information surrounding most of these projects is deeply troubling and unacceptable. Michigan taxpayers have the right to know exactly how their money is being used, and they expect real, measurable outcomes from these investments. The current state of the SOAR program fails to provide the necessary safeguards and oversight required to ensure that companies deliver on their promises.

“The Mundy Township project, in particular, is a huge risk. We’ve been provided with next to no information to show that it even qualifies for SOAR funding. There’s no evidence that Genesee County or Mundy Township has any substantial stake or involvement in this project, and officials have admitted that equipping the area with the necessary water and sewer services for a large industrial site will be extremely expensive. There is also very little clarity on what benchmarks would be met before funding is handed over, giving the state little ability to claw back funds if the project fails to create new jobs. This $250 million is mainly for land acquisition, so they’ll likely be back to ask for hundreds of millions more to build on this site.

“I cannot, in good conscience, vote to award any more SOAR funding until we see some serious changes that add accountability and offer assurance that these projects will genuinely benefit Michigan residents.”


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