Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Steele detests plans for more corporate welfare, wasteful government spending
RELEASE|June 10, 2024
Contact: Donni Steele

State Rep. Donni Steele on Monday criticized a legislative package to extend the struggling Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund for 10 more years and add new spending to the program. The plan would take $350 million from the fund, leaving $250 million available for unchecked corporate welfare. The $350 million would be set aside for state government to meddle in transit, community development, and placemaking efforts in cherry-picked locations.

“SOAR is broken, and House Democrats plan to fix it by moving some money around to create similarly flawed programs with even more specific carveouts,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “If we’re going to offer corporate incentives, we need to ensure that every Michigan company has an equal shot for assistance. Nothing in this plan addresses that clear lack of fairness, oversight, and accountability.”

The House Democrat plan guarantees funding for SOAR for ten years, essentially removing legislative oversight. The plan also doesn’t include any true clawback or accountability mechanisms for state government to ensure money is spent wisely or retrieve taxpayer dollars should a company renege on its original promises.

“It feels like every day we hear about another taxpayer-funded project that will be smaller and yield fewer new jobs than was initially promised,” Steele said. “Yet, instead of looking inward to see how we as leaders can better spend taxpayer dollars, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lansing Democrats find new ways to throw money at a wall to see what sticks.”

Last week, the governor pledged $100,000 toward a “Shark Tank-style” competition for identifying an individual who pitches a winning idea to fix the roads. The governor proposed the competition as an annual event for her administration to find solutions for problems they’ve failed to solve in her six years in power.

“We teach our kids to cut unnecessary spending when a big purchase is coming up. State government needs to embrace the same philosophy,” Steele said. “The governor refuses to accept the reality that if we stop wasting money on fake game shows and huge handouts, we’d have more than enough money to fix the roads and lower taxes. I don’t care how great a corporate welfare project looks on paper; the only investments we should be making right now is in some high-quality asphalt.”


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